ECS held their LIVE, LIVA, LEAD, L337 press event this week in Silicon Valley and ThinkComputers was on hand to check it all out. ECS has a new direction and it seems like they are focusing on bringing the custom the best value they can for the price. They were showing off their unreleased Z97I-Drone mini-ITX gaming motherboard.
When you first look at this motherboard you think to yourself is this really a Gigabyte Gaming Motherboard? Yes, Gigabyte has ditched the neon green and black design and has opted to change their gaming line to a red and black design, which is common for gaming motherboards these days. Don’t let the color change fool you this motherboard is packed with features. First and foremost for gamers this motherboard is capable of 4-way multiple graphics card configuration thanks to the PLX PEX8747 chip, it has Killer E2200 networking platform for no-lag gaming, and AMP-UP audio technology for the best game sound. If that is not enough you also have SATA Express, gold-plated display and audio ports, and Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable design so you know this board is built with quality components. Let’s jump in!
ASUS came up with a new idea when they launched their Maximus VI Impact board as it featured a vertical daughterboard that has the motherboard’s hefty VRM components. ASUS’s new Maximus VII Impact board relies heavily on this concept as it will feature as many as five daughterboards.
MSI has a complete offering of Z97 motherboards so it is hard to really decide which motherboard to get. Well if you are an overclocker and want a board specifically designed for overclocking and stability then the board we are talking a look at today might be for you. The Z97 MPower is part of MSI’s overclocking series of motherboards and features a powerful 12 phase all digital power design, voltage checkpoints, MSI’s Military Class 4 components, MSI’s Audio Boost chip and much more. On top of all that it is one of the sexiest looking Z97 motherboards that we have seen so far. Read on as we dive in!
ASRock has had a partnership with the Fatal1ty brand for a while now. With the introduction of Intel’s Z97 chipset ASRock has released three Fatal1ty-branded motherboards, today we will be looking at the Fatal1ty Z97 Killer. Of course being Fatal1ty-branded we know that this board is going to cater to gamers. With that said it does offer gaming features like the Killer E2200 Intelligent Networking Platform, ASRock’s Gaming Armor which has loads of features, Purity Sound 2 audio, ASRock Key Master software and you even get a 3 month premium license of XSplit to stream and broadcast your gaming skills. Is this the next motherboard for you? Read on as we take a look…
MSI has just launched their Z97 Gaming Barebone system. As the name suggest, the Nightblade Z97 implements the latest MSI Z97I GAMING motherboard. This means that the Nightblade Z97 comes with Audio Boost 2, providing the latest technology in high-quality audio for gamers.
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…
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.
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.
Sep 09, 2014 0