ECS Z370 Lightsaber

ECS hasn’t had many boards to offer the enthusiast segment in a couple of generations, mostly focusing on the business class chipsets, like the H110 and B250. However they have continually released at least one 'enthusiast' class board per generation, more recently under the name of 'Lightsaber' or 'Claymore'. The Claymore didn’t make it to Z270, but the Lightsaber did, as well as a mITX board. With Z370 and Coffee Lake processors being released, ECS has announced their Z370-Lightsaber motherboard. This board, we are told, is targeted at gamers.

As far as looks go, the Z370 Lightsaber is fairly plain with a black PCB, black VRM heatsinks, and black and grey memory slots. There isn’t a shroud covering the rear panel, with the silver ports and the audio area in full view. The VRM heatsinks are connected via a heat pipe and look like they can do the job, with multiple rows of fins to increase surface area and aid in heat dissipation. The Lightsaber does have four RGB LED headers on the bottom which are adjustable through the BIOS, although no RGB LED elements present built into the board.

As with most ATX motherboards, we get four memory slots supporting up to 64GB in capacity, although ECS quotes the maximum supported memory speed as only DDR4-3200, compared to the DDR4-4000 range we are seeing on most other boards. The board does have three full-length PCIe slots, and three PCIe x1 for expansion. The board only supports AMD Crossfire and not NVIDIA SLI, and so the lane breakdown would be x16/x4 from the CPU for the two primary slots with the last slot being PCIe 3.0 x4 and fed from the chipset.

Storage options consist of two M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slots, with one of them supporting SATA as well. The top slot is able to hold 110mm drive while the bottom slot supports up to 80mm devices. The board comes with six SATA ports supporting RAID 0, 1,5, and 10, and has a total of five fan headers scattered around the board - one by the CPU area, another by the ATX 24 pin power connector, two across the bottom of the board, and one just below the left VRM heatsink. Audio duties are handled by the ALC1150 codec, which was last generation’s flagship model. The audio is not EMI shielded but does have independent power delivery to minimize any interference. Nichicon audio capacitors, as well as gold plated contacts round out the audio portion. The Lightsaber, a gaming-focused board, has chosen the Rivet Networks Killer E2500 network controller, and takes advantage of the network controlling features therein. The board comes with a three-digit debug LED (rather than a two-digit one) as well as onboard start/reset buttons. On the bottom of the board, there are buttons for one-touch overclocking, BIOS selection, BIOS updating, and a ROM backup button which should make backups and updates to the dual BIOS easier.

For USB connectivity, there is a total of 10 USB ports on the back panel. Two USB 3.1 (10 Gbps - only Type-A) from an ASMedia controller, four USB 3.1 (5 Gbps), and four USB 2.0. The back panel also has a single PS/2 port, a clear CMOS button, DisplayPort and HDMI video outputs, the Killer E2500 NIC, and the audio stack plus SPDIF (above the video outputs). 

Pricing nor availability was listed for the ECS Z370-Sabertooth. The Z270 Lightsaber was released at $199 and due to the similarities between the boards, we expect this to be priced similarly. 

ECS Z370-Lightsaber
Warranty Period 3 Years
Product Page Link
Price N/A
Size ATX
CPU Interface LGA1151
Chipset Intel Z370 Express
Memory Slots (DDR4) Four DDR4
Supporting 64GB
Dual Channel
Support DDR4 3200+
Network Connectivity 1 x Rivet Networks Killer E2500 LAN
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC1150
PCIe Slots for Graphics
(from CPU)
1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots @ x16 
1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots @ x4
PCIe Slots for Other
(from Chipset)
1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots @ x4
3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots @ x1
Onboard SATA 6 x Supporting RAID 0/1/5/10
Onboard SATA Express None
Onboard M.2 2 x PCIe 3.0 x4 - NVMe or SATA
Onboard U.2 None
USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) 2 x Type-A 10Gbps (ASMedia)
USB 3.1 (5 Gbps)
aka USB 3.0
4 x Rear Panel
1 x Header
USB 2.0 4 x Rear Panel
2 x Headers
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin EATX
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V
Fan Headers 2 x CPU
2 x System 
1 x Power
IO Panel 1 x PS.2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI Port
2 x USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) ports (Type-A)
4 x USB 3.1 (5 Gbps) ports
4 x USB 2.0
1 x RJ-45 LAN Port
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio Jacks
GIGABYTE Z370 HD3 MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming
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  • EricZBA - Friday, October 20, 2017 - link

    The Asus Strix Z370-G mATX may be up on Amazon's website, but it has been Out of Stock ever since the page went up with no shipping date in sight. NewEgg Canada has it out of stock and NewEgg's US website doesn't even have a page for it. To call it available is inaccurate. Reply
  • Rubinhood - Friday, October 20, 2017 - link

    Coffee Lake & related hardware is the new Duke Nukem Forever :) Reply
  • xchaotic - Monday, October 23, 2017 - link

    Well, I am typing this on Asus Strix Z370 I + i5 8400 PC so not entirely vaporware. People may be whining but it seems that Intel can't keep up with the demand... Reply
  • piiman - Thursday, October 26, 2017 - link

    got an 8600k today at Newegg. They still have stock after 4 hours so it looks like they may be starting to get large shipments. I7 is still out of stock though Reply
  • imaheadcase - Saturday, October 21, 2017 - link

    Amazon is different than newegg, if it says Out of Stock, if you order it it will ship when it comes in stock. Sometimes it will be same day even or next day. Amazon will only show "This item is not available" if completely out of stock for foreseeable future. They do this because it stops items from completely selling out right away so supply can be steady. Reply
  • Morawka - Saturday, October 21, 2017 - link

    I have found that Asus treats USA customers like a red headed step child. They will send units to the UK, australia, and all of Europe before they will send 1 single board to the USA.

    Some advice: Start looking at Overclockers.UK and have it imported to the USA.. The $30 DHL International shipping is faster than USPS Priority Mail or UPS International Express Saver. No VAT tax either.

    This is what i had to do to get a Rampage VI Extreme. Newegg hasn't gotten a R6E in stock for 2 months after the initial release batch.
    Reply
  • SpartanJet - Sunday, October 22, 2017 - link

    Does Asus USA cover warranty issues then since you bought it from UK? Reply
  • Xeres14 - Monday, October 23, 2017 - link

    Yeah I've been waiting on the Asus z370-g. I can't find an i7-8700k right now either so it's all right. Hopefully I'll be able to get both before Christmas (along with the rest of the upgrade). Reply
  • stuffwhy - Friday, October 20, 2017 - link

    This is so great. I find it increasingly difficult to find the right mainboard and this type of posting consolidates a lot of research time. Reply
  • SanX - Sunday, October 22, 2017 - link

    There are no "right" mobo here. Right future proof and super fast mobo has to be a dual-processor at least. Dual-SLI for example offers benefits for speed but in many cases the dual-chip is doing the same in simulations. Reply

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