We haven't seen an ECS DRONE board here since Morry reviewed the Z87GH3-A3X last January but the series is still alive. MadShrimps wrapped up a review of the newer ECS Z97I-Drone, a Mini-ITX board which should soon be available for under $100. The board will support DDR3-3000 and M.2 storage as well as being designed with 5-Phase PWM and ICY Chokes and other features that first appeared on higher end boards but are now available at the lower end as well. Since it is a Micro-ITX board there is only room for a single PCIe 3.0 16x slot which does limit the system somewhat but still performs up to spec. Check out the full review to see if this is a board you want to build a SFF system with.
"ECS does not disappoint with the release of the cheap ECS Z97I-Drone which allows installation of a powerful Haswell processor which can be paired with RAM up to 16GB and eventually a potent VGA card inside the provided PCI Express x16 slot; be warned however that using a beefy CPU cooler will likely cover the PCI-Express slot completely so we would recommend either sticking with the stock Intel cooler or adopting an all-in-one water cooling solution, which is so accessible these days."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock Z97 Anniversary Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- MSI X99S MPower @ Kitguru
- Asus A88X-Gamer @ Kitguru
- MSI B85M ECO Micro ATX Motherboard Review @HiTech Legion
- Gigabyte H81M-S2PH Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets