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Home » Reviews » Motherboards » ECS Z97-Machine Review – The L337 Gaming Motherboard

ECS Z97-Machine Review – The L337 Gaming Motherboard

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Nowadays, there are lots of Z97 motherboards to choose from. They come in different design, colors scheme, set of features and varying prices. Today we are going to review one of ECS’ gaming motherboard – the ECS Z97-Machine that falls under their L337 Gaming category and from their GANK Machine series. The Z97-Machine is basically a simple gaming motherboard that comes with a decent set of features, enough to get you started. This is actually the first ECS motherboard that went into my test bench and this will be my first experience using an ECS motherboard. I was supposed to publish this review a couple of months ago, but I decided to test the motherboard further just to make sure that it won’t suddenly die during normal day to day operation. This motherboard is basically geared towards budget PC gamers or system builders who are looking for a cost-effective solution. If you are looking for such a motherboard, stick around and continue reading my review.

ECS Z97-Machine Review

ECS Z97-Machine Motherboard Review

Before we proceed, I’d like to thank ECS for providing the Z97-Machine for the purpose of this review.

Like I said earlier, the ECS Z97-Machine comes with a decent set of features, not of ton of it, but enough to get you up and going. Obviously, it is based on Intel’s Z97 Chipset with socket LGA 1150 supporting 4th Generation Intel Core processors (Haswell and Haswell Refresh) and 5th Generation Intel Core Broadwell processors. It features a 6-phase power design with 4 DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of memory. And yes it can overclock Intel K series (unlock) processors.

ECS claims that they are using 100% solid capacitor to maximize component reliability and it features ECS Durathon Technology to ensure the stability, reliability and performance of the system. The ECS Z97-Machine also features ESD protection that prevents computers from electrostatic discharge damage, and I think all motherboards should have this kind of feature.

The ECS Z97-Machine features a user friendly UEFI BIOS interface and they call their “OC Section” the MB Intelligent BIOS X or MIB X. The MIB X is like Asus’ AI Tweaker or Gigabyte’s M.I.T. (Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker), but ECS’ MIB X comes with fewer tweaking options. It supports XMP profile, has two PCIE x16 slots supporting two-way SLI or CrossFireX, and features Realtek ALC1150 8-Channel HD audio component with ESS SABRE32 ES9010K2M DAC.

I’ll discuss more of its features as we take a close look on the motherboard on the next page. Meanwhile feel free to check the rest of the specifications of the motherboard below.

ECS Z97-Machine Specifications

ProcessorSupports New 4th & 4th gen Intel® Core™ family, Pentium, Celeron series processors in LGA1150 socket
DMI 5.0GT/s
6 Phase Thermal Design Power
VRD 12.5
100% Solid capacitor design
Intel® K Series Unlock CPU Support
ChipsetIntel® Z97 Express Chipset
Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Smart Connect Technology & Intel® Rapid Start Technology
GraphicsSupports DirectX® 11 .1
Supports Intel® HD Graphics, InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology,
Supports HDMI 1.4a & Premium Audio
MemoryDual-channelDDR3 Memory architecture
Supports DDR3 3000 non-ECC, Unbuffered SDRAM Memory
4 X 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket
Support up to 32 GB*
Intel® extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 1.3/1.2 Memory Modules
Expansion Slot2 X PCI Express X16 Gen 3.0 slot(s)
3 X PCI Express X 1 Gen 2.0slot(s)
Supports AMD CrossFire™ Technology
1 X M.2 slot for SSD
• For 2242/2260/2280 SSD
*When using two VGA cards, the bandwidth is @8 bandwidth; when using one VGA card, the bandwidth is @16.
StorageSupport by Intel® Z97 Express Chipset
• 4 X Serial ATAIII 6Gb/s
• RAID0, RAID1,RAID5, RAID 10 configuration
Supports Intel® Rapid Storage Technology
Audio8-Channel HD audio CODEC
Realtek ALC1150 8-channel High Definition audio CODEC
ESS SABRE32 ES9010K2M DAC provides DNR 116dB and THD -106dB listening experience
LANIntel I218-V Gigabit Fast Ethernet Controller
USBSupport by Z97 Express Chipset
• 6 X USB3.0 port(s) up to 5Gb/s
Back Panel 4 port(s)
Onboard 2 port(s)
• 6 X USB2.0 port(s) Up to 480 Mb/s
Back Panel 4 port(s)
Onboard 2 port(s)
ECS EZ Charger (Gray USB header)
Rear Panel I/O1X PS/2 combo connector
1X Audio port (Line-in,4x Line-out, SPDIF out)
1X RJ-45 port
1X HDMI port(s)
1X DVI-D port(s)
1X D-Sub (VGA) port(s)
1X Optical S/PDIF Out port(s)
4X USB3.0 port(s)
4X USB2.0 port(s)
Connectors and Headers1X 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
1X 8-pin ATX 12V Power Connector
2X 4-pin CPU_FAN connector
2X 4-pin SYS_FAN connector
1X 3-pin SYS_FAN connector with smart fan
1X 3-pin PWR_FAN connector
1X Power on button
1X Reset button
1X Front Panel switch/LED header
1X Front panel audio header
1X Speaker header
1X USB 3.0 header
• Support additional 2 USB ports
1X USB 2.0 header
• Support additional 2 USB ports
Support EZ charger (gray color)
1X S/PDIF out header
4X SATA III 6Gb/s connector(s)
1X CLR_CMOS header
1X Debug LED
1X Chassis intrusion header
1X Voltage measure points
System BIOSAMI BIOS with 64 MB SPI Flash ROM
Supports M.I.B X Utility
Supports ACPI 5.0 & DMI
F7 hot key for boot up devices option
Graphic OC Support
Triple Display
Plug and Play, STR (S3) / STD (S4) , Hardware monitor, Multi Boot
Multi-Language BIOS
Audio, LAN, can be disabled in BIOS
Supports PgUp clear CMOS Hotkey
CPU FSB adjustment(increase of 1MHz)
* Adjustable CPU Voltage
* Memory Voltage Adjustable
* Support CPU over-clocking function: Adjustable CPU Clock Multiplier
* HT Voltage Adjustable
* Graphic Voltage Adjustable
Form FactorATX Form Factor
305mm X 220m
OS SupportWindows 7 32-bit
Windows 7 64-bit
Windows 8 64-bit
Windows 8.1 64-bit
CertificationsCE/FCC Certification
ErP/EuP Certification
WHQL Certification
WHCK Certification
Bundle SoftwareECS Intelligent EZ Utility : eBLU, eDLU, eOC, eSF
Free Bundle: Norton Internet Security ,CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector 9, Muzee with trial version
Creative Sound Blaster Cinema2 software
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A PC enthusiast and a gamer, and my eyes eat frames for breakfast, I guess. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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