Z97 XPower AC Motherboard - Bigger... Better... Stronger... Faster
We review the MSI Z97 XPOWER AC motherboard which is seated in the MSI OC series. MSI's new OC Series include the Z97 MPower, Z97 MPower MAX AC, and the Z97 XPower AC. We test the flagship today, the Z97 XPOWER AC. It is big, it is fast, it is extensive and it probably is one of the most aesthetically pleasing Z97 motherboards available on the market today. MSI took the Z97 chipset and then started adding. Adding a PLX chip for quad-SLI/Crossfire support, adding AC WIFI, adding heaps of SATA3 connectors, adding overclock features, adding a very nice audio solution and well, they added pretty much anything they could find. Join us in a the Z97 XPower AC review, a product that is bound to please the enthusiast PC gamer.
Intel released their series 9 chipsets, among them will be low-end and high-end desktop solutions. For the consumers and readers of Guru3D, H97 and Z97 will be the two most interesting ones. For the HTPC end of things H97 is the most appealing as tweaking options are stripped away with a lower price-tag. For the more hardcore gamers and PC aficionados, the Z97 is the most interesting. Z97 by itself as a chipset is nothing special. HOWEVER we have plenty to look at as the motherboard manufacturers went totally nuts and started redesigning their motherboards, added new features and made them extraordinarily cool. You'll spot new redesigns build on the DNA of Z87 yet improved massively. Cool looks, features like AC WIFI, M2 SSDs and Sata Express will bring some very interesting features onto the market. So if (at the time) you didn't upgrade to Z87, now might be a good time.
The Z97 XPOWER AC comes with powerful CPU and RAM overclocking capabilities. Now this board can manage 3 and 4-way SLI really well. To increase PCI-E Lane bandwidth MSI added a PLX PEX8747 bridge chip allowing you to drive four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. The MSI Z97 XPower AC is build to impress and as such will bring 10 x SATA 6Gbps ports to the table. That's next to the new sporty M.2 slot and 12 x USB 3.0 ports. Much like the entire MSI range this board is fitted with AudioBoost audio that has a built-in headphone amp. Obviously the board has 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Intel based Gigabit Ethernet and many OC features, something that includes a coolant based heatsink so you can liquid cool the CPU VRM, voltage measurement points 2, on-board OC/voltage fine-tuning buttons, and a backup BIOS. The V-Check Points 2 which will let use 2 ground connectors so that you now can use up to 3 multi-meters at the same time.
MSI also delivers a "Delid Die Guard" that's measured to specification and designed to protect the CPU core on processors that no longer have an integrated heat spreader (IHS). Also included is a OC Fan stand (fan mounting kit to generate airflow on an open system with a fan included. MSI even includes a 8GB OC Pen drive for you to store your OC profiles on. Matching in a nice black/yellow design of course.
All-in-all this motherboard offers it all, so join me in an extensive review and overview of what MSI has to offer with the MSI Z97 XPOWER AC motherboard, next page please.
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MSI Z97 XPOWER AC Motherboard Review We review the MSI Z97 XPOWER AC motherboard, it is big, it is fast, it is extensive and it probably is one of the most aesthetically pleasing Z97 motherboards available on the market. MSI took the Z...