Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

MSI Announces Flagship Gaming Series Z97 Motherboard

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 13 comments

MSI's new Gaming series board is very well-equipped.

MSI has announced the new Z97 Gaming 9 AC motherboard. This motherboard is the company's flagship gaming motherboard based on the new platform from Intel, and as such it is quite well-equipped.

The ATX format motherboard has support for up to three graphics cards. The motherboard features an LGA1150 socket, which is wired to four DDR3 memory slots. The CPU socket is fed power through a 16-phase VRM circuit. This circuit draws its power from a single 8-pin EPS connector. Expansion is taken care of by three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, along with three PCI-Express x1 slots.

Regarding storage connectivity, the motherboard has a total of eight SATA3 (6 Gb/s) ports, along with a single M.2 slot for those super-speedy SSDs that are slowly coming to shelves. SATA-Express connectors do not seem to be present, unfortunately.

As far as special features go, the motherboard has built-in Wireless 802.11ac support, as well as Bluetooth 4.0. MSI is also one of the few vendors that does away with the integrated Intel NIC, and has instead opted to wire a Broadcom Killer E2205 gigabit NIC to the Ethernet port. The motherboard also has MSI's Audio Boost technology for improved audio quality as well as its OC Genie.

Rear I/O connectivity is handled by 10 USB 3.0 ports, DisplayPort, HDMI, two "Gaming" USB 2.0 ports for peripherals, a legacy PS/2 port, as well as optical audio out along with 7.1 channel analog audio connectors, and lastly, connectors for the WiFi antennae.  

No exact word on pricing yet, though given that the Z97 Gaming 9 costs about $185 we can expect the Z97 Gaming 9 AC to be priced around $200.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Discuss
Add your comment Display all 13 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    roymustang , May 20, 2014 12:43 PM
    Might wanna fix that title.
  • 0 Hide
    Josh Hird , May 20, 2014 12:44 PM
    Msi is apparently working backwards
  • 1 Hide
    patrick47018 , May 20, 2014 12:52 PM
    Quote:
    Might wanna fix that title.


    What's wrong with another Z79 board article ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    DookieDraws , May 20, 2014 12:57 PM
    That's a good looking board.
  • -5 Hide
    ekagori , May 20, 2014 1:00 PM
    "No exact word on pricing yet, though given that the Z97 Gaming 9 costs about $185 we can expect the Z97 Gaming 9 AC to be priced around $200."

    So does it cost $185 or $200? Lol... might want to fix that as well
  • 2 Hide
    patrick47018 , May 20, 2014 1:14 PM
    Quote:
    "No exact word on pricing yet, though given that the Z97 Gaming 9 costs about $185 we can expect the Z97 Gaming 9 AC to be priced around $200."

    So does it cost $185 or $200? Lol... might want to fix that as well


    It isn't the same board, the non AC board is 185, they are saying they expect the AC board to be around 200
  • 2 Hide
    marc79 , May 20, 2014 1:20 PM
    I'll stick with Z87, Z79 seems like a downgrade.
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , May 20, 2014 1:21 PM
    Pardon me if this is a silly question, but I thought Intel included VRMs on die now. Why are mobo vendors still hyping lots of VRM phases? Is it only marketing?
  • 0 Hide
    ekagori , May 20, 2014 1:22 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    "No exact word on pricing yet, though given that the Z97 Gaming 9 costs about $185 we can expect the Z97 Gaming 9 AC to be priced around $200."

    So does it cost $185 or $200? Lol... might want to fix that as well


    It isn't the same board, the non AC board is 185, they are saying they expect the AC board to be around 200


    Oh my bad, completely misread that statement lol
  • 0 Hide
    neon neophyte , May 20, 2014 1:26 PM
    whatever happened to proof reading...
  • 0 Hide
    thundervore , May 20, 2014 6:26 PM
    great, another red and black motherboard......

    SMH
  • 0 Hide
    srius , May 22, 2014 2:40 AM
    what is the difference between a z87 and a z97 mobo? will the last years haswell i7 work on it?
  • 1 Hide
    DookieDraws , May 22, 2014 5:09 AM
    Quote:
    what is the difference between a z87 and a z97 mobo? will the last years haswell i7 work on it?


    Z87 & Z97 use the same LGA 1150 CPU socket. So yes, last years Haswell will work with the Z97 motheboards. The Z97 boards will also support Devil's Canyon and upcoming Broadwell processors. More info here.
React To This Article