Consider the ECS Z97I-DRONE for your next Mini-ITX system

Subject: Motherboards | December 16, 2014 - 04:09 PM |
Tagged: z97, ECS, GANK, Z97I-Drone, mini ITX, SFF

We haven't seen an ECS DRONE board here since Morry reviewed the Z87GH3-A3X last January but the series is still alive.  MadShrimps wrapped up a review of the newer ECS Z97I-Drone, a Mini-ITX board which should soon be available for under $100.  The board will support DDR3-3000 and M.2 storage as well as being designed with 5-Phase PWM and ICY Chokes and other features that first appeared on higher end boards but are now available at the lower end as well.  Since it is a Micro-ITX board there is only room for a single PCIe 3.0 16x slot which does limit the system somewhat but still performs up to spec.  Check out the full review to see if this is a board you want to build a SFF system with.

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"ECS does not disappoint with the release of the cheap ECS Z97I-Drone which allows installation of a powerful Haswell processor which can be paired with RAM up to 16GB and eventually a potent VGA card inside the provided PCI Express x16 slot; be warned however that using a beefy CPU cooler will likely cover the PCI-Express slot completely so we would recommend either sticking with the stock Intel cooler or adopting an all-in-one water cooling solution, which is so accessible these days."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

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Source: MadShrimps

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December 17, 2014 | 06:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

does this board support the "ultra m.2" like the ? asrock boards do ? if so that would be killer.

December 17, 2014 | 11:43 AM - Posted by Tony (not verified)

I would've liked this motherboard support at least up to 32GB RAM. But if I would ever get this board I would pair it with an i7-4790K instead. But otherwise the RAM support is disappointing as I would want to run multiple VM's also.

December 18, 2014 | 05:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

32+gb support for VMs? why are you even clicking on this link.

December 19, 2014 | 05:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

He is clicking it because he likes to start vmware instances so he can lan game against himself so he can find someone he can beat.

i read elsewhere that the m2 only support bluetooth and wifi cards. lame. still could be a decent itx build once this board drops down to $50 during the ddr4 push

December 19, 2014 | 06:34 PM - Posted by Tony (not verified)

I don't play child games but I would like that extra head room and that compact size. Also since it is a small version MB of the same larger high end one then the should be able to support more RAM with those full sized sticks, then rum multiple VM's and the occasional video editing.

December 22, 2014 | 02:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

child games? who is the one acting like the child?

anyways, some mATX boards are all of about 3 inches longer.. that isn't exactly an earth shattering space savings.

January 2, 2015 | 01:32 AM - Posted by Matthew (not verified)

Where can i purchase this board? i have looked so many places and have yet to strike the gold of where this board is for purchase.
thanks

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