ECS Z77H2-AX Gold Edition
Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors are slowly penetrating more into the retail market, and soon we’ll see if Ivy will make a large impact. Initial testing shows Ivy Bridge CPUs are about 5% faster core-for-core over its older siblings the Sandy Bridge processors. For those who are unfamiliar with Intel’s development, Ivy Bridge follows Intel’s Tick Tock strategy. Intel initiated a development plan that generates a Tick; The development of new silicon while increasing transistor density every other year and a Tock; Engineering new micro-architecture on the flip side. The two alternate every other year so Sandy Bridge brought the Tock and the release of Ivy Bridge, has kept the clock ticking.
Intel’s last tick cycle showed a larger increase in performance with Westmere so some feel let down with Ivy Bridge, but Intel brings a new dynamic to the table called Tri-Gate 3D Transistors. The new technology brings a more efficient approach but increases heat to the Ivy Bridge CPU’s. That said, there still is a choice between Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge seeing they both use Socket 1155.
With the program in place, Intel introduced the Z77 chipset. The Z77 chipset replaced its predecessor, the Z68 chipset. With bandwidth at a premium, the Z77 chipset brings PCIe 3.0 and USB 3.0 along with some other neat features and as of late, Pure Overclock has seen a slew of Z77 motherboards to say the least. We have seen not only some terrific updated looks but really innovative features from every manufacturer; more features than we have ever seen.
With that said, we have an nice surprise for all. Elite Group has introduced their Z77H2-AX Gold Edition motherboard. ECS bypassed the Z68 chipset and now we know why; they have spent some time and thought in a new flagship product here. The Z77H2-AX Gold Edition brings a bold and exciting new look, so without further ado, let’s get the board on the bench and see what it can unleash.