I usually start an ECS mainboard review with a little bit of chatter about their renaissance in the world of enthusiast mainboards. It's about time to drop that, though, and get round to accepting that it has happened and that ECS aren't about to fall off the wagon any time soon. They've figured out how to engineer crowd pleasers these days, and long may it continue.
The company offer boards for the enthusiast across multiple platforms, sockets and core logic releases, and they're generally very timely to market when something new comes along to warrant a new SKU. NVIDIA's recent release of their C19XE (nForce4 Intel SLI XE SPP) and MCP51 (nForce4 430 MCP) ASICs means ECS have the excuse they need.
C19XE is designed to bring SLI to Intel users without breaking the bank, providing x8 SLI (or support for x16 with a single board of course) and a DDR2 memory controller, along with support for LGA775 Intel processors and three more x1 PCIe lanes for peripherals.
MCP51 is the 'southbridge' silicon, doing the rest of the I/O processing a modern mainboard is required to do. Pairing the two, ECS have created the ECS C19-A SLI, and it's that which your author puts fingertips to keyboard for today.
The big question to answer is obviously whether that combo, as provided by the Taiwanese mainboard behemoth, is any good. We'll start our quest for the truth with a look at the spec, so if you care to join me, click for the next page.