ECS Z370-Lightsaber 4

ECS Z370-Lightsaber Review

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Introduction


2017 was a huge year for motherboard manufacturers, with no less than four new platform launches in a little over twelve months. Coffee Lake's launch may not have been the most surprising of those, but it has proven to be an exciting one. ECS has put fourth some interesting boards over the past few generations, products with provocative names like "Claymore" and, of course, "Lightsaber". ECS is looking to start 2018 off right with the newest addition to that Lightsaber brand, the ECS Z370-Lightsaber.

The ECS Z370-Lightsaber takes the stage with promising features, like a 14 phase power design, dual BIOS, Intel Optane support, and a plethora of other overclocker friendly features. ECS has produced solid hardware in the past, offering durable, well-designed motherboards. The company's BIOS and software offerings haven't always matched up, however. The last few generations of Intel CPUs have been very forgiving in that regard, requiring very few options and very little BIOS optimization to achieve a respectable overclock. Users could expect to see meaningful overclocking by just changing the core multiplier and upping the vCore.

Coffee Lake should be the same since the unlocked K chips only need an increased multiplier and core voltage. However, the addition of two extra cores on this newest generation makes Coffee Lake a little more power-hungry when it comes to overclocking. Simply porting a BIOS over from Z270 without any back-end support for the increased power draw could lead to an overclocked CPU throttling regardless of the user's settings. So, has ECS done their homework and delivered a motherboard package capable of living up to its "Lightsaber" branding?



Specifications

Specifications
CPU Support: Supports 8th Generation Intel Core Processors (Socket 1151)
Power Design: CPU Power: 14 phase
Memory Power: 2 phase
Chipset:Intel Z370
Integrated Graphics:Dependent on installed CPU
Memory:4x DIMM, supports dual channel DDR4-3200+(OC)
BIOS:Dual AMI UEFI BIOS
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4)
3x PCIe 3.0 x1 slot
Storage: 6x SATA 6 Gb/s port
2x M.2 port (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA 6 Gb/s)
Networking:1x Bigfoot Killer E2500 (Gigabit)
Rear Ports: 1x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse combo port
1x HDMI ports
1x DisplayPort 1.2
2x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports
1x LAN (RJ45) port
4x USB 3.0 Type-A port
1x Optical SPDIF out port
4x USB 2.0 port
6x Audio jacks
Audio:Realtek ALC1150 audio codec
Fan Headers:5x 4-pin
Form Factor:ATX form factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.3 cm
Exclusive Features:
  • Dual BIOS
  • Supports Intel Optane technology
  • LED Trace Path with Multi-Color choice by MCU
  • ECS Intelligent EZ Utility: eBLU, eDLU, eSF
  • ECS MIB X
  • Dual PCIe M.2 32Gb/s
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