Home / Tech News / Highlights-new / MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Motherboard Review

MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Motherboard Review

Rating: 9.0.

Flagship parts on a mainstream platform can cause confusion for motherboard vendors. Do they go all-out, offering 4-way SLI and CrossFire via a PLX chip, with the knowledge that many people inclined for such configurations will use a HEDT platform instead? Or do they put that expenditure into a full-blooded feature set, accepting the potential hit in graphics and overclocking capabilities?

Referring to the above conundrum, MSI has opted for the latter with its flagship Gaming series part – the Z97 Gaming 9 AC. OK, so we could have guessed the answer with the board being a Gaming series part, but the point referencing 4-way GPU support is still valid; MSI willingly sacrifices 4-way GPU support in favour of a particularly heavy set of features, including a notably high-end audio solution.

MAIN-IMAGE

And for the arguably irrelevant loss of 4-way SLI and CrossFire support, gamers are rewarded with a Killer E2205 NIC, added SATA and USB 3.0 connectors, enhanced motherboard appearance, and a particularly strong audio solution that includes WIMA and Nichicon capacitors and a C-Media CM6631A processor. Oh, and let’s not forget the borderline audiophile Wolfson DAC, Cirrus Logic ADC, and Texas Instruments amplifiers.

Audio looks to be one of the Z97 Gaming 9 AC motherboard’s strong points, but can the rest of its performance live up to expectation?

Features:

  • Dragon Armor.
  • Audio Boost 2 with Xtreme Audio DAC.
  • Killer E2200 Networking.
  • Intel 802.11ac WiFi.
  • XSplit Gamecaster licence.
  • Military Class 4.
  • OC Genie 4.
  • Click BIOS 4.
  • OC Essentials.
  • Gaming Device Ports.

Check Also

AMD may launch Ryzen on 28th of Feb, Asus teases X370 motherboard

It looks like upcoming AMD Ryzen motherboards are starting to break cover as not only …