Today PCSTATS has a real treat for
you - the ECS Z77H2-A2X Black Edition Golden motherboard! Every metallic surface on this
board is gold plated so it's got quite the 'bling' factor going for it. Electronics manufacturers
also tell us that "gold" is a prized aesthetic in many Eastern markets, just
like "German Engineering" is an intangible yet sought out quality in the West.
ECS's Z77H2-A2X motherboard is built
around the Intel Z77 chipset and primed for Intel's 22nm 3rd Gen.
Intel Core i3/i5/i7 'Ivy Bridge' processors. Of course, the main difference
between the Intel Z77 chipset and the previous Intel
Z68 is the inclusion of native USB 3.0 support,
but the platform is also backwards compatible
with previous LGA1155 CPUs so actual upgrading is a possibility
too. Users with 'Ivy Bridge' CPUs will of course see onboard DX11 integrated graphics via
the Intel HD2500/4000 IGP and speed benefits in light 3D gaming and media transcoding tasks.
Z77H2-A2X s an all-black ATX sized motherboard for socket LGA1155
Intel CPUs. It features three integrated graphics outputs, a mini PCI
Express slot, support for two-way Crossfire/SLI, integrated 802.11n wireless and
integrated Bluetooth. The board is equipped with
four DDR-3 memory slots which accommodate up to 32GB of dual channel DDR3-2667(OC)/1600/1333/1066
memory in 64-bit operating systems.
graphics front the ECS Z77H2-A2X offers up onboard HDMI/DVI-D/Analog video
outputs and PCI Express Gen 3.0 compliant graphics card slots with an IVB
CPU in the drivers seat. Single videocards run at x16 mode, while videocard
pairs in nVidia SLI / AMD Crossfire operate in x8/x8 mode. New to the Intel Z77
stables is the LucidLogix VirtuMVP
driver which PCSTATS will discuss in a moment...
Z77H2-A2X motherboard retails for ~$220 USD at Newegg, making it roughly $50 more than comparable Intel Z77 platforms PCSTATS
has tested. Then again, this ECS board does include onboard Wifi and Bluetooth
that other platforms lack.
ECS Z77H2-A2X Black Edition
INCLUDES: User's Manual, Driver
DVD, (6) SATA cables, 2-way
SLI bridge, USB 3.0 bracket, antenna, I/O Shield, jack
Chipset: Intel Z77 Express
Support: Intel Socket 1155
Type: Dual Channel DDR3
Support: (2) PCI Express x16 2.0/3.0 (x16 or
Multi-Graphics: 2-way nVidia SLI
+ AMD CrossfireX
IGP Video Ports: HDMI, Display
Port, Analog VGA, DVI-D
Estimated Price: $219 USD/CDN
Intel's integrated graphics are considered underpowered for intensive 3D
gaming but totally suited to office desktop work with one or more monitors
(see: IGP-PCMark Vantage Benchmarks
). The integrated graphics connections
on the ECS Z77H2-A2X motherboard include HDMI at 1920x1200 resolution, DVI-D at
1920x1200 and Analog VGA. Intel Z77 boards
support dual displays with Sandy Bridge CPUs or triple
displays with Ivy Bridge CPUs.
ECS Z77H2-A2X onboard video outputs: DVI-D, Analog VGA and
As PCSTATS mentioned, the Z77 is the companies' first chipset
to support native USB 3.0. The ECS Z77H2-A2X has four USB 3.0 ports located at the
rear I/O and two additional USB3.0 ports via a motherboard header.
Unlike the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H, ECS include a nice black aluminum, two-port
USB 3.0 bracket.