360-Degree Motherboard Gallery:
The ECS Z77H2-A2X motherboard has two PCI Express x16 slots which support single
graphics cards in x16 mode and two-way ATI CrossfireX / nVidia SLI set ups in x8/x8
mode. All graphics slots are PCI Express 3.0/2.0 compliant. The remaining expansion
slots include two PCI Express x1 slots and two legacy PCI slots.
At the foot of the board is a little mini PCI Express
slot the manual says supports both mini PCI Express and
mini SATA devices. We're not entirely sure this slot supports
miniSATA... the Intel 20GB miniSATA SSD we plugged in
didn't come up in the OS as a storage device. We also noticed ECS neglected
to include the tiny screws to hold a mini PCI express card in place. The
documentation on this slot is scant, so maybe we've overlooked
a setting in the BIOS. Regardless, ECS really needs to improve the detail in their User
miniPCI port for notebook expansion sized devices...
but not for miniSATA SSD drives?
Getting back to videocards, there are two slots of space between
the pair of PCI Express x16 videocard slots, which is fantastic. The odd choice is positioning the single PCI Express
x1 slot where it will be blocked by dual-slot-wide videocards. If you opt for SLI
or CrossFireX, it will cost you PCI slot as well.
Along the bottom
edge of the ECS Z77H2-A2X motherboard we find headers for; front panel audio, SPDIF, COM port, SPI debug cards, (1) USB 2.0
and (1) USB 3.0 header. A nice aluminum two-port USB 3.0 3.5" bracket/PCI bracket is supplied with
this gold and black motherboard.
the front panel IO headers is the Port80 diagnostic read out, (2) 3Gb/s SATA II ports and (4) 6Gb/s
SATA III jacks (RAID 0,1,5,10). Two of the SATA III ports come from an ASmedia
Beside the six SATA ports are physical power
and reset buttons that out-of-chassis tweakers always find so helpful.
The Intel Z77 Express chipset only requires a simple low profile passive heatsink
for cooling. More motherboard goodness to follow after the