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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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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

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 3 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 3 years


Customer Reviews of the MSI Z97 XPOWER AC

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  • Caleb M.
  • 8/30/2014 12:04:57 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsUpdated Review...

Pros: The stability has much improved with later bios versions and models of the board. The heat dissipation ability of the board is excellent. Further, newer driver versions are coming out for many of the board components that are substantially better.

Cons: RMA process. In my previous review, I was attempting to RMA out a motherboard that had a failed BIOS update. I ended up having to call MSI to RMA out the board. The person on the phone was excellent and answered all my questions, but I should have been able to do it via the web without a need to talk to someone.

Other Thoughts: Once the RMA was sent out, within one week I had a replacement. They (MSI) sent me an updated model of the same board, with the latest bios already installed. As noted in another review, do not use the MSI utilities for updating your bios, rather use the fan created utilities found on the MSI forums as they work substantially better.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Russell A.
  • 8/16/2014 3:02:01 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggsGreat Board, But...

Pros: This is an awesome board. Plenty of room for expansion boards. Runs cool, even overclocked to 4GHz.

Cons: 1. At this price point there should have been dual nics.
2. ASMedia controller SATA ports 7-10 can not be made hot-swap. Inconvenient when you have removable drive trays.
3. Don't use ASMedia driver supplied. Use Microsoft standard SATA driver.
4. WiFi and Bluetooth should be left to third party vendors, lowering the motherboard price.

Other Thoughts: Remember if these go bad, the entire board has to be RMA'd.
I don't use Bluetooth and my router has WiFi.
I have no way of knowing if these included devices even work.

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

  • Glenn G.
  • 8/11/2014 7:26:53 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsReview: Part 2 - Solution Found!

Pros: Overclocks well for basic overclocks. You can leave many bios settings to AUTO which can't be said with some boards out there these days.. More extreme overclocks still require tweaking some settings while still leaving many of them set to AUTO.

Cons: BIOS Flashing utility in Windows. MSI Live Update. Just stay away from these utilities entirely and life will be good. If you read my first review you will see where using these utilities got me.

Other Thoughts: I felt it was necessary to post this follow up review after this past weekend I found a way to restore my primary bios on this board.

If you find yourself having any issues with a BIOS on an MSI Motherboard, check out the user-created MSI HQ USB BIOS Flash Tool that can be found on the MSI Forums. Using this utility I was able to recover my primary bios and get the system to boot again. After the tool was used to restore the primary bios, he bios for some reason wouldn't accept my XMP profile settings but I was able to use the built-in Bios flasher to re-apply the 1.4 BIOS to make the primary bios fully functional again.

That being said, my final review is minus 1 egg for the DOA Wireless Adapter on first board/poor packaging of the wireless adapter/improperly advertised de-lid die guard and minus a second egg for the Bios issues I had. I refer to my original remarks about what I think MSI should do and I will add to that MSI should take a cue from your forum members who have been having these same bios issues for quite some time. I would figure as long as these issues appear to have been around you guys would have a solution to this problem and customers like myself wouldn't have to resort to a user-created 3rd party utility to avoid sending a board for RMA.

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

  • Glenn G.
  • 8/9/2014 3:08:09 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggs2 boards down, 2 different issues. Now Stuck with this thing.

Pros: Great features advertised... The only reason the one I have is even working right now is because of the Dual Bios Feature so gotta give big props for that..

Cons: The first board I received had DOA wireless from the factory. MSI Soldered the Wifi connector on the board backwards or improperly. MSI does a poor job of packaging the Wireless-AC adapter within the box and both ones that I received from Newegg the Wifi adapter was just loose inside the box because the Anti-Static bag it's shipped in isn't sealed.

This week I received my second board after going through the replacement process with Newegg. Wifi on the second board worked great. I installed Win7x64, installed Drivers and attempted to update the primary bios using the MSI Windows updater that was downloaded via MSI Live Update. For an unknown reason, the updater failed but the board kept working with version 1.0 of the bios.

I continued downloading the updated drivers using MSI Live Update, which is total garbage in my opinion, as it kept trying to download USB 3.0 Drivers that the installer said wasn't compatible for my hardware. The MSI Live Update tries to re-download the updates every single time you run the application, regardless if they are already downloaded. I ended up navigating directly to the folder on my Hard Drive where the files were downloaded and running them individually. One by one I proceeded to install other updates to the system including an updated System Command Center application that MSI provides. Reviewed the OC Settings, left everything factory defaulted, and rebooted the system.

Suddenly, the system will not post. Switched to the backup bios and everything worked normally. I downloaded the latest 1.4 Bios from MSI Site to a flash drive and used the M-Flash bios update utility to flash the backup bios to 1.4. After 1.4 was applied to the backup bios, I followed MSI's instructions to recover the primary bios using the 1.4 Bios on my flash drive. As it's been already reported, this feature does not work at all and each time the system would reboot to apply the bios, it would do nothing after rebooting. Shut down the system, switch back to the backup and everything is fine again. As I'm writing this review the system is sitting at a black screen after I initiated a primary bios recovery, I hope it will magically start working.

A primary reason I purchased this board was the De-Lid adapter feature. As I have de-lidded other CPU's I own, I was excited at being able to do that with this system. Fortunately I realized immediately after receiving the first board that MSI Falsely or Poorly advertises this feature. On MSI Website it says "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." - When you receive the product you will find that it says "for LN2 Solutions Thermal Optimal". I purchased this board hoping that I would be able to use my water cooling setup directly on the die with the adapter. Unfortunately not only is the adapter not supported with Devil's Canyon, it's not supported for this use.

Other Thoughts: I just built a buddy's system with an MSI M-Power board recently and I was excited to see what MSI would bring with a flagship board like this one. After having two of them now, I'm no longer excited. I guess I will just stick choosing MSI for their Lightning Video Card series and Gaming laptops... but not motherboards. I should note that I'm typing this review on a MSI-Based Gaming laptop so I don't want to come off as an MSI basher, they do have some great products out there.

As it's been said in another review, I too will also say that this will be the last MSI Board I will buy. I should have just got a refund when I had the chance but now that's no longer an option. After I complete this review I will need to register the board I'm now stuck with on MSI's website and start the RMA process. I've had to deal with the MSI RMA Process a few years ago and that was a disaster. I genuinely hope this time around it will be better. I also hope they ship me a brand new board and not a refurbished one because I will become a mega unhappy customer if that happens again.

That being said however, I'm not going to wait around and see what happens as "A---" just released their competing motherboard this week. As they have never failed me in over a decade, I'm going to order their board and I guess chalk this up to a $400 learning experience.

MSI Needs to clearly and truthfully advertise what the De-Lid Die Guard does and what it's designed for. It's not designed for anything other than a custom made cooling solution or LN2 cooling solution. The section on their website that says "the MSI Delid Die Guard helps with your air, water or subzero overclocking activities." needs to be completely reworded to say the De-Lid LN2 Adapter as that's basically what it says in the box.

Lastly, MSI needs to actually test and verify features work before advertising them. If their Bios recovery feature actually worked right now I would probably be writing a more positive review with the only complaint being the improperly advertised LN2 Adapter. I hope MSI takes this feedback and actually does something with it.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued Customer,

We apologize for the issues that you are having with this product.

If you have not go through troubleshooting yet, then feel free to contact our tech support team for assistance at 626.271.1004 from M to F, 9am to 6pm Pacific Time.


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

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

  • Lance L.
  • 8/3/2014 8:07:28 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsExcellent motherboard

Pros: Excellent user interface. Impressive build quality. Overclocking options for novices. Motherboard did not disappoint.

Cons: WiFi dongle includes 2 antennas that are a bit annoying. It just adds clutter to your desk.

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

  • Caleb M.
  • 7/22/2014 10:26:20 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsExcellent hardware, poor bios / driver support

Pros: I purchased this board a little over a month ago and the initial setup was fairly smooth. The design is very well laid out and makes it easy to fit in two video cards, water cooling, and attach your hard drives. The board comes with all the components needed to make it functional, and has a wireless module also.

Cons: The board has some serious drawbacks now that I am a month in that I have encountered.

The bioses (there are two) are not self recoverable, and the feature to recover one from the other if one fails is not functional. The manual references features that are not present in versions of the bios past 1.0, so if you update your bios, you will be unable to follow the specific steps it recommends. In addition, the board itself is fairly unstable as the drivers that support it are poor.. The wireless module does not attach well either. If the wireless module is not functioning, the Intel bluetooth drivers will throw errors, and even the slightest bump will knock the wireless module off it's mounting.

The USB attachments for the board are located in places that will become unaccessible should have multiple video cards (as well as the CMOS battery reset) so you will need to completely disassemble your system each time you need to make a change.

In short what is an excellent board hardware wise, is made almost worthless by poor driver support, poor bios, and enough minor flaws to make it a bad buy.

Other Thoughts: I attempted to update my board using the M-Flash functionality to 1.3 of the bios. The update failed and proceeded to brick both bioses (not sure why). Evidently this is a common issue, and the bios release was not fully tested.

At the moment, I am attempting to wander through the MSI RMA process, which is confusing and consists of a broken web application (they want me to update a serial number, but the update functionality is broke).

I've been a loyal MSI customer prior to this... but never had to work with their customer service before. This will be the last MSI board I purchase.

Manufacturer Response:

Motherboard RMA request #1:

Dear Valued Customer,

We apologize for the issues that you are having with this product.

If you have not go through troubleshooting yet, then feel free to contact our tech support team for assistance at 626.271.1004 from M to F, 6am to 6pm Pacific Time.

If you have gone through troubleshooting and confirmed the symptom, then please kindly visit the URL below to set up a RMA for warranty service.
http://service.msicomputer.com/msi_user/rma_form_new.aspx

Required Information:
1. Full name (first, and last)
2. Telephone #
3. Physical address (No PO box)
4. Email address
5. Serial number (located on the box, or underneath the motherboard, eg 601-xxxx-xxxBxxxxxxxxxx)
6. Please write clear details about symptoms you are having onto the Special Remark section.

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

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • David L.
  • 7/21/2014 11:46:37 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsDon't spend this much on a z97 MB

Pros: Good looking matte black PCB and finish.
Lots of space for an air cooled Sli/Crossfire setup.
Dual BIOS and PCIE graphics switches for diagnosing problems
Tons and tons of features.
Probably the best overclocking oriented board on the market.

Cons: Been a long time since I actually struggled with a motherboard install.
First off, wifi module was loose in the box and had clearly been handled by someone.
Wifi module is as hard to install as everyone says. There was another review up here about it, but it got taken down or something.

*Delid die guard does not fit Devil's Canyon*. It fits original Haswell. This is a giant mess. I guess there was no way to know Intel put an extra row of components on the top of the chip compared to a 4770k but they did. Thus, the delid guard is rendered essentially useless. The install was so clunky, when I realized the backplate for the retention bracket wasn't stuck to the motherboard and I was going to have to hold the backplate in with one hand while trying to screw on the delid guard from the top with allen wrench keys I gave up. Not only that but the 3rd center screw doesn't even fit the delid guard itself. You have to have a spare retention bracket screw lying around to fasten it at the front of the cpu. Not good.
Has an onboard super annoying and very bright blue LED that flickers along with the harddrive activity. If you disable it, the rest of the onbaord LEDs, which are subtle and useful go with it. All that is left is the pleasing yellow trail along the sound card PCB separation.
I actually couldn't get the board working properly at all with my MSI 295x2, which doesn't work in crossfire on the ONLY game I wanted to play it with (FFXIV). It was a complete nightmare. Instructions say to install a single card in the 2nd PCIE slot, so I followed them... no video but it did POST. Eventually I swapped the card to the first slot (a pain for a dual GPU that has hoses sticking out of it) and it gave me video. Subsequent issues where half the time the BIOS wou...ld... ru...n... rea...lly... sl...ow after windows got installed led me to actually have to call MSI for customer support. Something I don't like doing. Makes me feel like I'm stupid. It was a nightmare trying to get the BIOS updated on this board. As it turns out that was because I had flipped off legacy USB support while trying everything to get the BIOS to behave. You can ONLY update the BIOS properly on these boards from the BIOS itself. This is common enough, but MSI makes a handy tool to do it from within windows... except it can't update the ME, whatever that is. Some sort of connection between windows and the UEFI BIOS.
MSI CS actually told me to RMA the board. I continued trying to troubleshoot it on my own and got the BIOS and ME updated. Then when the cho....ppy BIOS thing kept happening, (mind you it was p95 stable in windows) I even tried to switch my 295x2 back to the second PCIE slot per the manuals instructions. After that I sent the board back to Newegg, who took care of me like they usually do. I love ordering from Newegg but this was a big mistake to buy on my part.

Other Thoughts: the X lights up white... looks nice but the whole board just has too many colors going on all over it. White leds, red reset button blue hdd flickering LED was really bad and then yellow highlights on the heatsinks. I was not expecting such a complete clashing of aesthetics and what seemed to me to be some sort of issue with my dual gpu graphics card while in the BIOS.

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Item#: N82E16813130764
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