ECS has a reputation for building strong, durable motherboards for offices and general purpose PCs. They have been trying break away from that image and focus more on PC gaming in recent years. The new ECS L337 Intel Z97 motherboard has some big shoes to fill, but I think ECS may have hit all the right marks.

The Z97 L337 motherboard has everything you could want from a high-end gaming Intel board. You have support for native 4k, dual graphics, premium sound by Sound Blaster Cinema 2 and ESS SABRE DAC. It also comes with Intel Gigabit Ethernet optimized for gaming, M2 SSD expansion slot, and that ECS durability. If you needed it for gaming, the Z97 L337 has it.

I think ECS gets overlooked when it comes to high-end gaming boards and I think that will stop very soon. The Z97 L337 comes with all the other bells and whistles as well, like the UEFI BIOS, overclocking software, M.I.B. X Intelligent functions, and more. The naming scheme here is a little too on the nose, but the specs live up to the name. More details below.

[hide-this-part morelink=”Full Press Release”]

ECS Launches New Intel® 9-Series, L337 Gaming Motherboard

Unbeatable Gaming Headset Performance for Hardcore PC Gamers

11 May 2014, Taipei, Taiwan – The all-new ECS L337 Gaming Z97-MACHINE brings together numerous features and advantages demanded by hardcore PC gamers. It uses the new Intel® Z97 Express Chipset, enabling support for some of the fastest processors available, including Intel® 4th and 5th Generation Core i7, i5, i3 Processors. Z97-MACHINE also ships with Pro Gaming Performance Features, thanks to Extreme Audio combo with ESS SABRE Premier DAC and Sound Blaster Cinema 2, Hybrid Power Module Design, Dual Graphic and Native 4K support, the latest M.2 Expansion for SSD, Intel®Ethernet Gigabit LAN optimization for gaming, and a high quality, extreme tested all components platform and design that is unmatched`1 in the industry.

Gaming Focus

As a member of the L337 Gaming motherboard family, the Z97-MACHINE benefits from a legacy of ECS’s gamer-friendly design. From start to finish, this motherboard aims to enable better, more enjoyable gaming on a PC at a great starting price for players looking for excellent performance at an even better value.

Premium Hardware Design: Hybrid Power

L337 Exclusive Hybrid Power yields a fantastic overclocking experience for enthusiasts. Featuring Dual Advanced MOSFETs provides up to 90% power efficiency, which allows for extreme heat dissipation with the optimal combination of fast switching, highly efficient power conversion and low on-resistance. It adopts 100% ultra long lifespan Nichicon Japanese Caps delivering the highest standard of stability, reliability and longevity to fulfill hard-core gamers’ demand and over-clocking application. ECS Icy Choke provides 1.5X greater stability offering 50° wider temperature range and reducing heat by 13% more than standard ferrite chokes, even under full loading operations.Hybrid Digital 6-Phase PWM Designed to manage microprocessor core and memory voltage regulator with auto phase shedding for easy setting, high system flexibility.

Optimized Expandability: M.2 Interface for SSD

The latest evolution of M.2 socket provides a better and faster standard for connecting NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor) solid state drives with up to 10Gb/s by PCIe or SATA support. Z97-MACHINE’S M.2 socket provides a wide range of support including 42mm, 60mm and 80mm version SSD in the identical 22mm width design.

Unbeatable Audio Combo: World-Class ESS SABRE Premier Audio DAC

Z97-MACHINE is the First to adopt ESS SABRE Premier Amplifier in the world, which is the highest quality audio DAC converter for high-fidelity gaming headsets with a full range of dynamic sound and less distortion of using audio applications. Comboed with the latest Sound Blaster Cinema 2, it delivers an exceptional audio experience with incredibly realistic performance and stunning surround effects, such as Surround, Crystallizer, Bass, Dialog Plus and Smart Volume.

Pro Gaming Experience: 2-Way CrossFireX / Native 4K Ultra HD / Intel Ethernet

Z97-MACHINEsupports 2-Way AMD®CrossFireX™ GPU scaling allowing you to double your graphics performance through 2 x Gen.3 PCI-Express X16 Slots with a bandwidth of 32 GB/s at 8 Ghz for the highest stability and connectivity. Lastly, on-board integrated graphics are gaming ready with 4K display and DirectX 11.1 compatibility for the latest compute shaders, direct 2D, multithreaded rendering and tessellation for rich realistic graphics and fluid gameplay. It’s the perfect complement to the integrated triple display output, which provides out of the box triple simultaneous monitor output.

For networking, Z97-MACHINE adopts Intel® I218V Ethernet, which is the No. 1 Intel® networking technology with the most stable speed for gaming, ultra low power consumption and lower latency.

ExclusiveDesign for Power Users

Z97-MACHINEimplements newEZ BIOS UEFI and M.I.B. X Motherboard Intelligence functions, such as the new pre-configured overclocking profiles, providing a fantastic overclocking experience for enthusiasts. Functional software is bundled with Sound Blaster Cinema 2, which delivers professional live performance-quality surround audio for music, movies and games. Also provided, is ECS’s exclusive EZ Charger technology, which recharges modern mobile devices three times as fast as standard USB ports, even after the system is shut down, as long as the PC is still connected to a wall socket. EZ charger can safely provide up to 3 times the current of standard USB ports. Additional software includes Norton anti-virus software, Muzee, Cyberlink Media Suite, and the ECS iEZ utility, which combines the eBLU BIOS Live Update Utility, the eDLU Drivers Live Update Utility and the eSF Smart Fan Utility.

The material used throughout Z97-MACHINE is tailored for the aspiring hardcore gamer looking for a high performance rig and high performance stability. This endurance adds to the value offered by this new gaming motherboard, as it is intended for prolonged extended use and overall motherboard longevity.

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