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ECS A960M-M3 AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX Motherboard EXPIRED

RagingWookiee 17,865 October 23, 2012 at 07:38 PM in Mail In Rebate (4) More Newegg Deals
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Promoted 10-24-2012 at 01:35 AM View Original Post
Newegg has ECS A960M-M3 AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX Motherboard for $37 - $37 rebate = Free. Shipping is $4.99. Thanks RagingWookiee


Original Post

Edited October 23, 2012 at 10:45 PM by widgit
Link [newegg.com]

Price will drop to $37 minus $37 Rebate = Free starting tomorrow.
Shipping currently show $7 but may be free via ShopRunner starting tomorrow.

472 Comments

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#436
Quote from beastyben1 View Post :
I've been asking the same question. If you have a Micocenter near you there are some deals on X4s for under $40 bucks.

Otherwise, Newegg has the X2 270 2.4ghz dual core on sale for $48. Fleabay has X2 220-250s for around $20-$30 most of the time. FX-4100 also on sale at Newegg for $79.99.
FX-4100: $79.99
Newegg [newegg.com]
TigerDirect [tigerdirect.com] $15 off coupon CMK78280(11/26/2012 11:59 PM ET)

FX-6100: $99.99
TigerDirect [tigerdirect.com]

FAR Fillers for TigerDirect can be found in hot deal forum.
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#437
Quote from Foladar View Post :
Yeah, no Microcenter here, I wish. Not sure how safe I'd feel with a CPU off eBay either. Would the X2 270 be good enough for an htpc? Probably just gonna wait and watch, wish I'd went Intel when I saw that i3 $60 earlier.
Same here. X2 270 would be plenty for an htpc. Relatively kind of slow and power hungry compared to Sandy Bridge though, as the G530/540/550 are pretty awesome and under $45.
Last edited by beastyben1 November 23, 2012 at 10:58 AM
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#438
Quote from tarajunky View Post :
FYI, ECS has expanded their list of supported CPUs to include the new FX-6300 as well as the quad-core versions in the same release. Based on benchmarks for the new chips, the FX-6300 should be the uncontested top performing 95W TDP processor on this board that is widely available as a retail chip for the time being.

They also curiously have several of the new 125W CPUs on their list of validated CPUs, but there is an asterisk saying that could change depending on "changes to CPU", so YMMV.
I recently purchased and installed the FX-6300 into my motherboard. The motherboard I received had the initial 4/3/2012 BIOS, which caused me a massive headache with my FX-6300. I had to create a bootable USB DOS flash drive, and use their BIOS updating utility to get to the 4/18/2012 BIOS (you can download this off their website).

The default 4/3/2012 BIOS made my computer constantly BSOD when booting into Windows 8, and sometimes the system would just fail to boot. I was able to boot off the USB flash drive and flash the 4/18/2012 BIOS with the AFU EFI flashing tool with my FX-6300 installed. This may not be the best idea, but I had no other AMD processors laying around to install in this motherboard.

I am not sure if this is just the motherboard being faulty, or my USB keyboard being faulty - but the keyboard never works after resuming from standby. I actually have to unplug and re-plug the keyboard to make it work after I resume from standby. Apart from these issues, it has worked just fine. You can't really argue with the price of free. There are not many overclocking options either, but for a motherboard that even sells for $45 this is not a huge drawback.
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#439
I have mine up and running with an FX-8120. The 125W boxed FX-8120, to be specific.
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#440
Quote from hatmaker View Post :
I recently purchased and installed the FX-6300 into my motherboard. The motherboard I received had the initial 4/3/2012 BIOS, which caused me a massive headache with my FX-6300. I had to create a bootable USB DOS flash drive, and use their BIOS updating utility to get to the 4/18/2012 BIOS (you can download this off their website).

The default 4/3/2012 BIOS made my computer constantly BSOD when booting into Windows 8, and sometimes the system would just fail to boot. I was able to boot off the USB flash drive and flash the 4/18/2012 BIOS with the AFU EFI flashing tool with my FX-6300 installed. This may not be the best idea, but I had no other AMD processors laying around to install in this motherboard.

I am not sure if this is just the motherboard being faulty, or my USB keyboard being faulty - but the keyboard never works after resuming from standby. I actually have to unplug and re-plug the keyboard to make it work after I resume from standby. Apart from these issues, it has worked just fine. You can't really argue with the price of free. There are not many overclocking options either, but for a motherboard that even sells for $45 this is not a huge drawback.
I had some hard time with my keyboard as well. My CPU is FX-6100. The original BIOS was 4/3/2012 release. When a USB wireless keyboard / mouse combo were plugged into the motherboard, in BIOS setup the root menu would just automatically move if you have pressed some arrow keys. When I boot into Free DOS, I found the cause was for some reason the system would just repeat previous key strokes. Gosh. I plugged in an old PS/2 keyboard and it seemed the automatic BIOS root menu move didn't happen any more. But in DOS, key stroke repeating was still happening. I managed to flash the BIOS to 4/18/2012 release (big danger / big sweat). Nothing changed afterwards, same behavior with keyboard. But in Windows 7, everything works just fine either with the old PS/2 keyboard or the USB wireless keyboard / mouse combo.

This is my first time getting key stroke repeating hassle. Anybody familiar with this?

The most important driver is the driver for chipset. After the chipset driver installation, system performance had a big jump and Windows 7 recognized the built-in video as AMD 760G. Then the Ethernet driver. Then the VIA HD audio driver. If you do a Windows update, Windows 7 has an ATI Radeon 3000 driver which has better performance than the generic video driver.
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#441
Quote from tarajunky View Post :
I have mine up and running with an FX-8120. The 125W boxed FX-8120, to be specific.
Did you use an advanced cooling system other than the stock one? Any stress test so far?
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#442
I have a heatpipe Corsair A50 cooler that I installed on it. I never tried the stock cooler.

I had some instability issues at first. It turns out that the board only has 3 options for the memory voltage, 1.6, 1.8, or 1.9. My RAM was spec'd at 1.65V, so I bumped it up to 1.8 and it's been better. I still haven't done an extensive stress test on it.

One nagging issue is that booting takes FOREVER. About 60 seconds total, with an SSD that boots in ~20 seconds on my older computer. The HDD light follows a very strange pattern, it blinks kind of slowly and intermittently and gradually blinks more rapidly. Then after the HDD light starts to blink very rapidly, it stays on solid for about a second and the computer finally boots into Windows.
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#443
Quote from tarajunky View Post :
I have a heatpipe Corsair A50 cooler that I installed on it. I never tried the stock cooler.

I had some instability issues at first. It turns out that the board only has 3 options for the memory voltage, 1.6, 1.8, or 1.9. My RAM was spec'd at 1.65V, so I bumped it up to 1.8 and it's been better. I still haven't done an extensive stress test on it.

One nagging issue is that booting takes FOREVER. About 60 seconds total, with an SSD that boots in ~20 seconds on my older computer. The HDD light follows a very strange pattern, it blinks kind of slowly and intermittently and gradually blinks more rapidly. Then after the HDD light starts to blink very rapidly, it stays on solid for about a second and the computer finally boots into Windows.
One question to ask you: how long does the machine stay on the POST procedure with red "American Megatrends, Inc." logo on the screen?

In my case, when I plug in the Microsoft USB wireless keyboard / mouse combo, the machine stays on the POST for very very long (one minute I guess). When I plug in an old PS/2 keyboard, the POST takes very very little time, the red logo flashes only for less than half second then Windows 7 boots.
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#444
Quote from eecs_guy View Post :
One question to ask you: how long does the machine stay on the POST procedure with red "American Megatrends, Inc." logo on the screen?

In my case, when I plug in the Microsoft USB wireless keyboard / mouse combo, the machine stays on the POST for very very long (one minute I guess). When I plug in an old PS/2 keyboard, the POST takes very very little time, the red logo flashes only for less than half second then Windows 7 boots.
The AMI screen does not stay up very long, only ~5 seconds.

I'm starting to wonder if the slow booting might have something to do with the drivers I haven't installed. I never installed the LAN drivers, for instance. Next time I fire that computer up, I'm going to install all the available drivers from ECS and see if that helps.
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#445
Quote from tarajunky View Post :
The AMI screen does not stay up very long, only ~5 seconds.

I'm starting to wonder if the slow booting might have something to do with the drivers I haven't installed. I never installed the LAN drivers, for instance. Next time I fire that computer up, I'm going to install all the available drivers from ECS and see if that helps.

BIOS wouldn't care about OS drivers.
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#446
Quote from blueiedgod View Post :
BIOS wouldn't care about OS drivers.
OK, I was able to fix the slow booting issues. I loaded the default settings in the BIOS. That didn't help. I swapped around my SATA cables so that the SSD was connected to SATA 1 port. That didn't help. But then I removed the other two SATA connections, so that only the SSD was connected to the motherboard. That fixed the problem. After booting it a few times, I connected the other two devices back to SATA 2 and 3, and the problem was still gone.

But now I have a new problem. I was trying to stress test the computer with Prime95. On the CPU intensive stress test it would do just fine. But when I tried the Blended test it kept locking up. I wasn't overclocking anything, the CPU and memory were at stock timings. So I got a Memtest86 boot disk and tried to run that test. It continued to lock up at various points during the test.

I was using a 2x4 Gb DDR3 memory kit from Kingston, and I had two other 2x4 DDR3 memory kits available from Patriot and Crucial, so I tried swapping out the memory. The other two pairs also gave memory errors. So next I went back to the original Kingston and put in a single stick. One of the memory slots would throw errors and the other was fine. I tested both sticks individually in the "good" memory slot, and they were each able to run for 3+ hours and 5+ passes on Memtest86 with no errors or crashes. If I ran a single stick in the "bad" memory slot, it would give errors or just freeze up.

So it looks like I will need to do an RMA on this motherboard. -sigh-
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#447
Quote from hatmaker View Post :
I recently purchased and installed the FX-6300 into my motherboard. The motherboard I received had the initial 4/3/2012 BIOS, which caused me a massive headache with my FX-6300. I had to create a bootable USB DOS flash drive, and use their BIOS updating utility to get to the 4/18/2012 BIOS (you can download this off their website).

The default 4/3/2012 BIOS made my computer constantly BSOD when booting into Windows 8, and sometimes the system would just fail to boot. I was able to boot off the USB flash drive and flash the 4/18/2012 BIOS with the AFU EFI flashing tool with my FX-6300 installed. This may not be the best idea, but I had no other AMD processors laying around to install in this motherboard.

I am not sure if this is just the motherboard being faulty, or my USB keyboard being faulty - but the keyboard never works after resuming from standby. I actually have to unplug and re-plug the keyboard to make it work after I resume from standby. Apart from these issues, it has worked just fine. You can't really argue with the price of free. There are not many overclocking options either, but for a motherboard that even sells for $45 this is not a huge drawback.
I don't know if this helps, but I found this in the manual. There are some jumpers on the motherboard you might want to try adjusting.

"It is required that users place the USBPWR_F1 & USBPWR_R1 cap onto 2-3
pin rather than 1-2 pin as default if you want to wake up the computer by USB/
PS2 KB/Mouse."
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#448
There seems to be a new BIOS dated 11/13, released 11/29, on the ECS website, which I already updated.

I'm finally getting my computer set up also, I have the same slow boot and slow POST problems.
As everyone else also mentioned, the BIOS menu is also clunky and sparse with options.
I haven't been able to get windows 8 to install off USB but i will try reformatting the USB drive.

This motherboard is almost not worth even free and had i known that it would be a pain, i prob wouldn't have even built this system.
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#449
I RMA'd the board and the replacement was just delivered today. It has the exact same problems. If anything it's worse than the first board. This new one even freezes up during 3dMark Vantage, which the first never did.

Bah, humbug!
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#450
Has anyone had a good experience? My ECS 1155 mobo's have been great. So much easier to just drop in a Celeron/Pentium and good to go.
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