A Closer Look
The ECS Z87H3-A2X Golden motherboard is a full size ATX motherboard. It features the Intel Z87 chipset. The black, gold, and chrome color scheme works well for this board. It’s nice to see something other than black/red or black/blue. Don’t get me wrong, I like those color combinations, but a little variety is nice.
The area around the CPU socket is relatively clean. There should not be any issues with heatsink fan installation. The VRM cooler for enough it it should just clear most coolers.
The heatsink that cools the VRM is actively cooled using a tiny fan at the lower edge. The fan is plugged into the PWR_FAN header on the motherboard. During normal operation, the fan is silent, but manually crank up the juice and it produces a high pitched sound that while is not overly annoying, it can be heard.
The ECS Z87H3-A2X Golden motherboard features a standard set of four DDR3 memory slots. One thing to note is the memory slots are all one color, instead of using two different colors for bank #1 and bank #2. The memory slots are clearly labeled at the top of the motherboard. The recommended installation is populate memory slots #2 & #4 first then #1 & #3 if using all four slots. ECS has included a voltage measuring point located towards the bottom right of the memory modules. One pin is ground and the others are used for measuring voltage for such items as CPU Vore, DIMM voltage, and PCH Voltage. A standard voltmeter is used to measure voltage at these points. A standard 24-pin ATX power supply header is located at the far right edge of the motherboard.
The ECS Z87H3-A2X Golden motherboard features three PCI-E 16x slots, 1 PCI-E 1x slot, and one PCI slot. The top two PCI-E slots are spaced to facilitate either nVida’s SLI or ATI’s CrossFireX configuration, if using a multi-GPU setup the top two slots run at 8x each. If using three graphics cards the bottom PCI slot will be blocked however, the lower edge connectors for USB, Front panel audio will not be if using three cards.
Again, moving towards the right edge of the ECS Z87H3-A2X Golden motherboard you have the south bridge. The heatsink on the southbridge has a heat sensitive material that changes colors as it heats up. There is also a LED display for diagnostic codes. Each code is listed in the back of the user manual.