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ECS X79R-AX Intel LGA 2011

cadaveca

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With the launch of Intel's latest well under way, ECS has sent us another warrior to battle the twin dragons of injustice, the ECS X79R-AX. Undoubtably the best board ECS has ever released, the ECS X79R-AX is ready for battle, after receiving training no ohter boards has. Set to finally banish the dragons back to the demise they planned for humanity, the ECS X79R-AX has hit the TechPowerUp testing battlefield.

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Looks good

Thanks for review.

Seems that if I will decide to replace my BloodRage, this one could be good choice. Not sure if Foxconn QF 2011 board will be worth something, maybe you should review that too? When it will be out (if its not already).
 
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just 4 ram slots, i hope they will show 8 slots
 

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yeah four ram slots is fail especially when quad channel is a selling point:shadedshu
 

cadaveca

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yeah four ram slots is fail especially when quad channel is a selling point:shadedshu

Hmm, four slots = quad channel. I don't get what you mean here.:laugh:

Using just 1 slot per channel allows for shorter carriers in the board itself, allowing for higher memory overclocks. It does kinda suck that 32 GB is restricted to 8GB DIMMs, but with 2400 MHz 8 GB DIMMs out already, you're not giving up much by having less slots.

To keep 64GB affordable, yes, 8 slots would have been nice. I don't see many users actually installing 64 GB of ram though...and those that do, do have other options.

Thanks for review.

Seems that if I will decide to replace my BloodRage, this one could be good choice. Not sure if Foxconn QF 2011 board will be worth something, maybe you should review that too? When it will be out (if its not already).

I used to have a contact at Foxconn, but he moved to another company when the SKT 755 motherboard team was disbanded. I wasn't evne sure they were going to be maknig X79 boards, but I guess they are. I'll see what I can do about that.
 
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cadaveca

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Considering the prices of other "high-end" X79 solutions($400++), seems reasonable to me. The platform itself is just expensive, and this is the only board with the X79 SAS ports active. there are 10 other products with higher price tags, from other vendors, obviously.

The Gigabyte UD5 and ASUS P9X79 PRO, both mid-range X79 boards, are priced higher, even.

I have the GA-X79-UD5, and the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe. Those reviews I'll be finishing up next week. Working on G.Skill memory review right now. I've already benched the board and done OC testing, jsut haven't looked at hte numbers. We'll see what's the best performing option in the end!
 
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Benchmark Scores Faster than yours... I'd bet on it. :)
$310 for an ECS board?!?!?!? That's like buying a G-Wiz and putting $15K worth of upgrades on the car. Sure it looks a lot better but it's still a G-Wiz, same with ECS.

G-Wiz for those who don't know what I'm talking about:
http://www.google.com/search?um=1&hl=en&safe=off&biw=1280&bih=832&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=G-Wiz&btnG=Search
Agreed. Its like rosewill trying to shake its crap name off PSU's since now it has a couple good ones out.

But it seems like a decent board... it leaves a bit to be desired in the looks department but... nice regardless.

Nice review cad. :toast:
 
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YAY skt2011 review! I'm really happy that they decided to include both the southbridge and MOSFET chromatic temperature "readouts" on this board. One thing I noticed that I'm not sure you commented on (read through pretty quickly) was if you had to remove the top GPU to remove your RAM or not (because this board doesn't have those one-side only DIMM levers).

And for some reason, looks-wise this board doesn't do it for me like my P67 does. Maybe it's how small the overall cooling solution is, or just how odd skt2011 boards look in general. Either that or I'm secretly wishing for an affair with a certain UD7...
 

cadaveca

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There is just enough room to open the clips on both sets of DIMMs. It might be an issue with come cards with larger backplates. I still had the board in my testbench, so I just quickly checked.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the one-sided clips, and told ASUS so, too. It's far too easy too end up with a improperly inserted DIMM, and that "click" of the clips is just too reassuring to me.


What I do not like about X79 boards is the retention mechanism. It almost feels like you're gonna rip it off the board when you close it.:laugh:
 
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I agree that I'm not a big fan of the one-sided clips, but for 2011 it might be the way to go if you're trying to squeeze as many slots in as you can onto a standard ATX board, IMO. Nothing more irritating than having to remove hardware that you didn't plan on moving just to replace something else. It may be patented by ASUS though.
 
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Are you sure about the board having the mythical 4 SAS ports instead of another controller? Have you tested them to see if they actually work?
 

cadaveca

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Sure, they work. They aren't SAS ports, just standard SATA 6. I apologize if that wasn't clear enough. The manual states that they may not work with some drives, but doesn't give too much info on specific models. There is a long lsit of drives listed as compatible on thier website though.

Marketing material states that there is SAS support, but I do not have devices to test if that works or not. In the BIOS is an option to enable/disable an optional controller BIOS that probably has something to do with it being capable of SAS support.


Although Intel downgraded the X79 Patsburg chipset, there are seperate SKUs that do offer the functionality.
 
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What? Couldn't give us a Mini-SAS port?! Bastards ;) No, I'm really glad that they're utilizing it. The rest of you manufacturers should be ashamed!

The slottage is nice too. Only thing that would stop me from this board is that I'd like go with 8 DIMM slots. If that wasn't enough by itself (I could live with 32GB), some of the other boards have slightly nicer niceties such as Intel LAN.
 

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Once again i really like what has been done with heat sensitive materials but i think the southbridge sticker the range of numbers starts too high and possibly goes too high.
When you overclocked and got the sticker to 55c did you use any additional voltage on the south bridge? or is it even safe or useful to do so? (I'm not very familiar with Intels newer chipsets)

I would love a heat sensitive sticker covering the whole board, think the ASUS TUF thermal armor but instead of a gap for air have a big thermal pad so as parts of the board heat up the colour changes radiate out from the heat source.... probably would not work as well as it does in my head and not a good idea to insulate the whole board with a thick sticker but i still think it would look cool.

Thanks for another great review :toast: it's rare to find reviews where they show off the product in question so well including taking off the heat sinks, I'm glad you have been getting these ECS boards as i think they are after my money and your reviews do a great job at teasing and tempting me to buy even if i don't intend to get a new motherboard quite yet.
But with each review i have seen in recent years my opinion on them has been slowly changing, in the past to me ECS meant OEM type or low end boards but it seams they are doing everything they can to change that image and produce awesome boards, although the ECS A990FXM-A showed (to me at least) they are not quite 100% there yet.
 

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Awesome review and I love how more tests have been added. This board makes me want to go Intel, lol. IT also looks like they took a que from Asus and have an ez shield backplate
 

cadaveca

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The backplate is NOT padded on this board. It it simply painted black.


I have quite a few tests I've added to my testing routine. I've also started testing SATA2 and SATA3 with SSD's, as well as overall system power consumption, all of which will be added into future reviews.

I handed in another review yesterday, and have two more X79 boards to do next week, and then it looks like I'll be taking a break over Christmas unless I can get a couple more samples. Anyway, the break will provide me with the time to go back to older boards I've tested, and re-test them with the new hardware. I've got a few done, but still have a few left, too. Hopefully then we'll be starting the new year, with a bunch of new tests and info.
 
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I'm getting this motherboard today packed with i7 3930k with 8gb DDR3 Ram. Let see if it's still worth to buy. Seller says problem with GPU,motherboard only accept 2.0 GPU. He tried 3.0 different Gpu's but no display. I noticed in his advert he used 2nd pcie slot 8x because There is no room for first slot 16x because of the noctua huge cooler. Hopefully it will work on me. Will update soon.
 
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