KA3 MVP Extreme is a high-end socket AM2 motherboard from ECS, targeted to the new Athlon 64 CPUs supporting DDR2 memory. It is based on ATI Radeon Xpress 3200 chipset, supporting CrossFire technology, and should reach the market pretty soon. Let’s see how the performance of this latest release from ECS is.

ECS KA3 MVP ExtremeFigure 1: ECS KA3 MVP Extreme motherboard.

Its design follows the same standard used on other motherboards from ECS Extreme series – which is the high-end series from this manufacturer –, using a metallic purple lacquer layer on its printed circuit board, and several different colors for the plastic components located on the motherboard, as you can see in Figure 1.

But what really catches the eye when looking to this motherboard for the first time is its active cooling duct located right above the motherboard voltage regulator. This device pulls hot air produced by the motherboard and by the CPU to outside the PC case, preventing your PC from overheating – which is simply great. Its color choice – UV-sensitive yellow – is questionable, though, and we will talk more about this on the Conclusions section.

ECS KA3 MVP ExtremeFigure 2: Active cooling duct.

This duct is located where on other motherboards the parallel port is. This motherboard still has a parallel port available through an I/O bracket that comes with it.

ECS KA3 MVP ExtremeFigure 3: Active cooling duct, back view.

What we think is very good about this duct is its position, right on the exit of the hot air produced by the CPU, see Figure 4.

ECS KA3 MVP ExtremeFigure 4: This duct takes hot air produced by the CPU and blows it outside the PC case.

Even though this duct has a fan inside, the heatsinks used to cool down the chipset don’t have a fan on them. The passive heatsink used on top of the south bridge chip is the same used by other motherboards from ECS Extreme series: its fins make the word “extreme.”


Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.