ECS Shows off Their First Thunderbolt Motherboard James White November 20, 2012 Press Release 1 Flares 1 Flares × ECS continues to add to their Black Series of motherboards. Used more as branding to identify motherboards ECS has gone the extra mile to ensure the highest quality they can offer, the latest entry adds to the diversity: the new ECS Black Series Z77H2-A5X Deluxe with Thunderbolt Support. The Z77H2-A5X comes with a nice collection of features from ECS that are now standard for the Black Series. This includes ECS Hyper Alloy Chokes, UEFI II BIOS, USB 3.0, Ethernet, 4 DIMM slots, and 8 channel audio. In addition to these, you will also find on-board wireless, Bluetooth, and 1 mSATA slot (for mini PCIe). There are also plenty of other connections on this ECS Black Series Z77 motherboard including support for up to 3-way SLI/CrossfireX. The key feature of the ECS Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is the single Thunderbolt port which acts as the Wwiss army knife of connectors. The 10 Gbps Thunderbolt port does support Daisy chaining up to six devices and an additional DisplayPort device at the end. You could have all of your external devices for your PC connected to a single output. There are some things I like and don't like about the Z77H2-A5X. This board does have a nice list of great features and supported technologies, but it will come down to the price for me. The right price could make this a great option for those who can leverage the Thunderbolt port and other connectivity options. Full Press Release » ECS Reveals its First Motherboard with Thunderbolt Support – the Brand-New Black Series Z77H2-A5X Deluxe – Designed for Power Users and Overclockers Latest in Motherboard Technology with a Plethora of Connectivity Options November 13, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan - Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) today reveals its first motherboard with Thunderbolt support, the Brand-New Black Series Z77H2-A5X Deluxe, based on the new Intel® Z77 chipset. The Black Deluxe Series was created with power users and overclockers in mind. The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe embodies these qualities by providing all solid capacitors, triple thickness gold plating and overclocking friendly heatsinks and heatpipes. The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe combines the latest motherboard technology with the above industry quality control standards set by ECS on the Black Series. Power user features For overclockers, the ECS Z77H2-A5X Deluxe provides a wealth of tweaking, control and adjustment features. ECS' Hyper Alloy Chokes give overclockers more stability because of their high energy efficiency and heat reduction. Long-life capacitors in all critical areas guard against failure even in the most challenging conditions. Triple thickness gold plating on CPU, memory and add-on card sockets ensures the Z77H2-A5X Deluxe always provides a reliable connection, even with heavy use and in hostile environments. Improved heavy-duty heatsinks and heatpipes help dissipate heat efficiently when overclocking. Thor Ultra Protection offers complete electrostatic discharge protection for VGA, USB, LAN and HDMI ports against component damage from static electricity in dry climates. ECS' latest UEFI II: EZ BIOS also provides a modern high-resolution BIOS and Window 8 ready to work with. ThunderboltTM Support A single Thunderbolt port lets you connect high-performance data devices and high-resolution displays to a single port with up to blazing fast 10 Gbps data transfer rates. USB 2.0 in comparison only has a max throughput of 480Mbps, about 20x slower. Not only is Thunderbolt fast, but it's also convenient. Up to six Thunderbolt devices can be connected to a single connector on the PC and a native DisplayPort display can be connected at the end of the daisy chain. Support for 3 way NVIDIA® SLI or ATI CrossFireX TM The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is at the forefront of the performance desktop PC market with support for three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots and additionally, 3-way NVIDIA® SLI or ATI CrossFireX TM support, providing astonishingly realistic high-speed graphics and physics performance for the latest games and entertainment. The latest high-speed storage connectivity The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe provides enormous capacity for ultra high-speed storage. The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is equipped with 2 x SATA 6Gb/s, 3 x SATA 3GB/s, 1 x mSATA 3GB/s (from mini PCIe) and RAID 0,1,5,10 support. Fast external connectivity The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is equipped with all the external connections you need, including on-board Wireless LAN, Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth, 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, and 8 channel HD audio with ATX software support. The new Intel® Z77 chipset at the heart of the Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is the first to include USB 3.0 support without external chips, bringing greater performance, expandability and reliability. Unprecedented reliability – ECS Nonstop Certified To ensure maximum reliability and customer satisfaction, ECS has enhanced it's already stringent quality control procedures by increasing the testing cycle for its Black Series to three times longer than the industry standard and by raising the burn in testing temperature to 125% of the industry standard. Only those boards that pass ECS' 72 hours burn in test as well as a 50 degrees Celsius severe environment test can be deemed ECS Nonstop Certified.