It has finally happened. In the mad drive to add more LEDs on everything computer related, one product finally has so many LEDs that it turned into a lightsaber! Come, young LED-loving padawans, ECS has a motherboard for you: the Z170-Lightsaber.
Even though it looks nothing like a lightsaber.
For the light show, ECS placed LEDs in several places on the Z170-Lightsaber motherboard that are capable of emitting seven different colors. The LEDs can be programed from inside of the BIOS or via a Windows application. This falls short of the RGB lighting that many gamers want nowadays, but it will likely still attract system builders.
ECS clearly tried to improve the overclocking features of the board by using a digital power design and numerous power phases. The power regulation system is passively cooled by two bulky black heatsinks connected together via a heat pipe. Although this does not guarantee that the board will overclock better than others, there should be little concern about thermal throttling due to overheated power phases, which is key to overclocking.
The motherboard also has two BIOS chips with a switch to conveniently toggle between them. This is handy if you make a mistake while overclocking, but more than anything, it should give system builders peace of mind to know that if a BIOS update or failure occurs, the PC can be functional again with the flick of a switch.
ECS opted for a more relaxed series of storage connections. The board has a total of eight SATA-III (6 Gbps) ports, one SATA Express slot and a single M.2 Key M slot.
Several motherboards have been produced recently that have two or three M.2 Key M slots. Although having more of these ports might seem useful, none of Intel’s LGA 1151 chipsets really have sufficient connectivity support to operate three M.2 Key M slots in addition to all of the other ports on the motherboard. Owing to the cost of ownership, most users are unlikely to use more than one of these devices currently anyway, so having just one M.2 slot probably won’t be an issue.
The motherboard’s audio setup is also a bit lax compared to other high-end boards. ECS didn’t say which audio codec is used, but it is placed on a segmented portion of the motherboard with several high-quality Nichicon audio capacitors.
As we don’t know the price of the motherboard yet, it is hard for us to adequately compare it to current market offerings, but the Z170-Lightsaber looks to be well-designed nonetheless. Plus, who doesn’t want to be able to say they own a lightsaber? There isn’t any word on availability yet either, but be patient padawans, it will likely be out soon.