ECS KA3-MVP Motherboard Installation

In this section we take the ECS and MSI XPress 3200 boards and install them in a standard, very popular ATX case in order to see if any of the design decisions made by the engineers will affect the installation process or accessory usage.  This section was started with my Asus A8R32-MVP motherboard review and received a lot of positive feedback.

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Initial motherboard installation saw no problems as everything seem to fit into place quite nicely. 

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Once we connect the power to the ATX connections and run the IDE and SATA cables, things begin to bulk up inside the case.  You can see in this picture how the 4-pin ATX power connection is kind of in an odd spot right below and to the left of the processor heatsink.

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With the headers filled by the cables from the case, the ECS KA3 MVP keeps the cables out of the way for the most part from video card installation.  Filling that bottom PCI slot with the cables in the way though was a bit more challenging, but not a major problem.

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After we install the two ATI CrossFire video cards, the external SATA dongle, the USB/FireWire dongle and the sound card we use in all of our installation tests, every single one of our case backings is full.  You’ll also see the problem with the external SATA dongle — it doesn’t reach!  It would be almost impossible for a user with just one dual-slot graphics card to put the dongle in the top area of the case.

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In our last picture here, I am trying to point out how the SATA connections might interfere with the video cards when they are installed.  While the SATA connections are farther away from the cards so the interference isn’t major, you won’t be adding new drives into the system without removing the GPUs.  Definitely a minor pain.

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