ECS Z97-Machine Motherboard Review

Introduction

It was just recent when we resumed reviewing motherboards again. This time, we will be taking a look at another Z97 chipset based motherboard coming from ECS, their Z97 Machine gaming motherboard. ECS have been in the market since 1987 producing motherboards, graphics cards, notebooks and other mobile products. They too have created their own gaming line of motherboards which is the L337 Gaming Series motherboards going with the trend other brands are doing as well.

The Z97-Machine is actually the first motherboard under the L337 series for Intel’s 9 series with it using the latest Z97 chipset. By now we know that the Z97 chipset is the most feature-packed chipset for the 9 series today. It supports both the 4th and 5th generation Intel Core processors. Support SATA Express of up to 10 Gb/s data transfers and other new technologies. ECS might not be one of the popular brands out there in the market but they sure do have an answer to what the competitors are offering right now. As to how well the Z97-Machine can match up to others available out there, we will find that out in this review.

ECS’ Take On The Z97-Machine

EXTREME AUDIO – WORLD-CLASS AUDIO QUALITY, INCREDIBLE DESIGN FOR L337 GAMERS

  • SABRE SOUND – ESS SABRE Premier Audio DAC is the world’s highest quality audio D/A converter for high -fidelity gaming headsets and professional audio applications.
  • Sound Blaster Cinema 2 – Sound Blaster Cinema 2 delivers an exceptional audio experience with incredibly realistic performance and stunning surround effects.

UNPARALLELED SOUND BY ESS SABRE PREMIER DAC 

  • Patented 32-bit Hyperstream DAC – DNR : 116 dB ; THD : -106 dB (DNR: Dynamic Noise Reduction ; THD:Total Harmonic Distortion)

UNBEATABLE AUDIO COMBO BY SOUND BLASTER CINEMA 2

  • Sound Blaster Cinema 2  – SBX features such as Surround, Crystallizer, Bass, Dialog Plus and Smart Volume give you the true cinema quality sound.

EXTREME HYBRID POWER – EXCLUSIVE CONPONENT DESIGN FOR ULTIMATE COOLING AND EFFICIENCY

  1. HYBRID DIGITAL PWM – Hybrid Digital 6-Phase PWM Designed to manage microprocessor core and memory voltage regulator with auto phase shedding for easy setting, high system flexibility and overclocking applications.
  2. ICY CHOKES – 1.5X greater stability offering 50° wider temperature range and reducing heat by 13% more than standard ferrite chokes, even under full loading operations.
  3. Dual Advanced MOSFET – Exclusive Dual Advanced MOSFETs providing up to 90% power efficiency, which allows for extreme heat dissipation with the optimal combination of fast switching, high efficient power conversion and low on-resistance.
  4. EXCLUSIVE HEATSINK DESIGN – L337 heatsink offers extreme cooling and heat dissipation of up to 10% more, and the style design represents the architectural homage of L337 spirit.
  5. SUPERIOR JAPANESE CAPS – Ultra long lifespan Nichicon Japanese Caps delivering the highest standard of stability, reliability and longevity to fulfill hard-core gamers’ demand and over-clocking application.

EXTREME GRAPHIC – 4K RESOLUTION & 3-WAY VIDEO ACROSS 3 SCREENS SIMULTANEOUSLY

  • 2-WAY CrossFireX and SLI Support – The most advanced multi-graphics processing technology of dual PCIe x16 Gen3, supporting AMD 2-way CrossFire to deliver up to 2X performance over a single GPU system.
  • NATIVE 4K ULTRA HD SUPPORT – Features advanced onboard 4K Ultra HD graphics, which natively support up to 4096 x 2160 pixels via HDMI. Offering immersive visuals clarity for gaming, multimedia and entertainment.

EXTREME EXPANSION – M.2 EXPANSION SOCKET FOR NGFF (NEXT GENERATION FORM FACTOR)

  • M.2 (NGFF) Interface – The latest evolution of M.2 socket provides a better and faster standard for connecting NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor) solid state drives supported by PCIe or SATA. ECS M.2 socket supports all 42mm, 60mm and 80mm version SSD in identical width 22mm design.

DirectX® 11.1 Support

The most important new feature of DirectX 11.1 is the stereoscopic 3D support. All of the power of tridimensional contents can be used by video makers and game developers to provide a more immersive and modern experience for the viewer.

EXTREME NETWORKING – SUPER FAST NETWORKING FOR GAMING, NO LAG, NO HIGH PINGS

  • Intel® I218V Ethernet – No. 1 Intel® networking technology provides the most stable speed for gaming, ultra low power consumption and lower latency.

EXTREME OVERCLOCKING – UP TO DDR3 3000+ OVERCLOCKING

OTHER FEATURES

  • MAGIX MX SUITE – Cover all of your multimedia needs. Exclusively provided to ECS users to enhance your multimedia experience, and for FREE! From website creation, video and music editing, to photo management, all of your multimedia needs will be easily fulfilled by using four MAGIX MX SUITE products provided by ECS. Learn more about MAGIX MX SUITE
  • Anti-Static Design – ESD Protection design helps to avoid suffering permanent damage when subjected to momentary high voltages to increase the lifespan of motherboard. All ECS motherboards pass ESD International standard EC/EN 61000-4-2 Test and bring you stability and durability quality.
  • Speedy Storage Interface – SATA 6G, double the transfer speed of SATA 3.0 Gb/s, running at speed up to amazing 6.0Gb/s.
  • Full Duplex Operation Support – USB 3.0, ten times the transfer speed of USB2.0, running at speed up to amazing 4.9Gb/s.
  • Intel® Smart Response Technology – Better, faster performance. Intel® Smart Response Technology accelerates the system response experience by putting frequently-used blocks of disk data on a solid-state drive (SSD), providing dramatically faster access to use data than the hard disk alone can provide.
  • CyberLinkMedia Suite Bundled – Bundled the Ultimate HD & Blu-ray Player ,Best Video Editing and Backup/Burn Softwares. (30 Days Trial Version) These software are complete multimedia solutions in:
    • HD playback
    • Video Editing
    • Media burning

Let’s move on to the specifications of the Z97-Machine on the next page.



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