The mini-ITX form factor has really exploded over the past year and both motherboard manufacturers and case makers have really caught up. Building a mini-ITX system means that it is going to be small and that you are going to be able to easily take it with you to LAN parties. Because of this we have seen many mini-ITX gaming motherboards. With Intel’s release of the 9-Series chipset of course we expected to see new mini-ITX motherboards and today we are taking a look at our first. The MSI Z97I Gaming AC gives you the full power of the Z97 chipset, a single PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot for your high-end graphics card, KillerNIC Gigabit Ethernet, Audio Boost 2 technology, 802.11ac WiFi, USB 3.0 and even four SATA 6GB/s ports. Did I mention that this board only measures 6.7-inches x 6.7-inches! Let’s take a look…
It looks like everyone is showing off their X99 motherboards at Computex! ASRock was not only showing just one board, but two boards actually and even revealed which board they were, which are the X99 Extreme 6 and the X99 Extreme 4.
Well it looks like EVGA is not the only one showing an X99 motherboard at Computex 2014. MSI has their upcoming X99 motherboard prototype on display at their booth. X99 motherboards will launch later this year with Intel’s Haswell-E high-end desktop (HEDT) platform.
Sapphire’s “Atomic” branding is known for their very high-end products. We have seen this branding on some of the first ever graphics cards fitted with factory liquid cooling solutions. Well Sapphire is bringing this branding to its motherboards with the Sapphire Atomic 990FX.
Up until now there were no FM2+ motherboards in ASUS’s Republic of Gamers motherboard portfolio. FM2+ of course replaced AMD’s FM2 socket to support Steamroller and Kaveri APUs. So if you do prefer AMD’s APUs you now have a ROG Gaming board to choose from, the ROG Crossblade Ranger.
ASUS has made a new addition to their TUF (The Ultimate Force) line of super durable motherboards with the TUF Sabranco Z97. “Sabranco” according to ASUS is a combination of the words Sabertooth and Branco (Portuguese for white).
Gigabyte was showing off a motherboard made for extreme overclockers at Computex 2014 this week. The board is the GA-Z97X-SOC Force LN2, which is much like the GA-Z97X-SOC Force that has been out for a while now, but the GA-Z97X-SOC Force LN2 does not come with any cooler mounting holes. This means it is made for LN2 cooling.
BIOSTAR has released the A88MQ motherboard based on the new AMD FM2+ socket design that supports AMD Multi-Core (x4, x2) socket FM2+/FM2 processors AMD A-series/ E2-series processors all in a micro ATX form factor. Using the AMD A88X Chipset, the A88MQ, gives users the options for small build using the MicroATX form factor.
Intel’s 9 Series chipsets are here and with that brings a whole onslaught on new motherboards based on these chipsets. The two main chipsets in the 9 series are the Z97 and H97, which effectively replace and are upgrades to the Z87 and H87 chipsets respectively. Most of you are probably more interested in the Z97 chipset and that is what we will be covering today. We have our first Z97 motherboard in for review and it is the Z97-A from ASUS. It is their entry level board in their mainstream series with a modest price point of around $149.99. Even though this is an entry level board ASUS has still loaded it with features like SATA Express, M.2 support, their Crystal Sound 2 audio technology and a whole suite a incredible software. Let’s see if this is the board to make your entry into Intel’s Z87 chipset.
When MSI first launched their Z97 Gaming Series motherboards they were made up of the Z97 Gaming 3, Z97 Gaming 5, and Z97 Gaming 7. MSI has now introduced a new high-end addition, the Z97 Gaming 9 AC. This board is targeted directly at high-end gaming PC builds.
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