up
en ru ua
menu


BeQuiet_.gif

logo minifile

::>Motherboards > 2014 > 09 > ECS Z97I-DRONE

Print version
Republish review

25-09-2014


rss

ECS Z97I-DRONE motherboard: review and testing

The hero of our today's review motherboard ECS Z97I-DRONE refers to the original concept of L337 Gaming. It includes a series of three devices: ECS Aggro for models based on chipsets from AMD and ECS KILL STEAL and ECS GANK - for solutions based on chipsets from Intel. In this case all the devices are divided into three classes: DOMINATION, MACHINE and top DRONE.

As a result, on the basis of marking new item we have a flagship device of lineup ECS L337 Gaming GANK DRONE. The product is positioned as the new ultra-compact solution for gamers. On the market of the USA it will be offered at a price of around $ 100.

However, let's finally move on to the study of the characteristics of ECS Z97I-DRONE.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

The specs:

Producer

ECS

Model

Z97I-DRONE (rev 1.01)

Chipset

Intel Z97

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th and 5th generation: Intel Haswell, Intel Haswell Refresh, Intel Devil`s Canyon, Intel Broadwell

Memory frequency

800 / 1333 / 1600 / 3000 (OC) MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM- slots with memory support up to 16 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 x M.2 (for Wi-Fi / Bluetooth-module)

Disk subsystem

Intel Z97 chipset supports:

5 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Intel WGI218V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC1150

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power connectors

1x24-pin ATX main power connector

1x8-pin ATX12V power connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)              

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on the chipset

Aluminum radiators on power subsystem elements

External I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 х DVI-D

1 x LAN (RJ45)

4 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

1 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

5 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS reset

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty brochure

Driver and utility disc

4 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form factor,

Dimensions

Mini-ITX

170 х 170 mm

Producer website

ECS

Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on support page

Packaging and content

ECS Z97I-DRONE

The novelty is shipped in a vertically oriented box made of cardboard and equipped with a handle for easy carrying. Printing is framed according the company colors concept ECS L337 Gaming, namely black and gold. Most of the front side is reserved for the logo of the above concept, as well as for the name of the model. Slightly below is marked the support of operating system Windows 8 and technology Sound Blaster Cinema 2.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

On the reverse side of the box, in addition to the image of the motherboard, its interface board and a short list of specifications, are the main advantages of ECS Z97I-DRONE, namely:

  • HYBRID POWER - the power subsystem is based on a digital PWM controller, and includes five phases. It is composed of high quality components: Japanese solid capacitors; chokes ICY CHOKES increasing the stability of the supply voltage at the output and extend the boundaries of operating temperatures, as well as load-bearing elements built on technology Dual Advanced MOSFET, with an efficiency of 90%. The exclusive radiator design that provides improved performance heat sink is used.
  • Expandability - thanks flagship chipset Intel Z97 there is a support of slots M.2 (NGFF), which is used for connection of the wireless interfaces Wi-Fi / Bluetooth, which will be especially important for compact multimedia and gaming system.
  • Sound Blaster Cinema 2 - the technology responsible for the software to improve the quality of sound as well as its fine-tuning in the bundled software.
  • Networking - LAN subsystem is based on the qualitative and the high-speed controller produced by Intel.
  • Gaming - USB 2.0 ports on the interface panel are optimized for manipulators with a high sampling rate (up to 1000 Hz), thereby providing optimal support for gaming peripherals.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Package of motherboard ECS Z97I-DRONE includes only the most important items: CD with software, user manual, plug the interface board and four SATA-cables.

Design and features of the board

ECS Z97I-DRONE

New product is made in the PCB in black in format Mini-ITX (170 x 170mm).Its design is quite strict. Special mention is given to the radiator which is responsible for cooling of the chipset.

The arrangement of on-board elements is quite standard for the format of devices and has a very thoughtful arrangement of key ports and connectors closer to the edges of the PCB. Unfortunately, DIMM-slots are equipped with latches on both sides, and thus to extract the memory modules you have previously disable the graphics card.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Looking at the back side, you can see the traditional base plate of CPU socket, screws that secure the radiator and several controllers.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

In the upper left corner has sufficiently large number of elements. There are two 4-pin fan connectors, module of the front panel, S/PDIF Out ports, as well as two modules for activation ports USB. Total amount of USB 2.0 ports is six (two internal and four external) and six USB 3.0 (two internal and four on the interface board).

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Connection module of audio jacks in the front panel is located in the lower left corner of the interface panel.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

ECS Z97I-DRONE

The possibility of organizing a disk subsystem is presented by five SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Their operation is provided by chipset. There is a support of SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10. And M.2 connector is intended solely for the integration of wireless interface module Wi-Fi / Bluetooth.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Main board ECS Z97I-DRONE is equipped with two DIMM-slots for memory modules DDR3. Modules operating at frequencies from 800 to 1600 MHz in nominal mode and up to 3000 MHz are supported. The maximum memory capacity is 16 GB which will be more than enough for everyday tasks.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Cooling system of the product includes two aluminum radiators: one for heat removal from chipset Intel Z97, while the other covers elements of power subsystem. In the process of testing the following temperature indices were fixed:

  • radiator for chipset cooling – 38.2°C;
  • radiator for cooling of processor elements power – 46.1°C.

The results can be described as quite decent, especially if we take into account the compact dimensions of the radiators.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Processor power supply is performed via 5-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller Intersil ISL6376. All power components of CPU have high reliability level: Japanese solid capacitors, chokes ICY CHOKES increasing the stability of the supply voltage at the output and extend the boundaries of operating temperatures, as well as load-bearing elements built on technology Dual Advanced MOSFET, with an efficiency of 90%.

Basic 24-pin and additional 8-pin connectors are use for power feeding.       

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Traditionally for Mini-ITX motherboard the capabilities to extend the functionality of the motherboard ECS Z97I-DRONE are presented by a single slot PCI Express x16, which is connected to the processor and always uses all sixteen lines of the standard PCI Express 3.0.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Multi I/O capabilities are based chip ITE IT8772E.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

To support network connection there is a gigabit LAN-controller Intel WGI218V.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Sound subsystem is based on HAD codec of 8-channel sound Realtek ALC1150 that supports 2/4/5.1/7.1.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Interface panel of ECS Z97I-DRONE model contains the following ports:

  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x D-Sub;
  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 4 x USB 3.0;
  • 4 x USB 2.0;
  • 1 x Optical S / PDIF out;
  • 5 x audio ports.

Such a layout of interface panel Mini-ITX-board can be called excellent, because it includes the commonly used video output, a large number of USB ports, easy connection of multi-channel speakers, as well as an optical audio output. Note the support of displaying the image with a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels (4K Ultra HD).
For the organization of active cooling on the PCB there are two 4-pin fan connectors, one of which serves to cool the CPU, while the second is designed for system fans.

UEFI BIOS 

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Model ECS Z97I-DRONE is equipped with modern UEFI firmware based on the microcode AMI with a nice graphics interface. The main BIOS screen has the ability to switch between several preset profiles of the system.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Most of the settings related to the change in clock frequency of (BCLK), CPU, integrated graphics core and memory are grouped in section «M.I.B. X», where they are conveniently separated into thematic subsections.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Frequency multiplier allows to set module connection speed within 800-3000MHz.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

If necessary you can get the access to memory latency adjustments.

ECS Z97I-DRONE

Also there is an opportunity to fine-tune the voltage on the main components of the system.

Adjustments required to overclock and optimize the system:

Parameter

Menu name

Range

Pitch

 

Host Clock Override (1 / 100 MHz)

42,85 - 540,00

0,01

RAM frequency

Memory Frequency

800 - 3000

 

RAM Timing

DRAM Timing

tCL, tRCD, tRP, tRAS, tWR, tRFC, tWTR, tRRD, tRTP, tCWL, tREFI, tFAW, tRC

 

CPU multiplier

CPU Ratio

8 – MAX

1

 

PEG / DMI Ratio

1,00, 1,25, 1,67, 2,50

 

 

Power Limit 1 Time

1 - 96

1

Chipset voltage

PCH Core Voltage

+10 – +630

10

RAM voltage

DIMM Voltage

-240 – +400

20

 

Processor Input Voltage

1,300 – 2,150

0,010

 

CPU Adaptive Voltage Target

0 – 2000

1

 

CPU Voltage Offset

-1000 - +1000

1

 

RING Ratio

0 – MAX

1

 

RING Adaptive Voltage Target

0 – 2000

1

 

RING Voltage Offset

-1000 - + 1000

1

 

SVID Override Voltage Target

0 – 2500

1

 

UNCORE Voltage Offset

-1000 - +1000

1

 

IOA Voltage Offset

-1000 - +1000

1

 

IOD Voltage Offset

-1000 - +1000

1

ECS Z97I-DRONE

In the section «PC Health Status» you can get an access for monitoring the temperature of the processor and chipset, as well as the speed of rotation of installed fan. Additionally you can monitor the voltage on the processor core, memory modules, and on the lines +12V, +5V and +3.3V.


Социальные комментарии Cackle
Site Search
facebook vk YouTube
google+ twitter rss
top10

vote

Голосование