While many gaming enthusiasts prefer to use ATX motherboards for installing multi-GPUs configurations, there are some who prefer to save their desk space with a smaller CPU chassis. We will now check out the ECS Z270H4-I mini-ITX motherboard with support for 6th and 7th Gen Intel processors (LGA 1151 socket).
Design and Specification
It may not be quite a looker, but this mini-ITX motherboard is packed with some of ECS’s best quality components on the PCB, overclocking options via the BIOS, and assured stability through the industry level testing procedures, all of these which are collectively called the ECS Durathon Technology. The 100% solid capacitors are claimed to be capable of withstanding degrees up to 350-degrees (not that any mini-ITX motherboard will heat up that much). There is another feature called the Hybrid VRM that offers efficient power regulations and helps in reducing lags between different power states.
The stability of the ECS Z270H4-I mini-ITX motherboard is capable of handling extreme temperatures up to 60-degrees and at the same time providing a stable working performance with very little cooling. The layout of the motherboard is simple. There are two DIMM RAM slots that support up to DDR4 2133 non-ECC and 3200 (overclocked). However, the maximum capacity that the motherboard can accept is 32GB.
On the right side of the LGA 1151 CPU socket is a black heat sink. Near the heat sink is the M.2 SSD slot with space for 2242 Type SSD’s. The PCI-e slot 3.0 with x16 lanes is located on the very right side of the motherboard.
The back-panel ports include one PS/2 connector, one audio connector, one Display Port, one HDMI port, one S/PDIF output, 5 x USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and surprisingly two RJ-45 ports. While most of the essential ports and connections are there, we did notice that there is an empty slot in the back panel that could have been filled with more USB 3.0 ports.
Testbed and Benchmarks
We used an Intel i5-6500 Skylake processor with 2x 4GB RipJaw 4 RAM sticks and a SAPPHIRE Nitro Radeon RX 460 graphics card to test the ECS Z270H4-I mini-ITX motherboard. We didn’t have any other high-end GPU with a smaller chassis that can fit the mini-ITX motherboard at the time of reviewing, so excuse us for the entry-level card.
Our Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD comes with Windows 10 Pro installed. We tried out several benchmark tools such as CineBench R15, GeekBench, Futuremark tests, CrystalDiskMark and some games at 1080p resolution.
Choosing a mini-ITX motherboard can be quite tricky since these motherboards are limited in space when it’s about adding more powerful components into your system. The ECS Z270H4-I mini-ITX motherboard allows users to take advantage of unlocked Intel K processors and overclock them. The performance of the motherboard is quite good and we think that anyone can build a great small-sized gaming PC with this motherboard and some of today’s small-sized high-end graphics cards like the Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini-ITX OC 8G.