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ECS Z77H2-A2X Black Edition Intel Z77 Motherboard Review

ECS Z77H2-A2X Black Edition Intel Z77 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: PCSTATS has a real treat for you today - 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.
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ECS Apr 24 2013   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > ECS Z77H2-A2X

All That Glitters Isn't Really Gold

Starting from the top ECS give us golden heatsinks on the motherboard VRM/MOSFETs surrounding the CPU socket. The rear I/O connections are all golden, so a little bit of bling is visible even when the ECS Z77H2-A2X is installed in a chassis.

The rear I/O shield is golden plated as well, for that added touch of... gold.

The LGA1155 CPU socket hardware is all gold plated and the little electrical contacts that interface with the processor have an 15um thick gold plating on them as well (technically speaking, this CPU pins are likely the only real gold plating on the board). The shiny gold CPU socket hardware and surrounding gold plated solid state aluminum capacitors do look pretty nice though.

ECS even went so far as to give the golden treatment to the rear socket LGA1155 support plate.

Every single solid state aluminum capacitor on this motherboard is like a little golden nugget too...

...and so are all the Ferrite chokes!

The electrical contact pins used in the memory sockets receive the same extra thick 15um gold plating as the CPU socket pins. This is done to ensure good electrical conductivity between the contact pins and memory sticks.

LucidLogic VirtuMVP

Intel's integrated graphics are great for media transcoding via QuickSync technology, but most users prefer discrete videocard. LucidLogix VirtuMVP is a software driver Intel validated for the Intel Z77 platform which enables on-the-fly switching between discreet graphics cards and Sandy Bridge / Ivy Bridge's integrated graphics core. VirtuMVP allows the integrated graphics core to accelerate video transcoding tasks via Intel QuickSync and seamlessly switch to purpose bred discreet videocards when 3D gaming. On top of these core features, VirtuMVP adds Hyperformance which increases frame rates by eliminating redundant rendering tasks and VirtualVsync which reduces screen tearing.

PCSTATS has tested VirtuMVP and the impact of HF and VV out already ( see the benchmarks here), so check that out if this is the first time you're hearing about Hyperformance.

VirtuMVP HyperFormance and VirtualVsync

PCSTATS has already looked at the impact LucidLogix VirtuMVP makes here, so please take a moment to review that discussion if you're unsure of what VirtuMVP offers.

Intel Z77 Express Chipset

Intel's Z77 Express chipset has essentially the same feature set of the Intel Z68, the notable new addition being native USB 3.0 and a set of software tools Intel calls Platform Responsiveness Technologies. PCSTATS has discussed the Intel Z77 chipset at length, including all the features it brings to the table and the similarities it has with previous Intel 6-series chipsets, so if you aren't already up to speed do check out the Intel Z77 Chipset discussion here before continuing on with this review of the ECS Z77H2-A2X motherboard.

In addition to the standard benchmark set, for this review PCSTATS has gone the extra step of comparing Intel's HD 3000 IGP graphics core against six different integrated graphics solutions, including AMD's socket FM1 APU-based Radeon HD 6550D. First though, let's take a 360-degree look at the ECS Z77H2-A2X motherboard!

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Contents of Article: ECS Z77H2-A2X
 Pg 1.  ECS Z77H2-A2X Black Edition Intel Z77 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — All That Glitters Isn't Really Gold
 Pg 3.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Features and Layout
 Pg 4.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Continued
 Pg 5.  Overclocking Report and BIOS Walkthrough
 Pg 6.  Test System Hardware and Specs
 Pg 7.  Sysmark 2012 - Workstation Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 8.  PCMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 9.  SiSoft Sandra: CPU Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 10.  Sandra: Memory Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 11.  3DMark 11 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 12.  3DMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 13.  3DMark 06 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 14.  IGP vs IGP Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 15.  IGP vs IGP Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 16.  Video Transcoding and Power Draw

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   08 / 22 / 2019 | 1:44PM
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