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Item#: N82E16813130764

MSI Z97 XPOWER AC LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard

  • Intel Z97
  • Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron (LGA1150)
  • DDR3 3300(OC)/3200(OC)/3100(OC)

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

 

 

 

Z97 XPOWER AC

  • Supports 4th and 5th Gen Intel® Core™ / Pentium® / Celeron® processors for LGA 1150 socket
  • Supports DDR3-3300(OC) Memory
  • M.2 + USB 3.0 + SATA 6Gb/s
  • 4-way Multi-GPU: 4-way NVIDIA SLI & AMD CrossFire Support
  • 16 Phase DigitALL Power Design
  • OC Certified: Military Class Burn-in Test Passed
  • Enhanced Thermal Design & Water Cooling Heatsink
  • OC Engine:  For More Flexible BCLK Adjustments
  • V-Check Points 2: Three multi-meters at the same time
  • Delid Die Guard: Way to Break World Record
  • VGA Cease Fire: Easy to Disable the VGA Card via Physical Switch
  • Guard-Pro: Improved Protection and Power Efficiency
  • Military Class 4: Top Quality & Stability
  • OC Essentials: The Most Convenient Tools while Breaking the Record
  • OC Genie 4: Overclocks in 1 Second
  • Click BIOS 4: Easily Fine-tune Your System
  • Command Center: Control & Customize Your PC Settings
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Intel® Wireless Display
 
 

No Limits

The MSI Overclocking motherboards designs are based on four principles:

  • Continuous implementation of professional overclockers' feedback
  • Continue MSI's leading position in power efficiency and stability
  • The best overclocking tools in the industry
  • Infuse the DNA of MSI's LIGHTNING graphics cards

Changing the Overclocking Game
 

  • OC Certified
  • Built with LIGHTNING DNA
  • Enhanced components
  • Enhanced power
  • Enhanced thermal design
  • Water cooling heatsink
  • Military Class components
  • Extreme OC socket design
  • OC PCB
  • Optimized overclocking BIOS
  • OC Essentials
  • DigitALL power PWM

OC Certified Z97 XPOWER AC

Z97 XPOWER AC

OC Certified is a military class burn-in test for motherboards. Running Prime95 for over 24 hours with a highly overclocked CPU is already a stressing endeavor, but removing all airflow from the motherboard ensures that only the best motherboards survive. If a motherboard can survive this, it can survive any overclocking situation.

MSI Overclocking motherboards are equipped with all the necessary features to make sure you get the most out of your system. From the Enhanced PWM with a large amount of power phases and Thermal Design that give you the best stability, to all the easy features that ensure that you don't have to perform a lot of tricks to get great stability in your quest for performance.

Z97 XPOWER AC

OC PCB

The OC PCB used for the MSI overclocking motherboards has a completely new design in which 50% more layers are used compared to standard motherboards. This allows us to optimize all traces for overclocking. Power and signal traces are isolated, resulting in higher efficiency and performance and more features can be installed relatively close to each other without causing interference. Every MSI overclocking motherboard is tuned for better stability under extreme circumstances:

  • Increased number of PCB layers
  • Increased humidity resistance
  • Tight weave Fiberglass PCB
  • Increased ESD protection

DigitALL Power PWM

DigitALL Power digitally steers and receives feedback through a DigitALL PWM controller. This allows for pinpoint voltage delivery and lower power consumption.

Thermal Design

Besides inspiring visual awe, the MPOWER Thermal Design was developed to deliver the highest cooling potential in the worst situation. Because it is optimized to work in low-airflow situations, it is the ideal cooling to use with your liquid cooling setup.

  • MPOWER thermal design
  • SuperPipe
  • Low airflow
  • Optimized design
  • Clear CPU space
  • Metal screws

Extreme OC Socket Design

What is more frustrating than not being able to properly fit your cooling solution on your motherboard? Through feedback from professional overclockers, extensive research, unique design and the use of Military Class 4 components, we were able to create a lot of space around the socket making sure you can fit any cooling solution you want. Having this much space also makes it easier to insulate the motherboard for use with LN2 or other extreme cooling solutions.

Water Cooling Heatsink

Featuring a new unique heatsink design, MSI Z97 overclocking motherboards ensure the best cooling performance. Saving water cooling enthusiasts having to buy a waterblock for our motherboards, new generation overclocking models feature a no compromise built-in solution within the heatsink. So whether you choose a traditional air cooling or enthusiast water cooling solution, be sure to expect the lowest temperatures and maximum performance under the most extreme conditions.

Z97 XPOWER AC

OC Engine

Run into unstable situations when pushing your CPU to the limit? This occurs because the internal clocks are linked through the 100 MHz BCLK strap. Thanks to a integrated Clock Generator, MSI Z97 Overclocking motherboards support more flexible BCLK adjustments, from 100 / 125 / 167 MHz straps. Using these straps prevents system crashing while overclocking on the edge and opens doors to achieve the absolute maximum.

 

Delid Die Guard

Whether it's for 24/7 overclocking use or breaking world records, the MSI Delid Die Guard helps with your air, water or subzero overclocking activities.

This solid mounting system makes it easier to mount a delidded CPU and helps to achieve lower CPU temperatures, making sure you can squeeze every MHz out of it. Whether you are a beginner in overclocking or a veteran, we hand you the tools to succeed.

  • Helps to lower CPU temperature
  • Easier and more stable fitting of cooling solution
  • Protecting the die of your CPU
  • Generate optimal mounting pressure
 
Z97 XPOWER AC

OC Fan Stand

Having trouble with your fans while overclocking? Are they falling over all the time when accidentally touched? The MSI OC Fan Stand lets you easily set up your fans while overclocking without worrying about them falling over when your in pursuit of that world record. A sturdy, cool looking, and easy to use design makes setting up fans a whole lot easier.

Z97 XPOWER AC

OC Essentials

A small set of tools that are essential to get the best performance out of your motherboard. These features increase stability, assist in trouble shooting, allow you to keep your complete system in check and allow for simple management. This way you can keep your mind on overclocking.

Z97 XPOWER AC

1. Slow Mode

Slow Mode helps to defeat booting issues when overclocking at extremely high CPU frequencies. Flicking the switch will temporary decrease CPU ratio to 8X, creating stability to successfully boot to Windows.

2. OC Genie

One-second overclocking by simply pressing the OC Genie button. OC Genie 4 now has the ability to switch between two gears.

3. Direct OC
 

  • 1MHz / 0.1MHz adj.
  • BLCK Ratio up
  • BLCK Ratio down
  • Multiplier up
  • Multiplier down

A set of + and – buttons allows you to adjust your Base Clock in real time, even during benchmarking. The Direct OC software allows you to select 1MHz or 0.1MHz increments. The Z97 XPOWER AC allows for even better control because it is equipped with a switch on the motherboard which allowed you to make the 1MHZ or 0.1Mhz increments. On top of that it also comes with two extra Direct OC buttons to increase the multiplier ratio.

4. Complete Discharge

A true factory reset! Holding this button for two seconds completely wipes your motherboard from all settings. The CLR CMOS button only limits itself to the BIOS/VRAM but this Complete Discharge button even removes information from the Z97 PCH, a much needed button on the Z97 platform.

 

V-Check Points 2

After MOA feedback, we enhanced the V-Check Points with two extra ground connectors. This way overclockers can use three multi-meters at the same time.

Do Not Use CPU-Z to Measure Voltages!

The increased switching frequencies and incompatibilities lead to large deviations.

  1. CPU Input Voltage
  2. IMC Voltage
  3. Core0 Voltage
  4. iGPU Voltage
  5. Ring Bus Voltage
  6. System Agent Voltage
  7. Ground
  8. Ground
  9. Ground

Z97 XPOWER AC
Z97 XPOWER AC

Optimized for Multiple Graphics Cards

MSI Overclocking motherboards feature perfectly aligned PCI-Express 3.0 slots with enough space for an optimal airflow when using multiple graphics cards. That way, you will never have to worry about an overheating PC, while you are enjoying the best graphics jumping off from your monitor when running a NVIDIA® SLI™ or AMD CrossFire™ gaming setup.
 

 
Z97 XPOWER AC

Dedicated PCI-E X16 Slot:

The Z97 XPOWER AC comes with a PLX-chip to enable Four-Way SLI / CrossFire. However, in the case you only use just one VGA card, the PLX chip may cause some latency. This is why the Z97 XPOWER AC comes with a dedicated PCI-E x16 slot which is directly connected to the CPU bypassing the PLX chip giving you the best possible performance when using only one VGA card.
 

 
Z97 XPOWER AC

Four-Way SLI / CrossFire

To support 4-Way SLI / CrossFire the Z97 XPOWER AC is using the PLX8747 Gen3 switch chip. This way you have the maximum available bandwidth needed in order to run your benchmarks and games with four VGA cards.
 

 
Z97 XPOWER AC

CeaseFire

When you are overclocking with LN2 with 4 VGA cards, it can happen that you want to remove one VGA card. However, with the LN2 pot on the motherboard and all the insulation, this can be a big hassle. With MSI CeaseFire, it is very easy to disable one of the PCI-E x16 slots with a simple switch.
 

 
Z97 XPOWER AC

Push Your SSD to the Limit

Enjoy a blazing fast system boot up and insanely fast loading of applications and games with MSI Overclocking motherboards. We offer the next generation of high speed storage support through M.2 and SATA Express. M.2 and SATA Express transfer data through a PCI Express 2.0 x2 interface up to 10Gbps, making it 67% faster than SATA 3.0 solutions.

Faster Storage Solutions with M.2

M.2 is the successor to mSATA, offering a 67% performance increase up to 10Gbps. M.2 is packed in a small form factor and is compatible with 3 different sizes to fit most storage solutions. All latest generation Intel® based MSI Overclocking motherboards feature M.2 storage.

Flexible Fast Storage with SATA Express

SATA Express introduces a new solution in high speed storage through PCI Express, providing more bandwidth for the latest generation SSDs. We offer flexible solutions with an M.2 to SATA Express converter for more convenience.

Z97 XPOWER AC
Z97 XPOWER AC

Military Class 4 Components

Military Class 4 is the next step in high quality components. The DrMOS II, Hi-C Cap, Super Ferrite Choke and Solid Caps will make sure that your PC runs more stable under extreme conditions.

DRMOS

DrMOS is the next-gen MOSFET which is used to deliver the power for the CPU. MSI DrMOS does not waste much power, stays cool and is more power efficient than other powersaving solutions. Because DrMOS is a 3-in-1 chip it delivers much more power with less components needed. This solution gives you the power to break world records.

Dark Cap

With their aluminum core design, Dark CAP's have been a staple in high-end motherboard design and provides lower Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) as well as its over-10-year lifespan.

HI-C Cap

A Hi-C Cap is a very small, but super-efficient capacitor. Besides ensuring enough spacing around a CPU socket to install large coolers, it also allows for 93% energy efficiency. Thanks to Hi-C CAP`s MSI mainboards are the most energy efficient in the market.

Super Ferrite Choke

Super Ferrite Choke uses a Ferrite core that is Super-Permeable. This allows the Super Ferrite Choke to run at 95°F (35°C) lower temperature, have a 30% higher current capacity, a 20% improvement in power efficiency and better overclocking power stability.
 

 
Z97 XPOWER AC

Focus on Quality

We put extra effort in increasing customer satisfaction. Our RMA rate has drastically decreased in the last few years. To achieve the highest quality the MSI Overclocking motherboards are developed by our most senior engineers on the most advanced production lines.

We are continuously improving our customer services, so in case you might run into a problem you can be assured we offer a fast response to your questions and hand you in depth information on the subject.

Z97 XPOWER AC

Carefully selected materials, multiple PCB layers and shielding result in the best circuit protection for our overclocking motherboards.

Z97 XPOWER AC
Z97 XPOWER AC

With MSI ECO Center you can physically cut the power to unused chips to save up to 29% power usage.

Z97 XPOWER AC

10% Reduction in moisture absorption helps prevent "Conductive Anodic Filament." Untreated PCB's can have 10X higher failure rate.

Z97 XPOWER AC

All key components used in MSI motherboards have all passed military testing ensuring stable operation in the harshest environments.

Z97 XPOWER AC

Each and every I/O port is protected against the hazards of Electro Static Discharge.

Z97 XPOWER AC

All MSI motherboards comply with stringent American FCC regulations and reduce the impact of Electromagnetic Interference.

Z97 XPOWER AC


Z97 XPOWER AC Optimized for Multiple Graphics Cards

MSI Overclocking motherboards feature perfectly aligned PCI-Express 3.0 slots with enough space for an optimal airflow when using multiple graphics cards. That way, you will never have to worry about an overheating PC, while you are enjoying the best graphics jumping off from your monitor when running a NVIDIA® SLI™ or AMD CrossFire™ gaming setup.

CeaseFire Lite

When you are overclocking with LN2 and 4 VGA cards and simply want to benchmark using 3 or less VGA cards you don't have to physically remove one or more cards thanks to CeaseFire Lite, saving you a lot of time. With MSI CeaseFire Lite it is very easy to disable one of the PCI-E x16 slots with a simple switch in the BIOS.

 

Click BIOS 4

The MSI Click BIOS 4 is the latest UEFI BIOS with optimizations for Windows 8. Not only that it also reacts faster, runs smoother and has better mouse support. And this all comes with many cool features. Click on the button on the right to visit our dedicated BIOS page and learn more.

Z97 XPOWER AC

Overclocking Software

MSI Overclocking motherboards are equipped with advanced overclocking software tools to fine tune even the most in-depth OC settings with ease.

Z97 XPOWER AC

MSI Command Center

MSI's Command Center software is a very powerful tool to push your motherboard to the max. With a very intuitive touch ready interface, Command Center allows users to tune settings to increase system stability, maximize overclocking performance and adjust cooling features.

Z97 XPOWER AC

MSI Command Center Lite

This lightweight overclocking tool doesn't need installation and doesn't occupy unnecessary system resources lowering system benchmark scores. With a single mouse click you have access to the most important overclocking features.

Z97 XPOWER AC

RAMDisk

MSI Command Center integrates an unlimited RAMdisk with the retail value of $35. With a RAMdisk you can create a virtual drive from your system memory enabling speeds twenty times faster than a modern SSD. There are options to load complete game images, you can speed up your browser or your page file which increases your whole game system performance.

Z97 XPOWER AC

Audio Boost

Reward your ears with true quality. Get ready for ear-drum shattering sound, with MSI Audio Boost! With Audio Boost we're delivering the highest audio quality so you can enjoy crystal clear sound and music in games.

Because the complete audio circuitry is isolated from other features, you'll enjoy less interference and more stability.

The built-in headphone amplifier allows you to use studio-grade headgear and get the most amazing sound quality out of your PC.
 

  • Studio level integrated 600O headphone amplifier
  • Golden audio jacks for pure audio signals
  • EMI shielded audio codec
  • High quality audio capacitors
  • Illuminated audio PCB separation
 

OC Genie 4


We have implemented the revolutionary OC Genie 4 button on the MSI Overclocking motherboards. Just press the OC Genie button, on the motherboard or in Click BIOS 4, to achieve a stable overclock in just one second, giving your system a nice performance boost.

Z97 XPOWER AC

CPU Overcurrent Protection

When the MSI Overclocking motherboard detects a failure from hardware such as the CPU, it will shut down, prevent booting and protects other hardware from damage by disconnecting power to it. A red LED let's you know that overcurrent protection is active.

Z97 XPOWER AC

GO2BIOS


Entering a BIOS can be a frustrating job. Because nowadays motherboards boot Lightning fast, we added the GO2BIOS button. Simply push it before you start or restart your system and you'll go straight to the system BIOS when your motherboard powers on.

Z97 XPOWER AC

Intel® Ethernet


Always connected with Intel® Gigabit LAN networking. Optimized for multimedia and gaming use to deliver a stable and fast network connection. Even when using LN2, to make sure you can upload your record-breaking scores.
 

Z97 XPOWER AC

Intel® Wi-Fi AC & Bluetooth

The MSI Overclocking motherboards come with an easily unpluggable Intel® Wi-Fi / Bluetooth module which also supports Intel® WiDi (Wireless Display). This way you can easily connect to other wireless devices in your home.

The support of 802.11 AC and Bluetooth 4.0 ensures that you have the fastest available transfer speed. With Intel® WiDi and a WiDi receiver (not included) you can watch movies on your TV without the need for any cables.

Connectivity

Z97 XPOWER AC

What's in the Box

Check it out for yourself! Besides a plethora of necessary cables and connectors you also get a cool Do-Not-Disturb door-hanger, a slick MSI OC series case badge, a set of cable labels and the stylish all black M-shield.

Z97 XPOWER AC
Z97 XPOWER AC Z97 XPOWER AC Z97 XPOWER AC

Learn more about the MSI Z97 XPOWER AC

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 3 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 3 years
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the MSI Z97 XPOWER AC

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  • Manuel M.
  • 11/15/2015 9:44:41 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsUpdated Review

Pros: None. 2nd Board same issue, same unacceptable service. MSI does nothing except ask for the board back without supplying any tech advice and just stops answering. What a joke.

Cons: $350 for a Z97 board (2 gens old) and still can't run a QVL certificed CPU and 2400 XMP RAM as advertized.

Other Thoughts: End User 11/10/2015 Dear MSI Tech Support, regarding this unbelievable stalemate in which you seem unable to provide actual tech support on how to make your board run certified memory at it's rated speed. Instead you're an RMA intermediary, not once but twice. You're already in possession of a board with the same issue for over a month and have not updated the client with anything of use! I find this appalling and unacceptable to a $350 motherboard. I will be pursuing other ways to get help on this from anyone I can reach in MSI.

End User 10/31/2015 Incredible. MSI stated that these components are certified compatible yet motherboard fails to boot, on two separate motherboards with the same problem. This is a $350 motherboard! Send me a time stamp photo of a motherboard running this hardware as advertised and I will begin an RMA. You should already have my 1st RMA to test at will, me sending this one is a money/time loss for me. I mean is MSI not able to send proof?

MSI Tech. 10/30/2015 Manuel, we can only issue another RMA to have the motherboard shipped back to us for re-testing, if we find nothing wrong then we will let you know in order for you to address the issue on your side.

End User 10/30/2015 MSI Tech support, please reply with your next course of action.

End User 10/27/2015 Great, another board more money and time lost? Tested with what exactly? MSI is making me lose more money with this than what the board is worth. I mean what the hell...completely took the fun out of building a custom water-cooling machine. Got all the parts sitting for weeks, lost the return period on all and now this again? Setup a motherboard with my components and send me a photo with it running on windows and bios. Prove it that you MSI geniuses can have it running before I go through another RMA.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Manuel,
Sorry to hear about the issue you reported. At this moment the best course of action is for you to contact us directly, provide us with your MSI motherboard serial number and hardware's configuration. so that we can help resolve your issue and concern. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly at usreview@msi.com or at our support phone number 626-271-1004 M-F 6AM to 6PM PST. and we will be more than happy to assist you, thank you.

Thanks for choosing MSI

Best Regards,
MSI Review Team | usreview@msi.com

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Andrew M.
  • 10/18/2015 7:55:23 PM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsFantastic. The perfect motherboard.

Pros: I don't know if i can fit everything i love about this.

The on board tools are amazing, and make it very easy to tweak your system.

it includes some very basic, but excellent user experience enhancing items, such as a dongle with labeled pins for your power switch hdd light etc. so now you can plug all those small single wires into this little block, and then pop the whole thing on the board.

The wireless is good. goooooood. I have a strong and fast wireless connection running now (full signal, pushing 130mbs)
the wireless includes 2 antennae that have decent length cables to position them apart.

The user guide is also well organized, indepth, and basically guides you through setting up for optimum performance.

Cons: none

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Manuel M.
  • 10/3/2015 3:29:44 PM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsShamefull QC

Pros: Specs wise has everything one might need in an OC Z97 board plus the delid guard.

Cons: Plan was as usual, plug and play but the motherboard refused to cooperate. XMP settings failed to change and could not reboot at 2400mhz standard, nor manually and kept failing at 2133mhz Aida64 tests. Second bios came corrupted so no chance of troubleshooting with it. Had to return a top DDR3 kit for one of the QVL listed so that MSI could assist "Please refer to the QVL list, Thank you!" :/ responses. Over the phone, a tech went through the motions to finally reply to send it back for an RMA. So, re-stocking fee on ram and shipping back to newegg $35. Shipping the board back to MSI for a refurbished one (Warranty) $25 plus days and finally a MSI XPower AC (famed OC board with military specs) failing to hold a XMP 2400mhz XMP kit from the top 2 RAM manufacturers & corrupted "LN2" bios, Priceless.
Oh yeah, Wireless module...after the most careful connection and screw in, it was still was not detected in windows device manager..

Other Thoughts: Frankly, just disapointed, from all the motherboard reviews, this one has the most bang for the price (uber price at that), but with all the end users suffering DOA's/bad QC for endless RMA's, one must assume MSI QC 100% out of the ones they ship to the review makers.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Manuel,
Based on the symptom you reported, we suggest you check following steps below since many reasons can cause the situation like this ,
1. Check and make sure that power are connected correctly and firmly (JPWR1 and JPRW2), clear CMOS.
2. Please refer to our website and applies the latest BIOS and drivers for best result.
3. If you need further assistant, please feel free to contact our technical support department directly at 626.271.1004 from M to F, 6am to 6pm Pacific standard Time.

Thanks for choosing MSI

Best Regards,
MSI Review Team | usreview@msi.com

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Vincent D.
  • 9/13/2015 1:23:22 AM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsI love this board!

Pros: This motherboard has everything you could want! I was able to get my Intel Core i7 4770k de-lidded up to 4.8Ghz on this motherboard and then my Core i7 4790k up to 4.7Ghz. Board hasn't ever crashed on me once and everything worked the moment I set it up. Worked out of the box. Even the MSI software was reliable and worked as it should!

Cons: Yellow and Black color scheme might not be for everybody (I like it though).

Other Thoughts: I don't know why people are having so many problems with this board but I think a lot of the reviews are from MSI bashers because a lot of the negative reviews are not from Verified Owners of this board.

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • LARRY L.
  • 8/25/2015 11:54:25 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGREAT MOTHERBOARD

Pros: Great board. Love the features Is a upgrade from a ECS nf650slu-a motherboard. It is fast am still not use to the speed at witch it runs.

Cons: The only problem that I have is that the Wi-Fi only reconizes my printer and not my modom must use eathnet line for internet.the wires to the antenas have come out of the connecter to the Wi-Fi. Am having a problem registering it with MSI. That is the only reason for one egg taken off.

Other Thoughts: Great Board. The issue with Wi-Fi is working some what so their is something that I am not doing or it won't work on my modem and the antenna issue. would recommend this board. Great board

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • KIRBY P.
  • 6/23/2015 8:24:32 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsBrutal

Pros: None

Cons: Where to start.... I've had BIOS crash on me 3 times. The latest came when I clicked on the MSI live update bios. I had to reinstall windows after the system crashed. Also, this week, my wireless headphones no longer connect. They work fine when wired in. It's just one thing after another. I'll never buy MSI ever again.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued Customer,
Based on the symptom you reported, we suggest you checking following steps below since many reasons can cause the situation like this ,
1. Power off system, clear CMOS.
2. Check your other major hardware’s (memory, video card, CPU and power supply) to ensure that they are not the cause of the issue.
3. If you need further assistant, please feel free to contact our technical support department directly at 626.271.1004 from M to F, 6am to 6pm Pacific standard Time.

Best Regards,
MSI Review Team | usreview@msi.com

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Andrew B.
  • 3/29/2015 8:40:09 AM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggs3rd Board

Pros: Beautiful, more options than any board other than the SOC.

Cons: `Zomg, where to start. Wifi module is garbage. Not even going to waste time trying to install it this time. First two boards just have lights up and down instantly and nothing happens. Going to be on my third board once this one gets RMA'd. Been down for two weeks. There is no such thing as customer service for motherboards from MSI. They say there is but I called and they said they would call back. (laugh) Only option is to pay NewEgg up front for another board. This I have already done and will most likely have to do again. This means I will have spent $1200 for a $400 board and be praying I get my money back and that the third board actually works. This will be my second Z97 install and 14th ground up build. I know more than the tinkering Joe blow and have a Masters in CIS/MIS. I have no idea what the deal is and have not really found anyone with the same problem that I know of.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued Customer,
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the product, for RMA we can offer cross-ship based on availability. please do not hesitate to contact us directly at usreview@msi.com or call us at 626-271-1004 m-f 6am to 6pm pst. and we will be more than happy to assist you, thank you.

Best Regards,
MSI Review Team | usreview@msi.com

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Paul G.
  • 3/3/2015 6:05:32 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsMy first and LAST MSI product!

Pros: On paper this motherboard seems to have everything you'd want in a Z97. The UEFI interface is really slick and overall the board feels solidly built.

Cons: I own both this board as well as the Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK and while the MSI board's UEFI interface blows Gigabyte's away, that's about the only thing MSI has done right.

First of all, when you compare boot-up speed from power on until Windows is loaded and ready, the Gigabyte is at least 2X faster. What's even more suprising is, the MSI is running a faster processor and has 2X more ram than the Gigabyte, yet it's SIGNIFICANTLY slower.

But the absolute most important issues when buying a motherboard is - how stable is it and how is the manufacturer's tech support.

The MSI board has been nothing but trouble for me. The first BIOS was corrupted by their LiveUpdate utility so I was forced to use the dual boot option and switch to the second BIOS. I've never been able to fix the first one so if the remaining BIOS gets damaged, I'm done.

But to add insult to injury, MSI has the WORST tech support system I've ever used in my life. Normally when you file a support request, you log into the manufacturers site, submit your support request and from that moment forward you will be able to email the tech back and forth since email is much more convenient for the end user to use.

NOT MSI! With MSI you are forced each time to log back into their system, find your ticket, read the response and submit a response from inside their support site. The problem with this system is, 80-90% of the time I tried to log in, I was greeted with a blank screen. Whether I used Chrome or IE (yes I cleared my cache) I was not able to even log in to their support system to get help most of the time.

When I did manage to log in and send in a support request, the tech support guys ignored most of what I had to say and instead gave me typical canned responses that didn't answer any of my issues.

I attempted to get help in their support forums, but most of the time I couldn't log in there either - I was just greeted by a blank screen after trying to log in. So ultimately I had to fix it myself.

Finally, lets talk about the bundled MSI software. JUNK! After installing the latest builds from their website, 75-85% of the software crashed as soon as I booted up. Again MSI's tech support had absolutely nothing to say and no idea how to fix it.

There's a lot more to cover that's wrong with MSI - for example, they give you instructions on how to recover a damaged BIOS in the manual as well as on their website, but the instructions are totally out of date & won't work. You'll end up stranded & unless you are someone who builds a lot of systems, you're never going to fix it.

Overall, avoid ALL MSI products. There are lots of other vendors out there making solid products & who know what customer support means.

Other Thoughts: I am shocked that GURU 3D rated this board so highly. I really question whether or not they tested it or whether they just read the specs and gave it a thumbs up.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued Customer,
Based on the symptom you reported, we suggest you checking following steps below since many reasons can cause the situation like this ,
1. Check and make sure that power are connected correctly and firmly (JPWR1 and JPRW2), clear CMOS. ensure board has update BIOS for best result.
2. Check your other major hardware’s (memory, video card, CPU and power supply) to ensure that they are not the cause of the issue.
3. Do a clean install of window with update drivers for optimize performance.
4. If you need further assistant, please feel free to contact our technical support department directly at 626.271.1004 from M to F, 6am to 6pm Pacific standard Time.

Best Regards,
MSI Review Team | usreview@msi.com

6 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Tim C.
  • 11/10/2014 11:17:22 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsAbsolute Garbage

Pros: Actual tech support is good.

Cons: Where do I start? I am currently on my 3rd xpower board after having to replace this for one doa board and one bricked bios M Flash). I currently only have use of one of my bios due to another bad flash from msi forum flash tool and with zero support from the moderators on the forum it will have to stay that way. Moderators are quite ignorant and help only when they want to. Its quite sad that numerous people have to even turn to a forum to try and get their motherboard working..

Other Thoughts: Will be my first and last MSI product. Msi managment should check how there moderators are doing once and a while..

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued Customer,
Based on the symptom you reported, we suggest you checking following steps below since many reasons can cause the situation like this ,
1. Check and make sure that power are connected correctly and firmly (JPWR1 and JPRW2).
2. Check your other major hardware’s (memory, video card, CPU and power supply) to ensure that they are not the cause of the issue.
3. If you need further assistant, please feel free to contact our technical support department directly at 626.271.1004 from M to F, 6am to 6pm Pacific standard Time.

Best Regards,
MSI Review Team | usreview@msi.com

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Joseph G.
  • 10/13/2014 12:11:33 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsFYI processor info

Pros: FYI, if you are buying this board and you are also buying a new i7 4790K it may not post with it..!! Lucky I hade an i7 4770K to put in it to get it to post to be able to update the BIOS so it would recognize the 4790..!?!? Called MSI Tech line, (Got pretty quick service BTW) and this smart guy told me in .02 seconds exactly what to do...!!!

Cons: None

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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