ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme Motherboard Review

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ECS GANK Machine Z87H3-A2X Extreme Motherboard

ECS Z87H3-A2X Intel Z87 Motherboard Layout

The ECS L337 series of motherboards are the top tier boards from ECS. Today we just happen to have one of them to put through the paces and see how it’ll hold up. The ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme motherboard is based on the latest Intel Z87 Express chipset for CPU’s in the LGA1150 package, more commonly known as the Haswell series of processors. The GANK Machine Z87H3-A2X is currently available for as little as $239.99. It may not be the lowest cost Intel Z87 motherboard out there, but there are a number of features that are included with the ECS Z87H3-A2X, let’t take a peek.

For the $239.99 the ECS GANK Machine Z87H3-A2X Extreme motherboard isn’t lacking much in features. As a gaming motherboard the Z87H3-A2X Extreme is going to need a few key features, one of the big ones is going to be connectivity. To connect you to the interweb there are a pair of Realtek 8111G Gigabit Ethernet controllers built into the board to get the job done. If you don’t have a wired connection don’t worry about it, ECS has us covered with a Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n wireless LAN adapter, more specifically a Qualcomm Atheros AR9271 built onto the board as well. If you’re looking for connectivity to devices, we’re covered as well. The ECS Z87H3-A2X features eight USB ports on the back panel, four SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and four HiSpeed USB 2.0 along with an internal USB 3.0 header and two internal USB 2.0 headers. This is a total of 14 USB ports throughout the board that can be used for, well just about anything you need to use them for.

The GANK Machine Z87H3-A2X Extreme features a 12 phase power delivery system for the power deliver to the CPU. ECS is using their Extreme Power Module which consist of three different components. The first piece of the puzzle is the Ice Chokes. The ECS Ice Chokes offer one and a half times the stability along with a wider temperature range by 50 degrees. In addition to better stability and temperature range, the Ice Choke run 13% cooler than standard ferrite chokes. The second piece of the Extreme Power Module is the Dual Cooling MOS. The ECS Exclusive Dual Cooling MOSFETs allow for significantly improved heat dissipation and a 90% high efficiency power conversion with low impedance and EMI. The third and final piece of the puzzle is the Gold Caps throughout the ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme motherboard. The Golden Solid Caps have a lifespan six times longer that the traditional electrolytic caps, up to 22 years!

Much of the remaining features of the ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme motherboard aren’t nearly as exciting, though they aren’t any less important to the performance and value of the ECS GANK Machine Z87H3-A2X Extreme motherboard. As with just about all of the Intel Z87 motherboards out there, the Z87H3-A2X supports 2-Way NVIDIA SLI and 3-Way AMD CrossFireX as well as the Lucid Virtu technology.

ECS Z87H3-A2X Lucid Virtu Technology

The Lucid Virtu software allows you to combine the best features of the Intel HD Graphics with the best features of your discrete graphics card, essentially giving us the best of both worlds.

ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme Specifications
CPU
  • Supports new 4rd gen Intel Core family, Pentium, Celeron series processors in LGA1150 socket
  • DMI 5.0GT/s
  • TDP: 200W
  • 12 Phase Thermal Design Power
  • VRD 12.5
  • 100% Solid capacitor design
  • Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
  • Supports Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
  • Intel K Series Unlock CPU Support
CHIPSET
  • Intel Z87 Express Chipset
  • Intel Smart Response Technology, Intel Smart Connect Technology & Intel Rapid Start Technology
GRAPHICS
  • Support Intel HD Graphics 4000(Intel 4th gen CPU)
  • Supports DirectX 11 .1
  • Supports Intel HD Graphics, InTru 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider
  • Supports HDMI 1.4a & Premium Audio
  • Supports LucidLogiX Virtu MVP
  • Supports NVIDIA 2-Way SLI Supports ATI 3-Way CrossFireX
  • Supports Full HD 1080P Blu-ray / HD-DVD Playback
MEMORY
  • Dual-channel DDR3 Memory architecture
  • Supports DDR3 1600/1333/1066 non-ECC, Un-buffered SDRAM Memory
  • Supports up to 3000(OC),2933(OC),2800(OC) 4 X 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket
  • Support up to 32 GB Intel extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 1.3/1.2 Memory Modules
EXPANSION SLOT
  • 3 X PCI Express X16 Gen 3.0 slot(s)
  • 1 X PCI Express X 1 slot(s)
  • Supports NVIDIA SLI Technology
  • Supports ATI CrossfireX Technology
  • 1 X Mini PCI Express X1 slot(s)( Mini SATA supported)
  • 1 X PCI slot(s)
Storage
  • Support by Intel Z87 Express Chipset
  • Support by ASM1061 Controler
  • • 7 X Serial ATAIII 6Gb/s Located in SATA1, SATA2…SATA7 Port
  • • 2 X eSATAIII 6Gb/s
  • • RAID0, RAID1,RAID5, RAID 10 configuration
  • Supports Intel Rapid Storage Technology Supports NCQ, AHCI and “Hot Plug” functions
Audio
  • 8-Channel HD audio CODEC Compliant with HD audio specification
  • Realtek ALC1150+ALC5505 8-channel High Definition audio CODEC
  • BluRay DVD/HD DVD support
LAN
  • Dual Realtek 8111G Gigabit Fast Ethernet Controller
  • Wake-On-LAN Dual LAN with Teaming function
  • Ultra low power consumption
Wireless
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n wireless LAN
Bluetooth
  • Supports Bluetooth V2.0
USB
  • Support by Z87 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)
  • ECS EZ Charger (Gray USB header)
REAR PANEL I/O
  • 1 X Audio port (Line-in,4x Line-out, SPDIF out)
  • 2 X RJ-45 port with teaming function
  • 1 X HDMI port(s)
  • 1 X Display port
  • 1 X Wireless LAN Dongle
  • 1 X Bluetooth Dongle
  • 2 X eSATA 6Gb/s port(s)
  • 4 X USB3.0 port(s)
  • 4 X USB2.0 port(s)
  • 1 X Clear_CMOS Button
CONNECTORS & HEADERS
  • 1 X 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
  • 1 X 8-pin ATX 12V Power Connector
  • 1 X 4-pin CPU_FAN connector
  • 1 X 4-pin SYS_FAN connector
  • 1 X 3-pin PWR_FAN connector
  • 1 X Power on button
  • 1 X Reset button
  • 1 X Clear_CMOS button
  • 1 X Front Panel switch/LED header
  • 1 X Front panel audio header
  • 1 X Onboard Buzzer
  • 1 X USB 3.0 header
  • • Support additional
  • 2 USB ports
  • 2 X USB 2.0 header
  • • Support additional
  • 4 USB ports Support EZ charger (gray color)
  • 1 X CLR_CMOS header
  • 1 X Serial port header (COM)
  • 1 X mSATA connector
  • 1 X 7S-LED Display
  • 1 X ME_UNLOCK header
  • 1 X Chassis intrusion header
  • 1 X Voltage measure points
  • 1 X 80P Switch button
  • 1 X Quick OC button
  • 1 X BIOS set button
  • 1 X ROM Backup button
SYSTEM BIOS
  • AMI BIOS with 64×2 MB SPI Flash ROM
  • Supports M.I.B X Utility
  • Supports ACPI 3.0 & DMI
  • F7 hot key for boot up devices option
  • Over-Clocking
  • Graphic OC Support
  • Dual Display Support
  • ECS EZ BIOS
  • Plug and Play, STR (S3) / STD (S4) , Hardware monitor, Multi Boot
  • Multi-Language BIOS
  • Audio, LAN, can be disabled in BIOS
  • Dual BIOS
  • Dual-Monitor function
FORM FACTOR
  • ATX Form Factor
  • 305mm(W) X 244mm(H)
OS Support
  • Windows 7 32-bit
  • Windows 7 64-bit
  • Windows 8 32-bit
  • Windows 8 64-bit
Bundled Software
  • ECS Intelligent EZ Utility : eBLU, eDLU, eOC, eSF
  • Free Bundle: Norton Internet Security ,CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector 9, Muzee with trial version
  • Creative Sound Blaster Cinema software

 

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