MSI Launches Nightblade Z97 Barebones

MSI introduced on Wednesday the Nightblade Z97, a mini-ITX barebones system packed with the company's latest MSI Z97I Gaming motherboard. The case includes a carrying handle at the bottom-front so that PC gamers can easily take their rig from one LAN event to the next, an easy assembly, smart fan control and more.

"Despite its mini-ITX form factor, the Nightblade Z97 delivers a powerful gaming performance and thanks to its compact size, brushed aluminum finish on the front and awesomely presented Dragon on the side of the case, gamers won't have to hide their PC beneath their desk anymore," states the PR.

According to the specs, the front panel includes two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. The back panel provides two e-SATA ports, two HDMI ports, one Display Port, one S/PDIF, one PS/2, one Clear CMOS Button, and six OFC audio jacks. Internal ports consist of one ATX 24-Pin, one 8-Pin ATX 12V, five SATA 3 ports (6 GB/s), and one Clear CMOS.

The barebones system also includes a 600 watt 80 Plus Gold power supply, a 92 mm 3600 RPM fan on the back, an optional Slim Type slot-in bay for an optical disc drive, and support for one 3.5-inch HDD, one 2.5-inch drive, or two mSATA drives. Wireless AC connectivity is provided by Intel, and 7.1 channel HD audio is provided by Soundblaster. Customers can also install up to 16 GB of DDR3 3200 MHz memory.

"The case fan inside the MSI Nightblade Z97 is custom made for its chassis and is dynamically adjusted in speed depending on the activities of the user," states the PR. "With Smart Fan Control gamers have complete control of all the fans connected to the motherboard and users can real-time monitor the status of the fans and set fan profiles as well."

The Nightblade Z97 has enough space for a full-sized two-slot graphics card by way of a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot; the card can be 290 mm in length and 35 mm in thickness. The case is also easy to assemble, allowing customers to quickly pull off the left panel to add and remove components. Rubber covers are placed on the back screws so that customers can stand the system vertically.

The Nightblade Z97 will be available sometime around mid-July, costing $449.99 with an optical disc drive and $399.99 without the drive. Look for this barebones system at Newegg and other etailers.

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  • I like it!! I was just looking at the Z87 version a few days ago and to me it was such a good barebone that I was wondering when or why there wasn't a Z97 version out.
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  • I really like the look of this case. Everything you need, nothing you don't. Nice the USB3.0 ports are red! Devils in the details. Good job MSI.
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  • The layout seems good, but that front is insanely ugly.
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