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MSI Z87I Gaming AC Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

Rating: 9.0.

Much of the computing industry is rapidly moving towards physically smaller components without downsizing performance. Can MSI’s Mini-ITX Z87I Gaming AC prove that Small Form Factor gamers need not worry about finding a motherboard which tends to their requirements?

MSI’s first take on a gaming-orientated Mini-ITX motherboard sees the inclusion of a Killer E2205 NIC, Audio Boost sound system (with Sound Blaster Cinema support), 802.11ac WiFi, a specific Gaming Device Port, and a segregated power path for USB audio.

Holding all of those components together in the Z87I Gaming AC’s Mini-ITX dimensions is a set of Military Class 4 components. And when stock speeds aren’t satisfactory, the fourth iterations of MSI’s Click BIOS and OC Genie packages open up the possibility of overclocking your SFF system.

With its red and black colour scheme and wealth of gaming-orientated features crammed onto a 6.7″ x 6.7″ PCB, does MSI’s Z87I Gaming AC provide the performance that makes it the worthy backbone of a powerful SFF system?



  • Killer E2205 NIC.
  • Audio Boost.
  • 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0.
  • OC Genie 4.
  • Military Class 4.
  • USB Audio Power.
  • Sound Blaster Cinema.
  • Gaming Device Port.

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  • Joe

    Awesome board, love MSI products – building a media center soon and this was already on my shortlist. unless something comes out soon which is better.

  • Optical Illusion

    This is my dream in 2014 – build a silent, small system which can play games at 1080p and not break the bank. Still working on it !

  • Leo Pogz

    Little Giant! Brilliant design, small but fully loaded.

  • paul

    I just hope I could win that kind of awesome motherboard 😀

  • IRLtester

    Great performing board, great looks and very stable.
    Using it in a corsair 250D case atm.

    Motherboard layout can give some problems with cablemanagement tho when u want everything neat and clean. Thats something that could be improved next time.

    Having only 1 chafan conn is simply absurd.