ECS H67H2-M Black Edition Motherboard ReviewThu, Mar 03, 2011 - 12:00 AM
ECS H67H2-M: Breaking Free of the Low End
It’s no secret that Intel’s Sandy Bridge CPU’s are still the talk of the town. Many enthusiasts and system builders are frothing at the mouth waiting for the B3 stepping chipset to become available. With the IRS returning overpaid tax money, this was the time many had planned to upgrade. Several announcements have been made over the past few days leading us to understand that the drought will be over soon!
A part of Sandy Bridge that we haven’t yet looked at was one of the biggest features of the 2nd Generation Core processor, the integrated graphics. Intel was able to leverage 32nm technology in building a single die that houses both the CPU and GPU. This means that power use and GPU performance are much improved over Clarkdale/Arrandale processors since that CPU family used a separate die on the processor package to get its integrated graphics. The CPU gave up its integrated memory controller and instead used one on the GPU. This led to higher memory latency, lower memory bandwidth and ultimately lower performance. Though the CPU had great clock speeds, they were over priced for their performance, often being outperformed by Intel’s own Core i5 750 which cost less than a number of the Clarkdale i5 CPU’s.
Thankfully, that is now the past and Sandy Bridge has been executed nearly flawlessly. I say nearly because of chipset issues. Besides the B2 stepping SATA degradation recall, in order to make use of the on-die GPU you MUST use an H67 chipset (or upcoming Z67). One of the shortcomings of H67 is that you lose all ability to overclock the CPU and run memory beyond 1333MHz, but you do get the ability to overclock the GPU. With P67 you can overclock the CPU but it has no way to access the GPU. As I mentioned, Z67 is in the works and is designed to give us the best of both worlds.
Now with a better understanding of differences between the two current chipsets, let’s take a look at our first H67 motherboard, the ECS H67H2-M.
The ECS H67H2-M is part of their performance line of motherboards, also called Black Deluxe. As you can see, the Black Deluxe board packs in larger heat sinks, a striking dark grey and black color combination, all solid capacitors, and a number of other enthusiast level features.
- Six Super Speed USB3 ports
- Turbo Boost 2.0
- Dual Gigabit LAN with Teaming
ECS P67H2-A Specifications
|Rear Panel I/O||
|Internal I/O connectors and headers||