ECS Z87H3-A2X Golden GANK DOMINATION Intel Z87 chipset motherboard with Core i7-4770K  Review

Bluetooth 26 Dec 2013 Bluetooth 26 Dec 2013

Readers with OCWorkbench should remember the good old days of ECS motherboards from the days of ECS K7S5A that sold millions. ECS has provided mainboard solutions for decades with good price/performance ratio for the masses.

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These few years, ECS has been trying to evolve to capture not only the mid range but also the niche gaming market.

The L337 Gaming series is just one of the important steps ECS took by introducing the GANK L337 Gaming series of motherboards.

The GANK series comes in the form of GANK Machine, GANK DRONE and GANK DOMINATION. GANK DOMINATION is the highest end series of the three as it provides the best expansion, overclockability among all.

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The ECS Z87H3-A2X Golden motherboard is one of the first boards in the GANK DOMINATION series. This motherboard is centred with the Intel Z87 express chipset and supports the 4th generation Intel Core family LGA1150 series processors. It has a 12 phase thermal design power with VRD 12.5. Not only that, it’s ECS Durathon technology ensures stability with triple density PCB, extreme temp resistance, 1.5K Marathon test and super solid caps. It also uses 15u gold contact to ensure better contact.

As graphics core is now integrated with the processor, the system is already equipped with a Intel Graphics HD 4000 class graphics with DX 11.1 support. The graphics core in the processor supports features like InTru 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology etc.

For gamers that require more graphics power, the board has 3 full length PCIe 3.0 slots to support 2 way SLI and 3 way CrossFire X. If you prefer to mix and match AMD and NVIDIA card or too upgrade one graphics card at a time, you can use the Lucid Logic X virtu MVP support on this motherboard (most manufacturers do not have Lucid Logic X virtu MVP support). There is also a Mini PCI Express X1 slot(s)( Mini SATA supported)

As for memory support, it supports 4 DIMM slots of up to a total of 32GB of memory with XMP 1.2/1.3

As for expansion, the board supports 5 SATA 6Gbps by Z87 chipset, 2 SATA 6Gbps by ASM 1061 controller and 2 more in eSATA 6Gbps ports (supports RAID 0,1,5, RAID 10). There are 6 USB 3.0 ports (2 on board, 4 rear) and 8 USB 2.0 (4 rear, 4 on board) and a ECS EZ charger port (grey USB header).

The audio codec used on this board is the Realtek ALC 1150+ALC5505 8 channel HDA CODEC. There is also Dual Realtek 8111G GbE ethernet controller with teaming. There is also built in WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth v2.0 on board.

The motherboard also comes with the ECS EZ BIOS for easy monitoring and tweaking. The ECS Intelligent EZ Utility : eBLU, eDLU, eOC, eSF
º Free Bundle: Norton Internet Security ,CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector 9, Muzee with trial version
º Creative Sound Blaster Cinema are included in the package.

By Harry