The software bundle included with the ECS KN1 is fairly typical of a motherboard with the drivers being the most useful part. There are two CDs that come in the box: motherboard software and bonus software. Sometimes I think manufacturers throw together a software bundle for the sake of having one and hopes that no one actually tries running it (as we will see shortly). I’ve taken the liberty of trying out the different pieces and summarized my observations so you don’t have to go through it yourself.

Name What is it? Observation
nForce Software nForce 4 drivers, NVIDIA firewall, nTune Not much to explain here. Great NVIDIA software for system performance and security.
EZFlash Windows based BIOS flasher Used this to update to v1.1a BIOS. Works great. Only works for local files, so you will have to download the BIOS image from ECS first
Fuzzy Overclocker Overclocking utility Won’t run. Throws an error when executed. (image)
Update: This software was not designed to run on the KN1.
MyPict Changes the POST screen during boot-up Didn’t test. (image)
OmniGuardian PC Health Monitor Won’t run. Throws an error when executed. (image)
Update: This software was not designed to run on the KN1.
Smart LAN 3Com LAN cable tester Installer runs, but the executable couldn’t be found after installation. Can’t be run.

Name What is it? Observation
ShowShifter A MediaCenter-esque program that plays your stored media

A simple media player / navigator. Not as sophisticated as some other media center software currently available, but it works from what I tested.

Be careful when removing files from a play list. It will actually delete it from your drive without using the Recycle Bin. I actually wasn’t able to restore the lost files using my industrial-strength file recovery program.

MediaRing Use your computer as a phone. Not tested. Requires purchase of PINs/time in order to make calls.
WASAY DPU File versioning software Sort of like CVS / SVN (Wiki “CVS”) but for your regular desktop files. Tested with some Word docs and works fine. Wouldn’t recommend this for really large files since it just makes copies of it on your drive.
WASAY ProMagic Plus Data backup / mirroring utility

Only supports FAT partitions. Will delete a partition on your machine during installation! Use at your own risk. See my incident with this software here.

There is still no documentation for this software.

WinCinema DVD player & authoring Self explanatory.
I’m in Touch Remote desktop software Did not test.

As you can see above, though there is a lot of software provided with the KN1, most of it has limited use. Stuff like WASAY’s DPU may be handy for some of you, but I suspect the audience is very limited. Having the ECS software not run properly or install was a bit disconcerting. Lucky for ECS most buyers do not consider bundled software as a big determining factor in purchasing a motherboard.

Update: I have since learned that some of the software included on the driver CD was not designed for the KN1 Extreme but for another board. This explains the errors I received when running Fuzzy Overclocker and OmniGuardian. ECS has to share some of the blame here for not fully documenting the software and/or not having an intelligent installer that prevents users from accidentally loading it onto their system.

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