ECS has released two motherboard models for the new socket LGA2011 platform, the X79R-AX and the X79R-AX Deluxe, targeted to the most high-end processor Intel offers for desktops today, the Core i7 “Sandy Bridge-E” models. Let’s take a look at the X79R-AX, which comes with four PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, eight SATA-600 ports, six USB 3.0 ports, and more.

To better understand the differences between the two socket LGA2011 motherboards released by ECS, we compiled the table below. Despite its name, the “Deluxe” version has fewer features.

  X79R-AX X79R-AX Deluxe
Form Factor ATX ATX
Memory Sockets 4 4
PCI Express x16 4 (x16/x8/x16/x8) 4 (x16/x8/x16/x8)
PCI Express x1 2 2
Standard PCI 0 0
SATA-300 4 4
SATA-600 4 2
SAS-600/SATA-600 4 4
eSATA-600 2 0
USB 2.0 10 10
USB 3.0 6 6
FireWire 0 0
Gigabit Ethernet 2 1
Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g/n Yes No
Bluetooth 2.1 Yes No
Price USD 310 NA

In Figure 1, you see the ECS X79R-AX motherboard.

ECS X79R-AX motherboardFigure 1: ECS X79R-AX motherboard

The ECS X79R-AX has a strip thermometer attached to the chipset heatsink, as you can see in Figure 2. A similar strip is available on the heatsink of the voltage regulator circuit, which changes its color according to the temperature. See Figure 3.

ECS X79R-AX motherboardFigure 2: Chipset thermometer

ECS X79R-AX motherboardFigure 3: Thermal strip on the voltage regulator heatsink

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.