X79R AX 430300 ECS X79R AX Motherboard Review

ECS isn't usually the first brand name that springs to mind when considering an enthusiast motherboard despite being one of the largest motherboard manufacturers. Up for review today we have the X79R-AX, one of the most feature rich X79 motherboards available. Let's see if it can go toe to toe with the big boys and put itself on the shortlist of the hardcore enthusiast.

Introduction

IMG 2095 ECS X79R AX Motherboard Review

ECS isn't usually the first brand name that springs to mind when considering an enthusiast motherboard despite being one of the largest motherboard manufacturers. Up for review today we have the X79R-AX, a part of their premium Black edition range and one of the most feature rich X79 motherboards available. Let's see if it can go toe to toe with the big boys and put itself on the shortlist of the hardcore enthusiast.

Before we go into the X79R-AX, we begin with a general overview of the Socket 2011 platform supporting second generation Intel Core I7 processors. Quad channel memory support and more PCIe lanes are the major improvements over the mainstream Sandy Bridge platform.

The ECS X79R-AX brings more than these specs would suggest. It adds features such as integrated WiFi, Bluetooth and no doubt the most interesting feature: four Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) ports resulting in twelve SATA ports plus another pair of eSATA ports on the back panel.

Intel SNB E LLPT PressDeck Page 21 ECS X79R AX Motherboard Review

Specifications of the ECS X79R-AX

CPU Supports 2nd Gen Intel Core i7 processor family for the LGA 2011 Socket
Chipset Intel® X79 Express Chipset
Memory  Quad-channel DDR3 memory architecture
º 4 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket support up to 64GB, per one DIMM support 16GB
º DDR3 2500(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1800/1600
Expansion Slots º 4 x PCI Express x16 Gen3.0 slot (2 slots run at x8 bandwidth)
º 2 x PCI Express x1 slots
Storage º Support by Intel®X79
    • 2 x Serial ATA 6Gb/s devices
    • 4 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s devices
    • 4 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s devices(SAS6G1_2, SAS6G3_4) *
    • RAID0, RAID1, RAID5, RAID 10 configuration
º Support by ASMEDIA ASM1061
    • 2 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s devices
    • 2 x eSATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
º *User please be notice due to chipset limitation, the compatibility and stability of SATA port(SAS6G1_2/3_4) may differ by different devices.
Audio º Realtek ALC892 8-Ch High Definition audio CODEC
º Compliant with HD audio specification
LAN º Dual RealTek RTL 8111E Gigabit Lan
Rear panel I/O º 4 x USB 3.0 ports
º 6 x USB 2.0 ports
º 2 x eSATA 6.0Gb/s ports
º 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port
º 2 x RJ45 LAN connectors
º 1 x Audio port (1x Line in, 4x Line out, 1x Optical SPDIF Out)
º 1 x Wireless LAN Dongle
º 1 x Bluetooth Dongle
º 1 x Clear_CMOS button
Internal I/O Connectors & Headers º 1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
º 1 x 8-pin ATX Power Supply Connector
º 1 x 4-pin power connector for VGA card
º 2 x 4-pin CPU_FAN connector (with smart fan)
º 1 x 3-pin SYS_FAN connector (with smart fan)
º 2 x 3-pin PWR_FAN connector
º 4 x Serial ATA 3Gb/s connectors (90 degrees)
º 8 x Serial ATA 6Gb/s connectors (90 degrees)
º 2 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 4 USB ports(One support EZ Charger)
º 1 x USB 3.0 header supports additional 2 USB 3.0 Ports
º 1 x COM header
º 1 x SPDIF out header
º 1 x Front panel switch/LED header
º 1 x Front panel audio header
º 1 x Clear CMOS header
º 1 x Buzzer
º 6 x Voltage measure points
º 1 x Power on button
º 1 x Reset button
º 1 x 7S-LED Display
BIOS º AMI BIOS with 64Mb SPI Flash ROM
º Supports Plug and Play, STR (S3) / STD (S4) , Hardware monitor, Multi Boot
º Supports ACPI & DMI
º Audio, LAN, can be disabled in BIOS
º Support ECS M.I.B X Utility
º Support EZ Charger
º Support eBLU
º Support eOC
º Support eDLU
º Support eSF
Form Factor º ATX Size 305mm*244mm