The biggest competitive shortfall ECS runs into most often is its firmware implementation. We commonly find that they lack settings that other boards include. Fortunately, the X79R-AX is moderately improved, though overclockers will want further enhancement.
Key voltage levels, for example, must be set as offset levels, and without any core voltage droop compensation.
Multiplier-based overclocking is limited to per-core values. ECS overcomes our processor's 36x multiplier limit, which affects every other board except Asus', but only by one ratio setting. We used a 120 MHz base clock to push this platform's 4.44 GHz stability ceiling.
Primary, secondary, and tertiary memory timings are all adjustable, which is a huge improvement over past ECS products. We’re also mindful that many builders won’t overclock at all. If you're in that boat, pay particular attention to all of the hardware extras that ECS' X79R-AX includes.
ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB - very nice all black looks better than gigabytes atempt
Asus P9X79 Pro - new baby blue they use on all the boards... not for me
ECS X79R-AX - looks like my old pentium 2 board with the white slots
Foxconn Quantumian-1 - i like i like gives a feeling of the ROG ASUS boards
Gigabyte X79-UD3 - rip of from the ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB (lol) plus the southbridge heatsink looks old fasion and ugly.
Intel DX79SI - now this board for me looks good actualy more than good looks the best :) must be the scull lol
MSI X79A-GD65 8D - also very nice love the blue + Black.
If you have one of the boards and i insulted it, wasnt the intention, just my view of the board>
One thing I'm not sure of is the acceptance and actual usage of eSATA. While practical at some level, is anyone actually using this MB feature or is this one of those things the MB producers can skip out on like parallel and serial ports? I'm not sure enthusiasts are all that into using their eSATA ports?
Personally, I think this is one of those money saving opportunities MB producers should consider.