ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme Motherboard ReviewThu, Sep 05, 2013 - 8:53 AM
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Overall I was happy with the performance and user experience with the ECS Gank Machine Z87H3-A2X Extreme motherboard. Right now you can pick up the ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme for as little as $239.99 which certainly isn’t the highest cost motherboard to come across the Legit Reviews bench, nor is it the lowest cost. Overall I didn’t have any issues with the ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme Z87 motherboard at the settings we used for testing today. It wasn’t until I started working on the overclocking that it got a little tricky.
I mention the overclocking because, it wasn’t really working for me through the BIOS all that well. That doesn’t mean that we weren’t able to get a solid overclock with the ECS Z87H3-A2X, it just meant that we had to work through the Windows 8 operating system. Fortunately the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility is a great option for that. We were able to hit 4.7GHz without breaking a sweat using the Intel XTU and the ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme motherboard.
The only options for setting the CPU vCore was override and adaptive voltage modes and unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the system stable working with either of those settings. Fortunately as I mentioned the Intel XTU software is a great alternative to working in the BIOS, and it worked out very will for us.
This really did catch me off guard! I mentioned that we had used the Intel XTU software to overclock the Intel Core i7-4770K, we did try to use the ECS eOC software first. Sadly though, we couldn’t use the eOC software. It doesn’t have any adjustment for the CPU multiplier, which is pretty much the ONLY way to overclock a processor with an unlocked multiplier like the 4770K! If it wasn’t for the Intel XTU software, we would have been up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
We clearly had some issues while overclocking, but overclocking can always be a journey My only real issue with the ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme is the BIOS. While they get the job done, they feel very rough compared to many of the others out there. After using motherboards from ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI (to a lesser extent) I have become accustomed to a very refined BIOS. The ECS BIOS doesn’t have the intuitive feel to it that the top tier motherboard companies have put out there.
The issues that I had really only popped their head up during my time spent while overclocking the ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme motherboard. The initial setup went flawlessly, setting the memory profile to XMP was simple to do in the M.I.B. X (Motherboard Intelligent BIOS X) tab of the UEFI BIOS under the Memory Configuration. If you’re not looking to overclock, or at least not through the UEFI BIOS you’ll have a great experience with the ECS Z87H3-A2X. The performance of the ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme motherboard was right on par with what we have come to expect from the latest Intel system, there isn’t a whole lot of change in that respect between the boards.
Right now you can pick up your own ECS GANK Machine Z87H3-A2X Extreme motherboard for only $239.99. If something should happen to go wrong with the ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme down the road, you’re covered. The ECS Z87H3-A2X is backed by a three year warranty for parts and 2 year for parts and labor, it’s always good to have a little peace of mind when investing in some new hardware.
Legit Bottom Line: The ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme motherboard is a solid motherboard and it worked great for us. With a few adjustments and tweaks to the UEFI BIOS as well as the ECS software, the Z87H3-A2X Extreme has the potential be a great board.