ECS p67h2-a

Built on an ATX PCB, the P76H2-A has an impressive 14-phase power management design that includes solid capacitors and Ferrite chokes. All of that should mean stability when the board is being overclocked.

The P67 chipset and the MOSFETs sit under some fairly hefty passive heatsinks connected together by heatpipes, while the Lucid HydraLogix 200 chip sits all alone under a low profile heatsink, which again is passive.

One of the first things that you notice when looking at the ECS P76H2-A – apart from the striking black, white and grey colour scheme – is the collection of three PCI-E graphics slots.

The top two slots are positioned with enough distance between them so graphics cards with large coolers can be used together with out too many problems, but the third slot is positioned very close to the bottom edge of the board so any heftily cooled card will overhang the board.

This wont be a problem in most chassis, but generally any of the cards capable of three-way multi-GPU will be the high-end cards, which will usually have chunkier cooling arrays.

The top slot always runs at full x16 speed, while the second runs at x16 if two graphics cards are used (CrossFire or SLI) but the speed drops to x8 if three cards are used. That third slot will always run at x8 regardless of whether the two other slots are filled.

As well as graphics cards, if you've also got a lot of external devices to plug into your board, the ECS P67H2-A Black Extreme will fit the bill nicely.

Apart from the previously mentioned USB 3.0 ports, the board supports up to 14 USB 2.0 ports (six on the rear I/O panel and eight more through four motherboard headers) and there are two eSATA 6Gbps on the back panel along with two Gigabit LAN connectors.

We liked

ECS has taken a bold step by adding the Lucid technology to the board, and it does give a lot of flexibility when it comes to setting up the graphics.

The inclusion of the USB 3.0 panel is a nice idea too, because it allows you too add front USB 3.0 ports to a case, which are only just beginning to surface on the latest PC case designs.

We disliked

The one real dislike about the board will only really concern you if you want to overclock it. We had an early version of the Aptio BIOS that had an unfinished look about it, which will hopefully improve with any upgrades coming down the line.