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ECS Z77H2-AX Golden Edition Review




º LGA1155 socket for new 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 series processor/Intel® Core™ i5 series processor/Intel® Core™ i3 series processor/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® Processors
º DMI 5.0GT/s
º TDP: 125W
º Note: Please go to ECS website for the latest CPU support list.
 Intel® Z77 Express Chipset
º Dual-channel DDR3 memory architecture
º 4 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket support up to 32 GB
º Support DDR3 up to 2800(OC)/2600(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1800(OC)/1600 DDR3 SDRAM
º Note 1: Please go to ECS website for the latest Memory support list.
º Note 2: DDR3_1 with DDR3_3 are the same channel, DDR3_2 with DDR3_4 are the same channel by Intel Specifications
Due to the operating 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
EXPANSION SLOT               
º 2 x PCI Express Gen 3.0 x16 slots
º 2 x PCI Express x1 slots
º 2 x PCI slots
º 1 x Mini PCI Express x1 slot
    • Supports Mini SATA
    • Supports Mini PCI Express
º (When using two VGA cards, the bandwidth is x8 badnwidth; when using one VGA card, the bandwidth is x16.)
STORAGE             º Support by Intel® Z77
    • 2 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s devices (SATA2 3/ 4)
    • 2 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s devices (SATA3 1/ 2)
    • RAID0, RAID1, RAID5, RAID 10 configuration
º Support by ASMEDIA ASM1061
    • 2 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s devices (SATA3 5/ 6)
º Realtek ALC892 8-Ch High Definition audio CODEC
º Compliant with HD audio specification
º Realtek RTL 8111E Gigabit LAN
º 4 x USB 3.0 ports
º 4 x USB 2.0 Ports
º 1 x D-sub(VGA)
º 1 x HDMI Port
º 1 x RJ45 LAN connector
º 1 x Audio port (Line-in,4x Line-out, SPDIF out)
º 1 x Clear_CMOS button
º 1 x Wireless LAN Dongle
º 1 x Bluetooth Dongle
º 2 x eSATA 6 Gb/s port
º 1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
º 1 x 8-pin ATX Power Supply Connector
º 1 x 4pin CPU_FAN connectors
º 1 x 3-pin SYS_FAN connector
º 1 x 3-pin PWR_FAN connector
º 1 x USB 2.0 header support additional 2 USB ports with EZ charger technology
º 1 x USB 3.0 header supports additional 2 USB 3.0 Ports (support by TI TUSB7320)
º 2 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
º 4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
º 1 x COM header
º 1 x Case Open header
º 1 x SPDIF out header
º 1 x Front panel switch/LED header
º 1 x Front panel audio header
º 1 x debug post LED
º 1 x Power on button
º 1 x Reset button
º 1 x mSATA
º AMI BIOS with 64Mb SPI Flash ROM
º Support ECS M.I.B X Utility
º Supports Plug and Play
º Supports ACPI & DMI
º Supports Plug and Play, STR (S3) / STD (S4) , Hardware monitor
º Audio, LAN, can be disabled in BIOS
º F7 hot key for boot up devices option
º Support over-clocking
º Supports Dual Display (Intel has Three Display)
º Support Milti-language BIOS Utility
º Support eBLU
º Support eOC
º Support eDLU
º Support eSF
º Support EZ Charger
º ATX Size 305mm*244mm



  • 15μ Gold Contact
    ECS 15μ gold technique contains 15μ gold contact on CPU socket and Memory slot pins. It offers 3 times extra anti-oxidation, temperature resistant and scrape protection to ensure motherboards longest lifespan, better reliability and excellent contact.    
    It allows to transfer digital audio without converting to analog format and keeps the best signal quality      
  • MIB X
    ECS O.C profile offers O.C values for CPU and DRAM to reach higher performances in a quick, simple and safe way. It keeps users’ preferable BIOS settings to regain your last successful O.C configuration to create the most convenient O.C experience.    
  • Easy Button
    One of ECS 4"E" Design which is especially a great plus that brings users remarkable convenience while overclocking or tweaking system performance. ( 4"E" Design : Easy button; DebugLED; Clear CMOS; Right-Angled SATA Slots)    
  • Debug LED
    One of ECS 4"E" Design which is especially a great plus that brings users remarkable convenience while overclocking or tweaking system performance. ( 4"E" Design : Easy button; DebugLED; Clear CMOS; Right-Angled SATA Slots)      
  • Solid Capacitor
    Solid capacitors lifespan is 6 times more than electrolytic capacitors at 65â—¦C temperature and it offers a stability and durable system.  
  • Support 22nm processors
    Intel new 22nm, 3-D transistor architecture enables support for new-generation processors which delivers unprecedented performance improvement, faster computing and graphics and power reduction.    
  • Lucid Virtu MVP
    Dynamic switching between built-in processor graphics and high-end, 3D performance discrete graphics cards. Ideal for gamers who require high-resolution gaming and want to enjoy amazing built-in media features of 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ processors      
  • ATI CrossFireX
    The technology not only combines multi-GPU and motherboard power that soars into a new dimension of graphics capability, but also delivers the highest image quality and screen resolutions, even with the most demanding 3D titles.   
  • NVIDIA SLI Ready
    Revolutionary platform innovation intelligently scales graphics performance up to 2x. Combine multiple NVIDIA GeForce-base graphics cards with an NVIDIA nForce SLI-based motherboard. Rigorous testing and certification process for unmatched stability and compatibility.      
  • Dual Channel DDR3 2800(OC)
    DDR3 2800 OC is able to raise processor and RAM clock up to 2800MHz through capable RAM in overclock mode.    
    The next generation of PCI Express 3.0 accelerates on 32 GB/s rate which effectively delivers double of PCIe 2.0 bandwidth. PCIe 3.0 enhances the encoding scheme to eliminate 20% overhead data to deliver higher transmission speed and better performance.
  • RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
    Supports RAID 0(Striped disk array), RAID 1(Mirroring disk array), RAID 5(Block Interleaved Distributed Parity), RAID 10 (A Stripe of Mirrors). Provides users the performance and protection.  
  • Qooltech IV
    QoolTech IV includes three heat pipes and combines thermal chromic technology with heat sink. Special welding technology, heat from chipset transfers to copper pipes directly, enhancing effective heat dissipation to achieve 20% more efficiency . Thermal chromic technology, the heat sink would change its color according to different temperature, which is the first time the technology is adopted in the industry.      
  • 8 Channel High Definition Audio
    Integrated 8-channel HD Audio CODEC delivering advanced multi-channel audio and bringing you the experience of home theater-quality sound.      
  • Giga LAN
    Delivers transfer speed ten times faster than conventional 10 / 100 Ethernet connections, supporting a high transfer rate up to Gigabit/s. Gigabit LAN is the networking standards for the future and is ideal for handing large amount of data such as video, audio, and voice.  
  • USB 3.0
    The latest generation Super Speed USB 3.0 Card is able to transfer data 10 times faster than USB 2.0. An innovative power management system provide better energy saving and carry more power to recharge more USB rechargeable devices. USB 3.0 Card is compatible with USB 2.0 to add more convenience and excellent performance.      
  • HDMI Output
    The interface supports existing high-definition video formats(720p, 1080i, and even 1080p), plus multi-channel digital audio on a single cable. Combination with HDCP, provides a secure audio/video interface that meets the security requirements of content providers and systems operators.   
  • DVI Output
    A video interface standard designed to maximize the visual quality of digital display devices such as flat panel LCD computer displays and digital projectors. DVI transmits a digital signal from a digital location in the graphics card to a digital location on the display screen. So you get the full clarity and stability of liquid crystal technology — with sharp, clear pixels.   
  • eSATA 3Gb/s
    The signal quality and the Max cable length is 2x longer than the conventional one. It also supports external HDD hot plug and keyed connector end for fool-proof.      
  • eBLU - BIOS Live Update Utility
    ECS eBLU utility makes updating BIOS fast and easy. eBLU saves time and hassle of searching for BIOS online and avoid complicated flashing steps. With simple and easy steps it checks for new BIOS version on-line and safely guides the user to flash the system BIOS.      
  • eOC - Easy Over Clock Utility
    Easy Over Clock Utility is a easy and simply overclocking tools that provides user-friendly windows operation interface for novices and overclockers, with clicking on your mouse only you can get much higher performance of CPU quickly. It is available for download and updated online to get the latest version. Combine with ECS MIB technology to challenge undiscovered extreme overclocking than ever before.      
  • eDLU - Drivers Live Update Utility
    ECS eDLU utility makes updating Drivers fast and easy. eDLU Saves time and hassle of searching for Drivers online and avoid complicated steps. With simple and easy steps it checks for new Drivers version on-line and let the user to update the Drivers.      
  • eSF(ECS Smart Fan Utility)
    ECS Smart Fan Utility provides smart and user friendly way to adjust fan speed depending on PCs system loading and temperature. It offers five modes to adjust fan speed within safe range without entering BIOS for smart, easy and silent environment.  
  • Certified For Windows® 7
    Windows® 7 platform introduces a number of manageability improvements that can reduce total cost of ownership by helping to increase automation, improve user productivity, and provide flexible administrative control to meet compliance requirements. It is more user-friendly and has been optimized to consume less system resources with Windows® 7 as well. Furthermore, the VT technology is enhanced to support real-time multimedia application including video playback and 3D games.  
  • ROHS
    Choose an environment-friendly, fully RoHS-compliant ECS product as the foundation for keeping harmful substances out of our ecosystem.    
  • EUP 2013
    ECS Motherboards have been certified by EuP 2013 of European Union. Stand by mode and off mode not to exceed 0.50W consumption to save energy and maintain sustainable environment.    
  • ECS Deep Green
    An industry-leading energy saving technology under 0.001 watt power consumption standard at soft off mode. Reduces energy consumption and CO2 production much better than EuP 2013 standard. It means the technology planted 96,500 trees per year.   
  • Bluetooth Technology
    Supports Bluetooth v2.1+ EDR technology, which is easier to connect devices to improve the paring experience on Bluetooth and increasing the use and strength of security. Bluetooth v2.1+ EDR also provides faster data transfer and able to reach 3Mbps with reduced power consumption and improved security. It also offers you a better wireless life.



All information Courtesy of ECS @ http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Product/Product_Detail.aspx?DetailID=1311&CategoryID=1&DetailName=Feature&MenuID=103&LanID=9

  1. Introduction and Closer look
  2. Closer Look: ECS Z77H2-AX
  3. Closer Look: The BIOS
  4. Closer Look: Programs & Utilities
  5. Specifications & Features
  6. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  7. Testing: Apophysis, WinRar, GeekBench, Bibble 5
  8. Testing: Office 2007, PovRay, Proshow Gold, Handbrake
  9. Testing: SiSoft Sandra, AIDA64
  10. Testing: Sciencemark, Cinebench, HD Tune, PCMark 7
  11. Testing: Aliens vs. Predator
  12. Testing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
  13. Testing: Battlefield 3
  14. Testing: 3Dmark11
  15. Conclusion
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