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Item#: N82E16813135385

ECS H81H3-A3 LGA 1150 Intel H81 HDMI 2 x SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

  • Intel H81
  • Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron (LGA1150)
  • DDR3 1600/1333/1066
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Learn more about the ECS (EliteGroup) H81H3-A3

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 3 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 2 years


Customer Reviews of the ECS (EliteGroup) H81H3-A3

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  • Robert M.
  • 1/14/2015 3:31:54 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsHaswell that ends well

Pros: -Stable when running under more stress than I'll ever put the board through. Nineteen passes in Memtest86+ over more than twenty-four hours, then the next twenty-four running the AIDA64 stress test with CPU/FPU/cache/system memory/GPU options enabled, all with no errors, bugchecks, or other strange behavior.

-The PCI-E 3.0 slot is separated from the slot underneath it by an extra space, so dual slot graphics cards don't waste one of your future expansion possibilities. This comes with a caveat, mind you, as you'll see among the Cons.

-All solid caps. As of this writing, the photos on the ECS website, and that you might find in, say, the jungle, feature board version A, which I take it is an engineering sample, and which has a few electrolytic caps. Based on those, and the marketing copy of "Solid Capacitor for CPU VRM", I thought only some of them would be solid, but no! The shots here on Newegg are in fact correct, and version 1.0A is solid all around.

-Nice, wide bend on the CPU retention latch. Easy to grab and slide out, and as you lift it up it even picks up the face of the bracket for you. I haven't been in the market for a new motherboard for almost seven years, so maybe this is standard, but I've never seen it, so I'm impressed.

Cons: -Incomplete Haswell Refresh support out of the box. My Pentium G3258 booted, but the IGPU didn't function, and there were problems with reset/reboot. Namely that it wouldn't, and I'd have to hold in the power button to force the system off. Furthermore, disabling "ME Control", so I could update the BIOS, would send the system into a fit of on/off cycles that prevented it from booting unless the CMOS was reset. I ended up grabbing a used Celeron G1820 to do the BIOS update; it had the same bizarre on/off business after ME Control was disabled, but eventually booted, and the BIOS updater worked like a charm (from Windows, even!). After the update the G3258 is working beautifully.

I'm not too upset, as the ECS website explains you'll need an update for these processors, but it's still disappointing: a BIOS with Haswell-R support was released about six months before I bought this thing, but I still got a board with the July 18th, 2013 build. The BIOS chip itself isn't one of the nicer socketed types, either, so it's not as if ECS could have simply sent me a new one.

-No more support for "Non Z OC". According to NewsID number 1589 in the ECS NewsRoom, both the latest BIOS and the one shipped with the board are too new to allow it. I hadn't expected to win any overclocking contests, but a little boost might have been nice. The G3258 is still a solid performer for my needs, so for me it's not a big deal, but if you're looking to overclock (and have Broadwell support for later this year) you'll be better off with a 9 series chipset.

-The blue VGA connector block is only mounted at the bottom, where it's soldered. There's no bracing anywhere else, so it's easy to accidentally bend. I managed to catch myself in time to avoid doing so, but I still came frighteningly close. You should be fine unless you're a hamfisted oaf like me when it comes to handling electronics.

-The board is narrow at only 7.5", so the DIMM slots cozy right up to the HSF mounting area. Things fit neatly on my system, with a Noctua C14 in "high profile" mode (the bottom fan removed) and a pair of Gino SO-DIMM to DIMM adapters I picked up to use some good laptop RAM I had sitting around. The adapters are thicker than most memory I've seen, even memory with heatspreaders. I did try the stock Intel cooler initially, and these oddball things fit next to that just fine, so normal RAM shouldn't be an issue. Just pay attention to clearances if you have a third party heatsink/fan.

-The CMOS battery and reset jumper are in the otherwise unused space between the graphics card slot and second PCI-E x1 slot. Large dual slot graphics cards, or aftermarket coolers like my Accelero S1 Plus, block access, so the card has to come out every time you need to reach them. Luckily you can hold Page Up on boot to reset the CMOS to its defaults, but if you ever need the actual jumper it can be a pain to get to.

Other Thoughts: To be clear, I chose to list only the surprising things in the above categories, in the interest of both brevity and reviews' character limit. Beside the Haswell Refresh stuff, which I felt warranted mentioning anyway, the other notes are things I didn't see coming (though in retrospect I should have, since most are evident when looking at the product photos). When I take into account the things I knew up front, the Pros outweigh the Cons dramatically.

This board was worth the extra legwork, for me at least. It was available at a significant discount when I bought it, and between that, a little extra from a rebate, and the going rates for used 1150 Celerons as of this writing, I consider the board a good deal. It's the only one I could find in my price range that had USB 3.0, SATA III, PCI-E 3.0 x16, and a good selection of intelligently placed expansion slots. More of those things would always be nice, but the limited number of each is mostly born of the H81 chipset, not the motherboard's engineering.

The one hoop I had to jump through to get this thing working was a pain, but worth it in my situation. At MSRP, with no rebate, and no way to get rid of the spare processor, things would be different, though there still wouldn't be many boards with this particular set of features in its price range, so I still might have chosen it.

What I'm willing to put up with myself, however, is not the same as what I'd foist on others when asked for recommendations. If you want to run a Haswell Refresh processor on this board, and either have an older Haswell already or don't mind spending the money on a spare CPU to do the BIOS update, you might find yourself pleased with the purchase. If you just want to run an older 1150 part you'll face even less hassle. Otherwise, you might be happier looking elsewhere.

Manufacturer Response:

Thank you for your feedback. It is appreciated. We need your feedback in order to improve the quality of our products and service.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this or any ECS products, please contact us. We are here to help.

I or any of my team members here at technical support will be able to help you.
Our hours are Mon-Fri 9am-6pm PST.

Thank you,
Andy
Phone# 1-510-456-9836
Email: andy_K@ecsusa.com

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  • Cameron E.
  • 8/22/2014 12:09:30 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsPretty "meh"

Pros: It's decent, but you may run into problems like me.

Cons: Cheap. I have a problem where my pc won't boot on it's first time being turned on. Have to manually reset with the power button to get it to start up. Also when I go to restart, it does everything properly but when it goes to start back up again, it does the same as when I try to boot the pc up. When I say that i mean the PC is on, fans are running, LEDs on and cpu/gpu running, but no display and mouse/keyboard/sound are off as if it's it sleep mode but has everything running.

Still haven't been able to figure out the root of the problem so it's just stuck like this for now. Thank you SSD for making up for this.

Other Thoughts: If you can go even 10 bucks higher, get something else as this was a pretty regretful purchase for me.

Manufacturer Response:

We are sorry to hear about the issue you are experiencing with your motherboard. If you haven't already, we would like for you to contact us. We would like to find out more about your configuration and work with you in finding a solution. I or any of my team members here at technical support will be able to help you.

Our hours are Mon-Fri 9am-6pm PST.

Thank you,

Andy
Phone# 1-510-456-9836
Email: andy_K@ecsusa.com

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Todd H.
  • 8/12/2014 5:10:04 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGood MOBO

Pros: it's a good basic mobo and at a good price I got it for a rebuild of an older computer and it did the job.

Cons: No front usb 3.0 headers

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anthony P.
  • 8/5/2014 11:15:29 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsYou buy cheap you get cheap

Pros: Cant think of any

Cons: Intel is getting to be cheap..after installing then turned on the pc my power supply kept going on and off, turned out to be a faulty motherboard. Decided to go with a AMD compatible ATX motherboard instead.

0 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 8/4/2014 9:45:27 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsDOA

Pros: Newegg RMA, didn't have to pay anything to return. Cheap mobo if it works.

Cons: dead on arrival. flimsy and cheap feeling.

0 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Eli I.
  • 6/25/2014 10:04:30 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day

5 out of 5 eggsI Hope This Goes Well

Pros: It Says It can work with my Pentium G3258 im getting

Cons: dont know if i can overclock well

0 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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Item#: N82E16813135385
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