I received my samples from the US ECS offices just a few days ago, and like everyone else, I was expecting a gold and black motherboard thanks to pre-release information that came out after CeBIT. That said, I was completely blown away when I opened the shipping container and found the gold box you see above. There's not alot of stuff on the box itself, other than the ECS logo on the top left, and "Black Extreme" in the middle, with the words "Golden Board" just below. There's also the board's name shown just below that, but it proved nearly impossible to capture in pictures properly. There's also a flap on the front, shown in the second image above, behind which we find a window that lets us peer into the inside of the box, and on the other side has a bunch of logos and such depicting the technology the ECS Z77H2-AX features. I did also see a little gold card sitting inside the window, too.
The rear of the box is a mirror image of the front, including also having a flap that contains more product info. I really like this package design, as on the shelf, it's impossible to miss, and the lack of details across the front and back, and hidden in the flaps instead, really pushes the idea that this board is something special. I lost count of the number of times I said "WOW!" when I was taking these pictures, and I was so impressed I wanted to break out the white cotton gloves!
I slide the top open, as you can see in the first image above, and found that there was a whole other black box inside, and at the bottom sat the gold card I mentioned earlier, with what appeared to be a number of some sort.
I pulled out the card to find that it's a Certificate of Quality, and my "Golden Ticket" was numbered #004 of 200! I felt like Charlie opening a candy bar, and so I flipped the card over to see if it had directions on how to visit the ECS motherboard factory! Instead, I found a hand-signed note from the ECS USA General Manager letting me know that ECS assembled this product with the idea of the very best in quality in mind, just in case the packaging wasn't enough, or was wrongly interpreted as being overly "blingy" like a gold-plated Bugatti Veyron.
I opened the box to find the motherboard resting in a cardboard tray, with the included accessories in their own box below. The accessories box is pretty much as large and as deep as the motherboard tray, and is stuffed to the brim with goodies to help you get the most out of the ECS Z77H2-AX.
The included goodies are:
- 3x Extended length SLI cable
- 1x Dual Port USB 3.0 Front Panel Bracket
- 1x I/O Shield
- 1x User Manual
- 1x Quick Install Guide
- 1x Driver CD
- 2x Package of six USB dust caps
- 4x SATA 6 Gb/s cables with locking pins
- 2x SATA 3 Gb/s cables with locking pins
- 1x WiFi Antenna