View Full Version : As The Stomach Churns...

05-15-03, 01:07 PM
Some of you might remember an old topic where I let you all in on how the ECS motherboard forum at AmdMB.Com was bursting over some kind of "AMD Duron XP 1200" scam that was going on. There was an attempt to find out which company - PC Chips or ECS - were behind this mess of hard soldering a Duron 800 into a slightly overclocked motherboard and selling the combo package as a "AMD Duron XP 1200" (which the modified BIOS would happily display as well. The packaging also contained misleading information (benchmarks) and erroneous claims (a true 1.2 Ghz CPU) that reeked of blatant false advertisement.

About 20 minutes ago, I found out the truth to the gory details not only about this scam, but the entire next chapter in a much bigger soap opera that has dragged along for over 5 years and has raised a burning question - "Is ECS and PC-Chips the same company or are they seperate entities with a close business relationship?"

Here's the answer in a rip from DigiTimes.Com...

Established in 1987, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) resumed its crucial
position in Taiwan's motherboard industry when PC Chips and its partner Pou
Chen International became the company's two major shareholders in 1999. With
the abundant capacity resource offered by the two companies in China, ECS is
now Taiwan's second-largest motherboard company in terms of overall shipments.
In 2001, the board maker shipped 14.509 million motherboards, being the only
company among the top four to exceed its full-year shipment target.

In other words, the head crook behind PC-Chips and the head crook behind Pou Chen were major shareholders of ECS for quite a while, and eventually bought enough of the company to take it over. It also implies that ECS was behind the "AMD DuronXP 1200" scam all along since both companies are one and the same.

That's not all I dug up, either. Anyone who owns an Apple iBook, you might not want to read any further. If you do, prepare to cringe...

"In 2001, ECS began its notebook business by acquiring Alpha-Top, one of
Apple Computer's outsourcing partners for the production of Apple's iBook
laptop computers. ECS shortly introduced a new DeskNote line into its notebook

How does a iBook made by PC-*****S float your boat, eh? Gawd, them's some harsh pills to swallow if you're familiar with their sordid history. Oh, I'm not done yet - here's a few more harsh pills I've dug up...

"JT Lin, president of Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), was recently
elected to serve as a director on the board of Asustek Computers new
subsidiary Asusalpha Computer, further raising the possibility of Lins rumored
career move to the Asustek group. Rumors about Lins potential move began on
March 28, when ECS announced that it would sell its Chungli, Taoyuan County
notebook production facility to Asustek. Lin has been strongly connected with
the Chungli plant since his tenure as president of Alpha-Top the company that
began notebook manufacturing for Apple Computer. When Alpha-Top was acquired by
ECS in 2001, Lin became president of ECS. Formally established on April 23,
Asusalpha is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Asustek charged with the operation of
the Chungli factory. T.H. Tung, vice chairman of Asustek, is the new
subsidiarys chairman. He also sits on the Asusalpha board with Lin and Ted
Hsu, chairman of ASRock, another newly formed Asustek subsidiary."

Look out, folks! The PC-Chips/ECS poison is spreading, threatening to take our beloved AsusTek and run their well respected and trusted reputation right into the sewer. You might as well ad ASRock to the laundry list of "PC-Chips/ECS" monikers,

The other morning when I came home, I turned on my PC (powered by the ECS K7S5A) and noticed that the system lost the CMOS settings. This is a well known problem with this board but I seldomly experianced it. Now, I experiance it about once a month. As a result, this board has become a great security risk for me as this resets the BIOS level password. When I'm not home, two of my nephews usually sleep in my area of the house. There are not to touch my rig, but I can't be two places at once. With the BIOS password lost due to this issue, they only have one password left to figure out into to get into Windows and reak all kinds of havoc.

My ECS supporting days are over.

I must replace this board...

Now more than ever.

05-18-03, 02:39 PM
How long have they had control of asus?
I like my a7n266c, but will pay more attention to developing probs if it was made under ecs auspices. They (ecs) buy poorly made parts.

05-18-03, 09:36 PM
you aren't kidding. Looks like i'll be going somewhere else for my mobo next upgrade as well. Is there a general concensus solid brand? Abit? Gainward? Gigabyte?

05-19-03, 03:48 AM
Originally posted by Tarin
you aren't kidding. Looks like i'll be going somewhere else for my mobo next upgrade as well. Is there a general concensus solid brand? Abit? Gainward? Gigabyte?

You forgot MSI ;)

05-19-03, 04:29 PM
Originally posted by Blakhart
How long have they had control of asus?

Their stake in Asus is relatively small. Basically, the budget line of motherboards Asus sells either under their own name or under their ASRock subsidiary (mainly those boards containing the SiS, ALi, and some VIA chipsets) are being made by ECS.

But there is some good news in this - even if those boards are being outsourced to ECS, I'm sure AsusTek's QA departments are putting them through their strict quality guidelines. In other words, while ECS may only put these boards through rudimentary testing, once they arrive at AsusTek, their own teams will put them under a more stringent and strict battery of tests because AsusTek will be handling all warranties and support issues. It would be in their best interest.

Lastly, since ECS doesn't offer any nForce solutions of their own due to "cost reasons", I don't think they build boards for other companies based on them. It isn't because the chipsets are costly - ECS can afford them while even following thier usual cost-cutting measures. No, what "cost reasons" they are really worried about is nVidia's radar. Despite nVidia's recent botchery of their driver quality, the quality of their hardware (GPUs and chipsets) are top notch. Nvidia's whitepapers are very strict on properly implementing their chipsets into motherboards - from component quality to PCB layers...and ECS doesn't like to be dictated to.

Nvidia would breath down their necks! :p

05-21-03, 10:42 PM
Thats OK since ECS has always made shiest Mobo anyhow... :)

05-22-03, 04:07 PM
Nah, for ECS to be ranked #3 in top-tier motherboard manufacturers in terms of total volumes shipped, they're doing something right. Unfortunately, direct end-user support isn't one of them! :p

It's pretty screwy, really. For example, if you buy an ECS retail board, you get no warranty or RMA support from ECS. They don't deal with the end user. However, if you buy the PC-Chips version of that same exact board from their PCWave subsidiary, then you suddenly get a 1 year warranty/RMA support.

Despite that, The ECS K7S5A/PC-Chips M830 (same exact board - just different color PCB & company logo) was an unbeatable bargain that no other company could touch for 2-3 years. I've seen boards worse than ECS/PC-Chips, believe me. I can jam for hours on my current K7S5A. My buddy John can barely keep his water cooled Soyo Dragon system stable enough to run a game. :p

He gets mad at me sometimes...

"Why is it you can by the cheapest damn board from the most bottom-feeding manufacturer and have little to no issues whatsoever yet I spend hundreds on top-tier, award-winning, quality gear and always get shafted with issues, incompatibilities, reboots, etc.?!? My last great system was my old IBM Aptiva, the FIC SD11 was fine once I got used to ironing out its fickleness, but this Soyo Dragon has been a pain in my ass from day one!"

I actually feel bad for him! :(

05-22-03, 05:41 PM
Sheesh. I bought an ASUS P4S8X (SiS648) after reading pretty much stellar reviews all over the web...

Boy, what a ridiculous bunch of malarkey those reviews were. The stupid thing couldn't even run DDR333 stable for cryin out loud. And I wasn't the only one who got shafted on that deal either as was evidenced by the huge thread that went on over @ abxzone/asusboards.

If my P4PE had turned out to be the same junker that definitely would've been the last ASUS board I bought. But, it didn't so I'm happy for now.