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MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Motherboard Review


MSI ships the Z97 Gaming 9 AC in packaging colours that we have come to expect from the company’s Gaming series components.

A detailed list of specifications is outlined on the rear of the box. A glimpse at the board and a hint at some of its key features are hidden behind a flap on the box.


Additional features relating to the board’s audio system are highlighted on the backside of the box flap.


MSI includes a healthy variety of paperwork with its flagship Gaming series motherboard.

Alongside software and board manuals are; a poster of the board pointing out its features, multiple installation guides, a door hanger, stickers for cables, drivers CDs, and a case badge.


A particularly healthy bundle is included with the Z97 Gaming 9 AC, which comes as no surprise given the board’s flagship status.

A pair of antennas and a PCIe-based card are provided for the 802.11ac wireless connectivity. Intel’s Wireless-AC 7260 chipset is used to provide WiFi. MSI also includes its convenient M-connectors and cables for the onboard voltage check-points.

In addition to six standard SATA cables, storage peripherals include a single eSATA to SATA cable, a dual-eSATA and molex PCI bracket, and a molex to dual SATA power adapter. MSI also includes a black SLI cable, a dark IO shield, and the molex power adapter for the company’s Audio Boost 2 system.

Looking at the bundle, it is clear to see that MSI has put particular emphasis on external storage connectivity. All of the cables are provided to allow a user to power a bare SATA HDD outside of a chassis or external enclosure.

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