AMD APUs are worth considering but I don't trust ECS reliability
I would love to buy this at this price but I cannot trust the ECS reliability... Every ECS board I have ever purchased has died rather than having to be retired. I would use caution when considering ECS motherboards!!! Is the price savings worth the headaches and hassle?
The last 4 I’ve had become flakey and eventually died due to bad (bulging) capacitors (i.e. aluminum electrolytic). Even Fry’s has stopped carry them.
The bad caps issue became mainstream in the early 2000s... I hoped this would have been long resolved at this point (but its not).
It appears this is still a problem with ECS. They also will not extend the warranty or provide assistance in shipping or other concessions due to the cheap components used in their products. Even though one of my board was still in warranty... it did not make sense to send it back... as it was out of labor warranty. I would have to pay to ship it back and pay ECS labor charges to replace their defective components. The problem was obviously bad caps, one had blown and the others were visually bulging at the top.
In the past, some vendors have have used the bad parts been willing and have stepped up to the plate due to the cheap component failures but I had no luck with ECS. 4 of the 5 ECS boards I have purchased have died. A July 13, 2011 press release boasts ECS is now using "solid capacitors around the CPU power area". While this is a step in the right direction I am still gun shy... in fact my last ECS board (A740GM) had a bad cap near the memory slots (and of course it was not a solid capacitor).
My experience with the ECS 6100... Bought 3 and 3 became flakey and died. #1 at 14 months, #2 lasted less than 2 years, #3 had to be retired recently due to random resets (and has bad caps).
I've had great luck with the A4-3400 / MSI A55M-P33 Fry's November $50 combo. The system makes a decent desktop and will make a great HTPC. It plays full HD quality MP4 files (via HMDI with DVI to HMDI cable) without breaking a sweat (even while surfing the web in its dual monitor output).
This is a very capable low power low price solution.