ECS H67H2-M & H67H2-I Reviewccokeman - May 9, 2011
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The H67H2-M is a Mini ATX form factor board in the ECS Black series lineup designed for use with Intel's second generation Core series processors. The H67H2-M is ECS way of bringing the look of its high-end Black Series to the H67 small form factor market with enthusiast grade additions such as on board power and reset buttons, ECS's Quooltech heat sink package, solid capacitors. 15μ gold contacts in the CPU and DIMM sockets for improved corrosion resistance, an increase in board life and a debug diagnostic LED. Looking at it from the top, the board looks like a cut down version of the P67H2-A. The black PCB and grey accents give the board an industrial feel. The back side has just the back of the CPU retention mechanism. The Quooltech III heatsink package is held in place by screws just like on the P67 based P67H2-A. So far the board has all the makings of a high performance board for the everyday market.
Connectivity is the name of the game with these H67 chipset based boards. On the H67H@-M from the left are the single SL DVI port , VGA port, clear CMOS button, HDMI and DisplayPort connections, four USB 2.0 ports (two red and two black), a single eSATA port, Dual Realtek controlled Gigait LAN ports that support teaming, two USB 3.0 ports and the Realtek eight channel HD sound including both digital and analog connectivity. The clear CMOS button is a great option to have but without the ability to overclock the CPU, its uses will be limited. Expansion capabilities on the H67H2-M include a 16x PCIe slot, a pair of 1x PCIe slots and a standard PCI slot.
Along the bottom edge of the board are added connectivity options. Left to right are the front panel audio, digital sound out, a fan header, clear CMOS jumper, TPM header and four USB headers to add eight ports to the four on the back I/O panel for a total of 12 USB 2.0 ports. On the bottom right hand corner are parts you normally see only on enthusiast grade boards, a power and reset button. Just above the USB headers is a diagnostic display that allows the end user to determine what is causing a holdup in the boot sequence.
Starting up the right side are the SATA ports. The gray ports are the SATA 6Gb/s with the white being 3GbB/s. The one port offset is the eSATA port. The B3 revision of the H67 chipset allays fears of performance degradation on the SATA 3Gb/s ports. Further up is the 24pin ATX power connection and the four DIMM slots that support up to 32GB of DDR3 system memory in a dual channel configuration. DDR3 speeds officially supported are 1066 and 1333MHz.
Across the top of the PCB, the only item of note is the eight pin ATX auxiliary power connection.
The CPU socket area on the H67H2-M is quite crowded by comparison to some other socket 1155 motherboards. Solid capacitors are used for added stability and durability. ECS has used a LOTES hold down mechanism for the CPU. ECS uses its 15μ gold process that uses 15μ gold contacts in the CPU socket. This process means less corrosion and improved wear, resulting in a longer lifespan. Around the socket area is the Quooltech III cooling package that uses a pair of copper heatpipes connected to a pair of massive heat sinks over the VRM components. The cooling package includes a substantial heat sink over the H67 chipset that when combined with the massive heat sinks around the CPU socket, give this board from ECS a very high-end feel.
This "Black" Series offering from ECS puts together all of the looks and a good deal of the feature set from the P67H2-A and scales them down to work with the H67 platform. Great looks do not always win the day but in this case, looks do play a big part in the image factor where the H67 platform is like an early 70's musclecar. All stripes and flash.