Today's particular model is the Z97M Pro4. ASRock's Pro line is usually the high-end model for non-Z chipset boards in terms of features. However it's below the Extreme line when it comes to Z boards. Does this mean the Pro4 is stripped down past the point enthusiasts might want it? Let's dig in and find out.
At $100, the Pro4 is a very wallet-friendly Z board. As such, you won't find a few features you might find on pricier boards. There's no M.2 slot, SATA Express port, secondary network jack, DTS-Connect or SLI support. The VRM, at 4+2-phases, is smaller than other boards as well. This may be off-putting to some consumers who remember the limitations experienced on the last boards that came through here with diminished VRMs. However, like the MSI Z97I AC, the Pro4 packs a VRM heatsink which makes a big difference on its overclockability, as you'll see. Other basic amenities include five fan headers (two 4-pin,) and a socketed BIOS chip.