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ECS P67H2-A LGA 1155 ATX Motherboard Review

Author: Steve Grever
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Elitegroup
Tagged:

Specifications, Layout, Included Extras

ECS P67H2-A Technical Specifications

CPU º LGA1155 socket for new 2nd Generation Intel® Core™/Pentium™/Celeron™ Processors

º Supports Intel® Turbo boost 2.0 technology

º Support Hyper-Threading Technology CPU

º 12 Phase Power Design with VRD 12 Compliant

º DMI 5.0GT/s

CHIPSET º Intel® P67 Express Chipset

GRAPHICS º Lucid Hydra Core Technology Support

º Support ATI CrossFireX™ Technology

MEMORY º Dual-channel DDR3 memory architecture

º 4 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket support up to 32GB*

º Support DDR3 up to 2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600(OC)/1333/1066 DDR3 SDRAM

º *(Due to the DRAM maximum size is 4GB at present, the memory maximum size we have tested is 16GB) 

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 º 3 x PCI Express Gen 2.0 x16 slots

º 2 x PCI Express x1 slots

º 2 x PCI slots

STORAGE º Support by Intel® P67

    • 4 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s devices

    • 2 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s devices

    • RAID0, RAID1, RAID5, RAID 10 configuration

    • 2 x eSATA 6.0Gb/s ports supporting external SATA 6.0Gb/s devices

AUDIO º Realtek ALC892 8-Ch High Definition audio CODEC

º Compliant with HD audio specification

LAN º Dual RealTek RTL8111E Gigabit Fast Ethernet Controllers with Teaming

REAR PANEL I/O º 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port

º 2 x RJ45 LAN connectors

º 1 x Audio port (Line-in, Line-out, Mic-in)

º 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector

º 1 x Clear_CMOS button

º 4 X USB3.0 ports

º 6 x USB 2.0 ports

º 2 x eSATA 6.0Gb/s ports

INTERNAL I/O CONNECTORS & HEADERS º 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors

º 1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector

º 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power Connector

º 1 x 4pin CPU_FAN connectors

º 1 x 4-pin SYS_FAN connector

º 1 x 3-pin PWR_FAN connector

º 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors

º 4 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 8 USB ports

º 1 x Power on button

º 1 x Reset button

º 1 x USB 3.0 header supports additional 2 USB 3.0 Ports

º 1 x Front panel switch/LED header

º 1 X onboard Buzzer

º 1 x Front panel audio header

º 1 x 7S-LED Display

º 1 x SPDIF out header

º 1 x Serial port header

USB º Support by 2 NEC USB3.0 Controller

º Support 6 USB3.0/2.0 ports

º Up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports

SYSTEM BIOS º AMI BIOS with 32MB SPI ROM

º Supports Plug and Play, STR (S3) / STD (S4) , Hardware monitor, Multi Boot

º Supports ACPI & DMI

º Audio, LAN, can be disabled in BIOS

º F7 hot key for boot up devices option

º Support over-clocking

º Support eJIFFY

º Support eBLU

º Support eDLU

º Support eOC

º Supports ACPI 3.0 revision

º Support eSF

º Support eGS

FORM FACTOR º ATX Size 305mm*244mm

 

Motherboard layout

The P67H2-A's exterior packaging is gorgeous and includes several case badges showing the board's support for Windows 7 and Intel's latest LGA 1155 processors. The graphics and metallic blue exterior is very attractive and should give ECS a better chance at catching a consumer's eye on store shelves.

 

The bottom flap on the front panel of the packaging reveals a nice window to see the bottom half of the motherboard. ECS also used this extra real estate to tout the board's overclocking and "three-way" Hydra Core technology. Very nice.

 

The back panel finally gives us a decent view of the entire motherboard and also goes into more detail about some of the P67H2-A's third-party software and another laundry list of case badges.

 

The P67H2-A features a black, silver, and white color scheme that looks tough and jagged. The graphics on the heatsinks over the chipset and power components adds an special edginess that I haven't seen in many high-end motherboards. The all black PCB is a nice touch and plays right into ECS's "Black Extreme" series. Another feature that stands out right away is the three PCIe x16 slots for running triple CrossfireX graphics configurations. I also appreciate having a debug LED display and probe points to get more accurate readings of core voltages.

 

Here's a quick shot of the back of the PCB. Nothing special stands out here.

 

This board supports three x16, two x1, and two legacy PCI slots. The three PCIe x16 slots run at 16x8x8 with three graphics cards and 16x16 with dual graphics cards.  One of my only disappointments with this solution is the lack of SLI support. To use CrossfireX with this board, you will need to disable Hydra Core Technology in the BIOS.

 

The bottom of the motherboard includes front audio, S/PDIF, and communication port headers. 

 

ECS also added several three and four-pin fan headers and the USB 2.0 header on the right also supports EZ charging for smart phones, iPods, and other devices.

 

The LED debug display is helpful and the USB 3.0 header adds an additional two USB 3.0 ports to the front panel with an included adapter.

 

The power and reset buttons are pretty standard with most modern motherboards and the P67 chipset gives this ECS offering support for four SATA 3GB/s and two SATA 6GB/s devices. It's too bad that this board includes one of the P67 chips that issues with the SATA 6GB/s ports.

 

This board supports up to 16GBs of dual channel DDR3 2133 (OC) system memory. With the current price point of DDR3 memory, users should consider getting 8GB to 16GB kits because I don't see them staying around these prices toward the rest of the year. 

 

ECS used several beefy heatsinks and two heatpipes to pull heat away from key power components surrounding the LGA 1155 socket. There is still adequate room for third-party heatsinks as well. 

 

I was very happy to see these probe points to accurately measure CPU and memory voltages during overclocking. 

 

Included Extras

ECS didn't skimp on any accessories to bundle with the P67H2-A. First, they threw in these six SATA 3GB/s data cables with self-locking clips. 

 

They also added a external USB 3.0 panel that fits into any 3.5" bay or PCI slot depending upon which bracket you decide to use. 

 

The I/O back plate is painted black and includes white lettering that outlines all the ports in an organized fashion.

 

Lastly, ECS included a detailed user manual, installation guide, and driver CD.

 

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