Review Index:

ECS Z97-PK Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ECS

Introduction and Technical Specifications


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Courtesy of ECS

The ECS Z97-PK motherboard is the company's mATX solution for their Intel Z97 Express chipset-based product line. Similar to other boards in their Z97 series, the Z97-PK is simplified to include what you need for a working mATX system without compromising on component or build quality. With an MSRP of $79.99, the Z97-PK is a very approachable solution for any use, including those budget-constrained HTPC builds.

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Courtesy of ECS

The ECS Z97-PK motherboard was designed to be an affordable solution packed with lots of performance potential. ECS constructed the board with around a 4-phase digital power deliver system and high quality solid capacitors to keep the board running stable. The Z97-PK board offers the following in-built features: six SATA 3 ports; a Realtek GigE NIC; one PCI-Express Gen3 x16 slot; one PCI-Express Gen2 x16 slot (x4 maximum bandwidth); Realtek audio solution; integrated VGA, DVI, and HDMI video port support; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

Continue reading our review of the ECS Z97-PK motherboard!

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Courtesy of ECS

Technical Specifications (taken from the ECS website)

CPU º Supports New 4th & 4th gen Intel® Core™ family, Pentium, Celeron series processors in LGA1150 socket
º DMI 5.0GT/s
º 3 Phase Thermal Design Power
º VRD 12.5
º 100% Solid capacitor design
º Supports Intel® Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
º Supports Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology
º Intel® K Series Unlock CPU Support
º Please refer to CPU support list for details
CHIPSET º Intel® Z97 Express Chipset
º Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Smart Connect Technology & Intel® Rapid Start Technology
º Supports Intel® Identity Protection Technology
GRAPHICS º Supports DirectX® 11 .1
º Supports Intel® HD Graphics, InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™
º Supports HDMI 1.4a & Premium Audio
º Supports ATI® 2-Way CrossFireX™
º Supports Full HD 1080P Blu-ray / HD-DVD Playback
MEMORY º Dual-channel DDR3 Memory architecture
º Supports DDR3 1600 non-ECC, Un-buffered SDRAM Memory
º 4 X 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket
º Support up to 32 GB*
º * Due to the operation 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
º Note: DDR3_1 with DDR3_3 are the same channel, DDR3_2 with DDR3_4 are the same channel by Intel® Specification
EXPANSION SLOT º 1 X PCI Express X16 Gen 3.0 slot(s)
º 1 X PCI Express X16 Gen 2.0 slot(s)
º runs at x4
º 1 X PCI Express X 1 Gen 2.0 slot(s)
º Supports ATI® CrossfireX Technology
º *The second PCIE X16 only support bandwidth X4
Storage º Support by Z97 Express Chipset
• 6 X Serial ATAIII 6Gb/s
• RAID0, RAID1,RAID5, RAID 10 configuration
º Supports Intel® Rapid Storage Technology
Audio º 8-Channel HD audio CODEC
º Realtek ALC892
Realtek ALC892 8-channel High Definition audio CODEC
Compatible with Direct Sound 3D™, A3D™, I3DL2
Smart multiple streaming operation
Intuitive Configuration Panel (Realtek Audio Manager) to enhance user experience
7.1+2 channel multi-streaming enables concurrent gaming/VoIP
º BluRay DVD/HD DVD support
LAN º Realtek RTL8111G Gigabit Fast Ethernet Controller
º Wake-On-LAN
USB º Support by Z97 Express Chipset
• 4 X USB3.0 port(s) up to 5Gb/s
Back Panel 2 port(s)
Onboard 2 port(s)
• 10 X USB2.0 port(s) Up to 480 Mb/s
Back Panel 4 port(s)
Onboard 6 port(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 RJ-45 port
º 1 X HDMI port(s)
º 1 X DVI-I port(s)
º 1 X D-Sub (VGA) port(s)
º 2 X USB3.0 port(s)
º 4 X USB2.0 port(s)
CONNECTORS & HEADERS º 1 X 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
º 1 X 4-pin 12V Power connector
º 1 X 4-pin CPU_FAN connector with smart fan
º 1 X 3-pin SYS_FAN connector with smart fan
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 3 X USB 2.0 header
• Support additional 6 USB ports
º Support EZ charger (gray color)
º 6 X SATA III 6Gb/s connector(s)
º 1 X CLR_CMOS header
º 1 X CIR header
º 1 X Serial port header (COM)
º 1 X Parallel port header (LPT)
º 1 X TPM header
º 1 X Chassis intrusion header
º Supports M.I.B III Utility
º F7 hot key for boot up devices option
º Triple Display
º Support ECS EZ BIOS
º Plug and Play, STR (S3) / STD (S4) , Hardware monitor, Multi Boot
º Multi-Language BIOS
º Audio, LAN, can be disabled in BIOS
º Dual-Monitor function
FORM FACTOR º mATX Form Factor
º 244mm(W) X 220 mm(H)
OS Support º Windows 7 32-bit
º Windows 7 64-bit
º Windows 8 64-bit
Certifications º CE/FCC Certification
º ErP/EuP Certification
º WHCK Certification
Bundled Software º ECS Intelligent EZ Utility : eBLU, eDLU, eSF
º Free Bundle: Norton Internet Security ,CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector 9, Muzee with trial version


Video News

April 24, 2015 | 12:26 PM - Posted by derFunkenstein

$80 for a Z97 board is killer. Don't really need H97 boards if Z97 can be so cheap (and it's not alone, with the PCMate from MSI being a nicer board for $20 more). The layout is weird, though - what's with the Ghost of PCI Past? If they were going to leave any of the slots without an actual slot, it should have been the one below the primary x16 slot, since it's always blocked by a dual-wide cooler anyway.

Also, typo on page 2 - you identified the CMOS battery as being to the left of the primary slot when it's to the right.

April 24, 2015 | 04:46 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Thanks for pointing out that oversight. Fixed...

April 24, 2015 | 12:49 PM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla

Lack of M.2 or Sata-express on a value oriented Z97 motherboard cannot be a con at all. Most of the people purchasing these motherboards dont really care for the additional connectivity of storage devices in form of m.2 or Sata express. They are more than happy with 6 Sata ports available to connect 1SSD/HDD they will be using in their PC.

April 24, 2015 | 01:17 PM - Posted by Jabbadap (not verified)

Lol i7@4.7GHz with that vrm, I don't think that would work very long before those fets are fried(what is that 2 or 3-phase anyway?)... maybe decent mobo for pentium g3258, but I would not oc i5 or i7 on that.

April 24, 2015 | 05:59 PM - Posted by Cyclops

Nice review but honestly, who's gonna buy this? 3 Phase power and a 4 pin? No heatsink for mosfets?

Yeah price is nice but for who?

You want to overclock the G3258, you grab something like the H81M-P33 which is 45 bucks. You want to overclock an i5 or i7, you grab something more suitable.

This is honestly a garbage product. I don't care how inexpensive it is. There is a limit to how much you can skimp. I would pay 20 dollars more for something like the Gigabyte Z97-HD3 for piece of mind.

April 25, 2015 | 12:22 AM - Posted by madhatter256 (not verified)

I wouldn't put an I-7 on this board, no sirree!

At the most I'd put in an I-5, but not a K series as overclocking makes the TDP go higher than what the bare minimum VRM can handle.

Probably ideal for a budget gamer who wants intel over AMD and wants a z97 chipset...

April 25, 2015 | 08:23 AM - Posted by derFunkenstein

I agree, but a $330 CPU on an $80 mobo doesn't make much sense anyway. The motherboard is like the cardiac system. Too big a brain (CPU) would result in cardiac arrest. :lol:

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