ECS Z97-PK Deluxe Intel Z97 motherboard Review
bluetooth 20 May 2015
Living space is getting smaller and PCs are shrinking. Does performance shrink with size ? Yes to a certain degree as most of the mobile devices aren’t powerful enough to be customised. That is where a mATX motherboard will fit the bill as a desktop machine, the performance to space ratio. (Just invented this new ratio, you see it first at OCWorkbench).
So, what does ECS Z97-PK offer as compared to other Z97 chipset mATX boards out there. Well, basically I would say it offers a balance of price and performance. You don’t need to pay a USD 150 to USD 200 for a gaming board which trumpet external monitoring devices or extreme overclockability as these are realy unnecessary for a desktop PC for work and play.
This board supports the 4th generation Intel family of processors on LGA 1150 socket. It also supports overclocking the K series with multiplier. Based on Z97 chipset, it already suppots DX11.1 with Intel HD graphics, Intru 3D, QuickSync video, Clear Video HD and HDMI 1.4a for HD 1080p playback.
The board supports upgradable dual channel DDR3 memory up to 32GB with XMP recognition. The board also comes with 6 x SATA 6Gbps ports that support RAID 0,1,5,10 configuration and Intel Rapid Storage Technology. It also supports USB 3.0.
Although small in size, the ECS Z97-PK does offer a 2 way multi graphics solution for CrossFireX if you intend to upgrade it to a full fledge gaming machine with external graphics card. Even without that, the onboard 3 indepedent displays should suffice for most stock brokers one screen listing the price while the other showing a chart etc.
As for audio, it uses the 8 ch HD audio codec Realtek ALC892 supporting 7.1+2 channnel multi streaming for concurrent gaming and VOIP. There is 1 x GbE Ethernet connector with Wake On Lan.
For stability and performance, the ECS Durathon technology uses a triple density PCB, superior solid caps and are tested under stringent temperature tests.
On the next few pages, we will take a look at the motherboard layout, BIOS features and benchmarks.