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ECS Golden Board Z77H2-AX Z77 Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ECS

Synthetic and System Benchmark Testing

SiSoft Sandra 2012

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For the SiSoft Sandra-based CPU arithmetic and memory bandwidth tests, the Z77H2-AX matched performance with the other Intel Z77 system. These results indicate that everything is in solid working order for the CPU and memory subsystems.

LinX

LinX is a graphical interface for CPU-based testing using the Intel Linpack benchmarks. It serves as a good indicator of proper system CPU functioning and is considered one of the most intensive CPU benchmarks currently available. LinX was run with Memory set to All and for a total of 3 runs. This test was repeated three times with the highest repeatable GFlops (Giga-Floating Point Operations Per Second) score recorded.

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The Z77H2-AX continues to perform well when compared to the other test system, further illustrating a properly working CPU to board interface.

Handbrake

Handbrake was used to convert an uncompressed version of the Iron Man Blu-ray movie in MKV format to a compressed 720P MP4 format. The Iron Man MKV file was ripped from the Blu-ray disc in the past with the file size for the uncompressed media coming in at 26 GB. Handbrake was run with default settings enforced with the exception of Anamorphic set to Loose and Video width set to 1280.

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Again, the Z77H2-AX shows its muster in comparison to the other Z77-based system with a 35 minute encode of the 2+ hour movie file. This is especially telling since video encoding is one of the more intensive system operations.

PCMark 7 Basic

FutureMark Corporation’s PCMark 7 can be used to reliably ascertain a given system’s performance in a Windows 7-based non-gaming type use environment. The basic version of the benchmark test was run three times, with the highest reproducible PCMark score recorded.

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While the Z77H2-AX lags just slightly behind the comparison system, it still shows a strong score in this business app-based benchmark.

November 10, 2012 | 01:30 AM - Posted by Operandi

50 Cent; your motherboard has arrived.

Seriously though, if ECS wants to go for the high-end motherboard market blinging it out in gold is not the way to go.

November 10, 2012 | 09:40 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

You really need to see it live to get the full effect.  I tend to like the read and black theme that ASUS ROG boards normal sport, but I would seriously consider putting this one in my system if the o/c performance was better...

November 12, 2012 | 07:52 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The black & gold is too over the top, should go down well with the chaps on the sub continent though.
I could be wrong but as far as I know there is no such thing as a SATA 6 cable. All generation cables are the same.

November 13, 2012 | 10:00 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

The SATA 6G cable terminology seems to be more of a corporate marketing-speak term, since you are correct that any SATA cable is capable of handling a SATA III drive/signal.  What I've noticed with the manfacturer-labeled "SATA III" cables is that those cables seem to be a bit thicker and more substantial than the SATA II labeled cables.

November 17, 2012 | 10:41 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The gold thing is silly and impractical. Proper colour coding of every port individually is saner.

As for "eSATA ports", I fail to see why. This is an interface that crashes boxes under almost any OS and is utterly obsoleted by USB3 and Thunderbolt by now.

I would much rather have seen a second gigabit RJ45.

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