ECS P67H2-A Black Extreme Motherboard Review with Core i5 2500K ew @ OCWorkbench

Conclusion

 

ECS surprised us with the P67H2-A board. With so many good features on board, it definitelyshows the commitment behind the team to bring the best of technology onto their P67 board. It is so feature rich that you would never have thought that it is an ECS board – 3 PCIe slots for CrossFireX/SLI, Hydra mixed mode, 20 USB 2.0 ports and 6 USB 3.0 ports, SATA 6Gbps, eSATA are there. Most importantly, somewhat never seen on ECS board is the Measure point on the side of the board. It allows you to measure the actual voltage of the various components directly with a digital voltmeter. Of course there is the long forgotten Debug + System Temerature LED. THere is also Easy Bottom+ CLR CMOS and EZ charger support that quick charges your iPhone.

ECS P67H2-A has pretty good performance against the other brands/models especially in data crunching and multimedia. When it comes to graphical performance, it seems to be a bit slower. We feel that it could be because of the use of Hydra. Although it is a bit slower, the savings and expansion capability of  3 way graphical card system is not longer restricted to just NVIDIA only or AMD only. You can mix and match graphics cards of different chipsets to speed up your system. In our test, we get an average of 50-60% boost in performance when we pair up an 6850 and a 460GTX.

Installation of this board is straightforward. Inherited from the old days of Epox, the CPU temperature/Debug LED is definitely a good status indicator which most vendors left out. There are also power on/off, reset buttons for easy access next to the power connector.

Overclock features are available in the BIOS. Although it is not a graphical UI BIOS, the options are all there (you can check out the video on page 4 of this review). For overclocking, we managed to run it up to 47X100 (4.7GHz) which is the limit of our 2500K processor.

Packaging wise, the ECS P67H2-A comes in a big box. Perhaps ECS could think of ways to cut down on the size. Documentation is fairly clear cut with a English only 92 page manual. There is a hardware installation guide in multiple languges enclosed.

Overall, this board has lots of expansion capabilities. It has broken the rigid graphics card combination with the use of Hydra technology on the board.

So, if you intend to upgrade to Intel P67 and do not wish to sell away your older graphics card but want to increase your graphics perforamnce, this board has the option for you to mix and match which you can’t find it on other P67 boards out there.

We give it our Gold Award.

Pros

Hydra
Front USB 3.0
Debug / Temp LED
Power ON/Off, CLR CMOS
e-JIFFY

Cons

Non graphical interface BIOS

Ratings

Here are my ratings out of 10.

 Category Score
 Performance 9  / 10
 Features 10 / 10
 Ease Of Installation 10 / 10
 Overclocking Features 10 / 10
 Documentation 8 / 10
 Packaging 9 / 10
 Cost / Performance 9 / 10
 Overall Rating : 9.2 / 10