Turning the box over we
find further, more detailed product information
including support for the latest 1066fsb CPU’s.
As always with motherboards
the first thing you find when you open the box
is the bundled components. In the case of the
945G-M3 we have the I/O shield, a sata cable,
IDE cable, power converter, manual and driver
It is hard to say whether
this is the essentials or just the bare minimum
as far as a bundle goes however we would have
liked to see at least an extra sata cable included.
The board itself is a M-ATX
design so all of the components are well packed.
Before we look at some of the finer details we
should point out that the board is based on a
very cool purple PCB, ideal for case modders.
Looking more closely we
can see that all of the essential connectivity
is present. We have a PCIe 16x slot which sits
alongside the PCIe 1x slot. Next we have two standard
PCI slots. People are either going to love the
order of the slots or hate it. Our preference
for the slots would have been PCIe>PCI>PCIe>PCI
as adding a dual slot graphics card could result
in losing the only PCIe 1x connector. It is not
a big deal, however as PCIe cards become more
commonplace it would be very possible to run into
At the bottom right of
the board are located the Sata ports (of which
there are four) providing SATA, Raid 0 and Raid
1 modes. These are powered by the Intel controller
which we have found to be a completely stable
and good performing component on other products
in the past. A good choice by ECS.
Moving along the board
layout we have the further connectivity in the
form of the IDE and floppy drive connectors as
well as a 24pin PSU connector. The IDE connector
provides support for 2 IDE100 or 2 IDE66 devices.
There are two memory slots on this model which
allow you to add up to 2gb to the system. DDR2-667,
533 and 400 are supported.
Looking at the rear panel
I/O section of the motherboard we find everything
we would expect, there are PS2 mouse and keyboard
ports, four usb 2.0 ports as well as Serial and
Parallel ports. The other connectors we can see
are the firewire, audio (7.1 Realtek HD audio)
Gb lan (Via branded) and the VGA out (Intel GMA950).
In summary, the above specs
show that this is a very well rounded product.
It should more than cater for the average PC user
and in some areas such as the CPU support it may
even exceed expectations. Let’s take a look
at how it performs.