MSI Readies its Z97 OC Series Motherboards

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After pretty much everything Z97 related under NDA has been leaked. Now it is MSI's turn as they are releasing the Z97 OC series of motherboards. MSI basically has two lines of products, the Gaming and OC series. The last one includes boards like the Z97 MPower, the Z97 MPower MAX AC, and the Z97 XPower AC and are aimed at the enthusiast class and Overclockers class of consumers (read Guru3D readers).

The top of the line motherboard will be the Z97 XPower AC with 3-way and 4-way multi-GPU compatible thanks to a PEX8747 bridge chip from PLX that gives this board four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots . The CPU is will get a nice phat 16-phase VRM.

The Z97 MPower MAX AC is will get 12 power phases and still three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, but not PLX chip, meaing they would revert to x8/x4/x4 when all three are populated. That is still Gen 3.0 though. All boards will get a multitude of SATA 6 Gb/s connectors, obviously a M.2 slot  as well. All board will get many USB 3.0 ports, 802.11 ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, gigabit Ethernet, and AudioBoost audio with headphones amp. Anyway have a peek at the photo's of these boards. 

The Z97 OC series motherboards will feature V-Check Points 2 panel where you can check out voltaged with a DDM and yeah, we also see other OC features like a DEBUG LED, Power On/OFF, Reset and OC configuration switches/buttons. As you guys have learned by now, the Intel Z97 Express chipset will come with a PCIe M.2 interface, extra USB / SATA ports and a few subtle changes. That PCIe M.2 interface however is very interesting as it will speed up the SATA interface tremendously and thus higher performance SSDs finally will be free from the SATA3 interface bottleneck. Sata3 is 6 Gbps, The M.2 interface can fo 10Gbps, meaning that is a theoretical 1250 MB/sec, minus overhead of course.

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