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ECS Golden Board Z77H2-AX Z77 Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ECS

Introduction and Specs

Introduction

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Courtesy of ECS

As part of their Black Extreme line of motherboards, the ECS Z77H2-AX pairs the promise of performance and a mile-long feature list with looks that could kill. We decided to put this board through the paces, throwing our normal suite of benchmark and functionality tests to see how well it lived up to its reputation. The ECS Z77H2-AX seems to be well priced at its $309.99 base price with all the higher-end features and bling built into the board.

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Courtesy of ECS

From the initial unboxing of the board, I was dumbstruck. ECS literally gold-plated every heat-producing surface on this board, giving it a very unique look and feel. The board itself has no shortage of features with SATA 2, SATA 3, mSATA, and eSATA ports, support for 3 different networking types, and enough USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports for anyone.

Continue reading our review of the ECS Z77H2-AX Golden Motherboard!!

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Courtesy of ECS

ECS also made use of the LicidLogix Virtu MVP chipset, offering up to 3-way SLI or CrossFire support when combined with the Z77 chipset.

 

Technical Specifications (taken from the ECS website)

CPU

LGA1155 socket for new 2nd & 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Family/ Pentium® /Celeron® Processors
DMI 5.0GT/s

CHIPSET

Intel® Z77 Express Chipset

MEMORY

Dual-channel DDR3 memory architecture
4 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket support up to 32 GB
Support DDR3 up to 2800(OC)/2600(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1800(OC)/1600 DDR3 SDRAM
Due to the operating system limitation, the actual memory size may be less than 4GB for the reservation for system usage under Windows® 32-bit OS.
For Windows® 64-bit OS with 64-bit CPU, there is no such limitation

EXPANSION SLOT

3 x PCI Express x16 Gen3.0 slots (2X16 1X8, 2X16 support by PLX8747)
2 x PCI Express x1 slots
2 x PCI slots
1 x Mini PCI Express x1 slot
    • Supports Mini SATA
    • Supports Mini PCI Express

STORAGE

Support by Intel® Z77
    • 2 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s devices (SATA2 3/4)
    • 2 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s devices (SATA3 1/2)
    • RAID0, RAID1, RAID5, RAID 10 configuration
Support by ASMEDIA ASM1061
    • 2 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s devices (SATA3 5/ 6)
    • 2 x eSATA 6.0 Gb/s ports

AUDIO

Realtek ALC892 8-Ch High Definition audio CODEC
Compliant with HD audio specification

LAN

RealTek RTL 8111E Gigabit Lan

REAR PANEL I/O

4 x USB 3.0 ports
4 x USB 2.0 Ports
1 x D-sub(VGA)
1 x HDMI Port
1 x RJ45 LAN connector
1 x Audio port (1x Line in, 4x Line out, 1x Optical SPDIF Out)
1 x Clear_CMOS button
1 x wifi connector
1 x Bluetooth
2 x eSATA 6.0Gb/s ports
1 x HDMI

INTERNAL I/O CONNECTORS & HEADERS

1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
1 x 8-pin ATX Power Supply Connector
1 x 4-pin CPU_FAN connector
1 x 3-pin SYS_FAN connector
1 x 3-pin PWR_FAN connector
1 x USB 2.0 header support additional 2 USB ports with EZ charger technology
1 x USB 3.0 header supports additional 2 USB 3.0 Ports (support by TI TUSB7320)
2 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x COM header
1 x Case Open header
1 x SPDIF out header
1 x Front panel switch/LED header
1 x Front panel audio header
1 x debug post LED
1 x Power on button
1 x Reset button
1 x mSATA

SYSTEM BIOS

AMI BIOS with 64Mb SPI Flash ROM
Support ECS M.I.B X Utility
Supports eBLU
Support eOC
Supports eDLU
Supports eSF

Back I/O Ports

1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x DVI-I
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s
2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
4 x USB 3.0
4 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)

FORM FACTOR

ATX Size, 305mm*244mm

 

November 9, 2012 | 10:30 PM - 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 | 06:40 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 | 04:52 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 | 07:00 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 | 07:41 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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