Page 1:Haswell: Is Now The Best Time To Build?
Page 2:ASRock Z87 Extreme6
Page 3:Z87 Extreme6 Firmware
Page 4:Z87 Extreme6 Tuning Software
Page 5:Z87 Extreme6 Applications
Page 6:Asus Z87-Pro
Page 7:Z87-Pro Firmware
Page 8:Z87-Pro Tuning Software
Page 9:Z87-Pro Applications
Page 10:ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme
Page 11:Z87H3-A2X Extreme Firmware
Page 12:Z87H3-A2X Extreme Tuning Software
Page 13:Z87H3-A2X Extreme Applications
Page 14:Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H
Page 15:Z87X-UD4H Firmware
Page 16:Z87X-UD4H Tuning Software
Page 17:Z87X-UD4H Applications
Page 18:MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
Page 19:Z87-GD65 Gaming Firmware
Page 20:Z87-GD65 Gaming Tuning Software
Page 21:Z87-GD65 Gaming Applications
Page 22:Test Settings And Benchmarks
Page 23:Results: 3DMark And PCMark
Page 24:Results: SiSoftware Sandra
Page 25:Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 26:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 27:Results: Productivity
Page 28:Results: File Compression
Page 29:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 31:Picking Our First Z87-Based Winner
ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme
ECS’s $240 Z87-A2X Extreme “goes large” with features, adding a single-band USB-based 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth controller with its dual-gigabit Ethernet capability. But wait, isn’t this a sub-$220 round-up?
After initially disclosing a $220 MSRP, ECS decided to add a $50 game bundle to this board and increase its price by $20. That could be a bargain, depending on the titles, but would have also excluded this product from today’s round-up. Knowing that, ECS is applying a $20 temporary discount to the board. Thanks to the discount, June buyers get both the original $220 price and the promised game certificate.
Other I/O panel features include a CLR_CMOS button, dual eSATA, DisplayPort, and HDMI. Separate front and rear controllers make all four added-in SATA ports function simultaneously.
The Z87H3-A2X Extreme’s extra internal ports aren’t as noticeable as competing solutions, since one of its connectors is perpendicular to the motherboard and the other connects to an mSATA slot. With mSATA drives now exceeding 256 GB, builders who dislike drive cables can build without them, and expect fairly comparable performance.
Buyers who like on-board buttons will be thrilled with the Z87H3-A2X’s bottom-front corner, finding power, reset, boot-to-UEFI, overclocking profile, and diagnostics display mode switches next to a three-digit panel. The diagnostic ouput can display POST code, CPU TDP, CPU voltage, CPU wattage, or CPU MOS temperature readings.
A five-pin connector next to the DIMM slots is designed to hold volt meter probes for verifying CPU core, DIMM, PCH, and PCH I/O voltage levels. If we’ve learned anything about motherboard monitoring of DIMM voltage, it’s never to trust and always to verify.
ECS configures the Z87H3-A2X Extreme’s slots to support up to three-way graphics arrays, and even spaces its slots to allow a trio of double-space cards to fit within an ATX case’s seven spaces. These slots automatically switch from x16-x0-x0 to x8-x8-x0 and x8-x4-x4 transfer modes as the next long slot is filled. Though the bandwidth boost of PCIe 3.0 makes four-lane transfers acceptable to many builders, those who'd rather put a slower card in the third slot might be upset when the first slot drops to eight and the middle to four lanes. This is always going to be a tradeoff when only 16 third-gen lanes exist.
ECS places its USB 3.0 internal header along the motherboard’s bottom edge, which could have been a problem if its hadn’t moved all of the platform's PCIe slots further up on the board compared to competitors. The slot move is a great idea in my opinion, though I can imagine other reviewers are going to ask for more space around the DIMM latches.
Our only true layout concern is that the front-panel audio connector is tucked a little too far into the bottom rear corner for the reach of some front-panel cables. Our solution is to buy a better case.
Though I haven’t seen anyone get ganked since the second millennium, I was amused to find the term re-emerge in certain gaming and entertainment circles. ECS includes a full set of SATA cables, a flexible SLI bridge, and a Wi-Fi antenna inside the Z87H3-A2X Extreme's colorfully-named box.
- Haswell: Is Now The Best Time To Build?
- ASRock Z87 Extreme6
- Z87 Extreme6 Firmware
- Z87 Extreme6 Tuning Software
- Z87 Extreme6 Applications
- Asus Z87-Pro
- Z87-Pro Firmware
- Z87-Pro Tuning Software
- Z87-Pro Applications
- ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme
- Z87H3-A2X Extreme Firmware
- Z87H3-A2X Extreme Tuning Software
- Z87H3-A2X Extreme Applications
- Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H
- Z87X-UD4H Firmware
- Z87X-UD4H Tuning Software
- Z87X-UD4H Applications
- MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
- Z87-GD65 Gaming Firmware
- Z87-GD65 Gaming Tuning Software
- Z87-GD65 Gaming Applications
- Test Settings And Benchmarks
- Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Results: SiSoftware Sandra
- Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: File Compression
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- Picking Our First Z87-Based Winner