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ECS Z170-Claymore Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ECS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of ECS

The ECS Z170-Claymore motherboard is the newest offering in ECS' L337 product line with support for the Intel Z170 Express chipset. The Z170-Claymore is a more enthusiast-friendly design then some of their previous offerings with a slew of features sure to entice gamers and power users alike. ECS priced this board competitively with an MSRP of $159.99, a price point sure to appeal to a wide swath of users given the board's integrated feature set.

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Courtesy of ECS

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Courtesy of ECS

ECS took out all of the stops with the Z170-Claymore, integrating a host of features together with high quality components for a compelling product. The board was designed with a 12-phase digital power delivery system, using high efficiency chokes and MOSFETs, as well as solid core capacitors for optimal board performance under any operating conditions. ECS integrated the following features into the Z170-Claymore board: four SATA 3 ports; one SATA-Express port; a PCIe X2 M.2 port; a Realtek GigE NIC; five PCI-Express x16 slots; 2-digit diagnostic LED display; on-board power and reset buttons; Realtek audio solution; integrated DisplayPort and HDMI video port support; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Gen2 port support.

Continue reading our review of the ECS Z170-Claymore motherboard!

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Courtesy of ECS

Technical Specifications (taken from the ECS website)

CPU º Supports 6th gen Intel® Core™ family/ Pentium / Celeron series processors for LGA 1151 socket
º 12 Phase Thermal Design Power
º 100% Solid capacitor design
º Supports Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology
º Intel® K Series Unlock CPU Support
º Low RDs(on) to minimize switching losses
CHIPSET º Intel® Z170 Express Chipset
GRAPHICS º Supports DirectX® 12
º Supports HDMI 2.0 Technology ( resolution up to 3840 x 2160 pixels )
MEMORY º Dual-channel DDR4 Memory architecture
º 4 X 288-pin DDR4 DIMM socket
º Support up to 64 GB*
EXPANSION SLOT º 5 X PCI Express X16 Gen 3.0 slot(s)
º Supports AMD CrossFire™ Technology
º 1 X M.2 slot for SSD
• For 2242/2260/2280 SSD
Storage º Support by Z170 Express Chipset
• RAID0, RAID1,RAID5, RAID 10 configuration
Audio º 8-Channel HD audio CODEC
º Realtek ALC1150 8-channel High Definition audio CODEC
LAN º Realtek DRAGON LAN Chip 8118AS
USB º Support by Z170 Express Chipset
• 6 X USB3.0 port(s) up to 5Gb/s
Back Panel 4 port(s)
Onboard 2 port(s)
• 8 X USB2.0 port(s) Up to 480 Mb/s
Back Panel 4 port(s)
Onboard 4 port(s)

º Support by ASMedia ASM1142 Controler
• 2 X USB3.1 port(s) up to 10Gb/s

º ECS EZ Charger (Gray USB header)

REAR PANEL I/O º 1 X PS/2 Keyboard & PS/2 mouse connectors
º 1 X Audio port (Line-in,4x Line-out, Mic in)
º 1 X HDMI 2.0 port(s)
º 1 X Display port
º 2 X USB3.1 port(s)
º 4 X USB3.0 port(s)
º 4 X USB2.0 port(s)
CONNECTORS & HEADERS º 1 X 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
º 2 X 4-pin CPU_FAN connector
º 3 X 4-pin SYS_FAN connector
º 1 X Power on button
º 1 X Reset button
º 1 X Front Panel switch/LED header
º 1 X Front panel audio header
º 1 X USB 3.0 header
• Support additional 2 USB ports
º 2 X USB 2.0 header
• Support additional 4 USB ports
º 4 X SATA III 6Gb/s connector(s)
º 1 X CLR_CMOS header
º 1 X TPM header
º 1 X Debug LED
º 1 X Chassis intrusion header
SYSTEM BIOS º Supports M.I.B X Utility
º F7 hot key for boot up devices option
º Over-Clocking
º Triple Display
º Support ECS EZ BIOS
º Multi-Language BIOS
FORM FACTOR º ATX Form Factor
º 305*244mm
OS Support º Windows 7 32-bit
º Windows 7 64-bit
º Windows 8.1 64-bit
º Windows 10 64-bit
Certifications º CE/FCC Certification
º ErP/EuP Certification
Bundled Software º ECS Intelligent EZ Utility : eBLU, eDLU, eOC, eSF

Video News


May 3, 2016 | 10:32 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

These all black connector mainboards are so sad and inefficient. There should be a color scheme to distinguish each slot at first sight.

May 3, 2016 | 12:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Anyone who has close to any idea of how to build a system can distinguish each slot at first sight.

May 3, 2016 | 12:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Don't be so arrogant! Even with a good vision you can't clearly distinguish black PCI-E from black PCI slot or the wiring of each memory channel slot.

May 3, 2016 | 12:36 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That's all subjective.

This board is clearly aimed to be an enthusiast motherboard not meant to break the bank. So a color coordinate/scheme just adds to the cost.

May 3, 2016 | 06:52 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It can add cost or reduce the margin included in the $159.99 price which is for my POV far from being 'cheap'.

May 5, 2016 | 01:23 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You're referring to the non-existent PCI slots in this case, right? Seeing as there are only PCI-E slots on that board, it makes no difference.

As for the memory, if you're not sure on the channels, look at the manual..?

I love the look of this board.
I hate that boards have too many colours on them as it screws up a good colour scheme.

May 6, 2016 | 03:31 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm pretty sure you looked more than once to check the presence of PCI slots and the majority of users don't look at manuals.

It seems you are more interested in marketing promotion for a mainboard that almost nobody will look at in a closed case than an handy color scheme to identify clearly the board design.

May 11, 2016 | 02:50 PM - Posted by LeoDS (not verified)

All PCI-e slots are the same in this board. What should they differentiate?

May 12, 2016 | 08:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

As I stated before, PCI Slots aren't supported by modern chip sets anyways, would be especially hard pressed to even see it on an enthusiast board.

May 3, 2016 | 12:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Great review Morry!

Nice to see a review on something other than Asus/MSI.

It sucks that large air coolers like the noctua will interfered with the primary PCIe slot.

May 3, 2016 | 05:56 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

>...integrated DVI and HDMI video port...<

DP and HDMI??

Also how far have ECS come; what is their reliability like these days?

May 3, 2016 | 10:56 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Fixed, thanks for pointing that out.

As far as quality, ECS seems to have tried to focus more lately on a single good product for a line rather than the shattershot approach they (and other manufacturers) have done in the past....

May 3, 2016 | 06:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

All my experience with ECS has been negitive. I have a z97 Machine now and it has been nothing but problems even after hair pulling RMA's. Turns out their board couldn't handle the weight of 212 evo over the long term, and the board will just die eventually because of it.

I'm going to wait and see if their new products have improved, but I doubt it.

May 4, 2016 | 12:13 AM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

Yea, premature death has been the recurring theme with ECS since the late 90s or early 2000s. Things may have changed but it'll take a lot to win back my trust.

May 4, 2016 | 07:28 AM - Posted by Rustknuckle (not verified)

Seriously!!! This story has been up for this long and no one has made the "What side of this Claymore do you face towards the enemy?" joke.

Im losing faith in the internet.

May 17, 2016 | 12:23 PM - Posted by Gary Stamey (not verified)

Most here haven't heard of a Claymore mine, but I remember setting them up with tripwires...Airborne All The Way

May 4, 2016 | 04:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck nope.

May 5, 2016 | 03:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

what is the point of PCI-E number 4 ? you you keep stacking double slot cards in there that slot is usless.

May 5, 2016 | 11:37 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Can be used with peripheral (read x1, x2, or x4 type card) if you are not using slot 3 or using a cooler or waterblock that doesn't take up more than 1 slot of space...

May 6, 2016 | 04:01 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Indeed! But it's sad the board lacks at least one PCI slot for a good old PCI sound controller.

PCI-E sound card are overpriced and in 2016 we should have an efficient digital sound interface instead instead of the current analogic interface or the expensive S/PDIF hardware.

Intel thinks the next audio interface should be digital, great but I'm afraid USB wouldn't be an efficient audio interface. We need a dedicated audio interface like DVI (stream oriented transmission) whereas DP (packet oriented transmission) should be better a interface for display but the DVI compatibility makes harder to move forward.

May 12, 2016 | 08:16 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Haven't seen a PCI slot in ages, especially on any recent chipsets (they're not supported by any recent of intel ICHs as far as I know).

May 12, 2016 | 08:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Sorry, correction...they're called Platform Controller Hubs now.

May 7, 2016 | 06:21 PM - Posted by Rich (not verified)

Just a question of some poorly chosen words, specifically about ECS taking 'out all the stops' in the second paragraph:

What is the keying of the M.2 port? (manual looks like it's M) How does an NVMe M.2 drive, or a U.2 Drive with an adapter work with this port (Not M Keyed or not PCIe x4, means that there is a stop, so the hyperbole is already identified.)

No Type-C connector on the back IO panel would be a stop.

I won't go further on the nit-picks on the examples of stops beyond this. Looks like a good board with some solidly compelling features. ECS has a nearly fully modern MB here with 12 phase power delivery should make this great of CPU OCers.

Now, just for kicks, and because I wanted to find out what the M.2 connector was keyed as, I started looking through the manual.

The chapter that it has specifically for Crossfire is pretty dated now. References to Catalyst Control Center, Crossfire bridges, and images depicting ATI Radeon graphics cards.

'Twas a nostalgic moment.

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