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ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme Golden (Gank Machine) Motherboard Review

Posted July 26, 2013 by Kenny in CPU & Motherboards







Total Score


Manufacturer: ,
Price at time of Review: Newegg $239.99


Great Aesthetics Appeal, Onboard Wifi & Bluetooth, Great Layout design


Blocks SATA Port if Multiple Graphics cards used
ECS has revamped its aesthetics and given this Z87 chipset motherboard a pleasing to the eye experience. The performance to value ratio is fair and on point for its features.
by Kenny
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8 Series Chipset

With a new processor, comes a new chipset. With the Haswell platform, Intel has developed five desktop chipsets to meet the demands of various enthusiasts, from budget builders to high-end gamers and more. We have the following: B85, H87, Q85, Q87 and finally the Z87 chipset which we will be taking a look at today.

Let’s take a look at some comparaison charts for the previous 7 series chipset vs. today’s 8 series chipset.


Taking a look at the two side by side, you will first notice a couple of differences immediately. First is its new I/O Port flexibility. We see that the 8 series chipset will support six native USB 3.0 ports vs. the previous four. It also supports up to six native SATA 6Gbps ports.

To give you a better idea of what the Z87 chipset looks like, let’s take a look at Intel’s break down grid.

Breaking down the grid, the Z87 didn’t change a whole lot. It still has most of the same previous controllers in place as the Z87. The z87 also still supports PCIe 3.0 lanes for great multi-graphics card support like Crossfire and SLI. What this breaks down to is the PCIe 3.0 (generation 3) lanes are able to provide 32GB/s of bandwidth. With the new developments in today’s graphics cards, we can definitely see the increased need for PCIe 3.0.

However, graphics isn’t the only arena to join in on the increased PCIe bandwidth. We are starting to see the expansion of PCIe add-on cards and storage devices. Compared to the previous generation, the lanes are now capable of handling 1GB/s per lane, so PCIe 3.0 at x16, can handle up to 16GB/s of bandwidth for add on devices.

Breaking it down to the USB channels, you can clearly see that the USB 3.0 channels are now supported by the Intel chipset. This was a nice change to see for users and manufacturers, because it can now support up to 6x USB 3.0 natively.

Before we continue, we also have some of Intel’s lesser performance chipset charts available. Please take a look below:

Please click on tab for content:

B85 Chipset

Q85 Chipset

Q87 Chipset

Now let’s take a look at Haswell.

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    Having been born and raised in Houston, TX growing up gank meant to steal something. Maybe this is a regional thing, I don’t know.


    Why is that passive coller between cpu sockett and rear panel ports so tall. IT could make problems for some aftermarket cpu collers (for example Scythe Grand Kama Cross).


    coolers not collers

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