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Item#: N82E16813157509

ASRock Fatal1ty H97 Killer LGA 1150 Intel H97 HDMI 6 x SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

  • Intel H97
  • Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron (LGA1150)
  • DDR3 1600 / 1333 / 1066
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Learn more about the ASRock Fatal1ty H97 Killer

Quick Info

Warranty

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


Customer Reviews of the ASRock Fatal1ty H97 Killer

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  • Brian C.
  • 5/3/2015 5:08:09 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsMust Have Mid-Range Gaming MB

Pros: Solid Construction, Great Sound, Plenty of Fan Connections, Comprehensive BIOS

Cons: Front Panel Connections (Power/Reset Switch, Power/HDD LED) on farthest part of MB from Front Panel. Makes it a bit of a stretch for cases that don't have overly long cables.

Other Thoughts: Bought 5 of these to build gaming rigs for entire family. Not a single DOA, all of them work great!

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  • Luis R.
  • 1/20/2015 10:10:31 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsSSD Problems with a crucial SSD.

Pros: Incredibly fast, no problems setting it up from day one, combined it with an NVIDIA EVGA 760 2GB video card, 2x8gb Team elite Memory, Crucial 256 MX100 SSD, WD 2TB Sata hard drive, GIGABYTE Model GC-WB867D-I Wi-Fi card, Corsair CX500 Power supply.

Cons: It's been working great for a while but recently the SSD drive has been losing connection to the mainboard, I get the BSOD and the computer will restart and say there's no Hard Drive installed. I have to open the case and use a different Sata port for the hard drive to work. I have another normal Hard drive that doesn't lose connection at all. This has happened 4 times in the last 2 months.

Other Thoughts: I will try updating the firmware and buying another ssd to see if the problem persists and update this review if possible. I have used ASUS and Gigabyte for my previous builds and haven't had any problems, hopefully after some troubleshooting I can say the same about this board.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued ASRock Customer

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
Please reconnect the drive firmly to the port to try.
Test with another known good HDD/SSD drive and SATA cable to particular port to check if the symptom still occurs.
If you have any technical support inquiry, please contact us at http://www.ASRock.com/support/tsd.asp. We will assist you shortly.

Thank you

ASRock SUPPORT
Tech Support Email: http://www.ASRock.com/support/tsd.asp

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4 out of 5 eggsCan It Overclock??? Yes, It Can!

Pros: To start, this is my first experience with an ASRock product and I like what I see. Set up and Windows installation went without any problems. The board came with BIOS v1.10 and I immediately updated to v1.20 prior to putting it through its paces. The new BIOS adds support for the Pentium G3258 Anniversary Edition, by the way, so anyone looking for a cheap OC rig keep that in mind.

With this board, I was able to overclock my i7-4770K to a stable 4.5GHz. All of the overclocking bells and whistles one expects in a more expensive Z97 board are there. The UEFI is one of the best I've seen with organization, available options, looks and feel. I’m amazed how fast this thing boots up using the Windows 8 UEFI Ultra Fast boot. I get to the desktop before the fans even settle down to their cruising speed on a cold boot, about 5-7 seconds... and this is using an older Intel M25-X SSD on the test bench. From what I've read, this is typical of ASRock boards.

This board has a lot going for it and really punches above its weight class. It looks good, it runs good, and I think ASRock has really made a quality product for a price that’s hard to pass up.

Cons: Let’s be honest, you’re getting a lot of gimmicks with this board. I've had several boards with Killer NIC and I can’t say it does much (or anything?) for the average gamer. This board also has a “Fatal1ty Mouse Port” which is supposed to give improved mouse sensitivity with increased polling. Again, I didn't notice a difference verses using a standard mouse port, but others might disagree.

Fatal1ty endorsements aside, the only true cons I found with this board have all been covered in other reviews. Only two of the fan headers are PWM while the rest are 3-pin… including one of the two CPU fan headers. I have a large tower heatsink installed with push-pull fans and the 3-pin header, which is controlled in tandem with the primary PWM header in the UEFI, always ran my secondary fan too slow. It was always slower than the primary fan, in any case. Another con, which is more cautionary than anything, is that this is one of those skinny ATX boards that do not have stand-offs on the 24-pin and RAM side of the board. Be sure to support the PCB when plugging things in or you may crack the board.

Other Thoughts: I’m left with an overall sense of identity crisis with this board. It is an overclocking board, but uses the H97 chipset. It’s a new board that supports the latest Intel chips and M.2 SSDs, but it has legacy PCI expansion, PS/2, and 3-pin fan headers. It’s broadcasting itself as a Fatal1ty gamer board, but serious gamers will spring for something that has more PCIe functionality and SLI.

I do think this is a quality board and is a solid 4-egg product. A perfect score demands perfection, so I knocked an egg off because there is some room for improvement. I would personally love to see a version of this board in the mini ITX form factor. One PCIe-16x slot, add wireless-AC, and move the M.2 to the back of the board for a really nice portable "Fatal1ty" endorsed gamer box.

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4 out of 5 eggsAffordable Mainstream Performance, Odd Features

Pros: ASRock added back in some features most H97 boards are missing (Overclocking, Crossfire compatibility), good board layout, high quality on-board audio (Realtek ALC1150), very clean power delivery, great looking board - setup was a breeze, I was up and running within a few minutes of installing components - UEFI BIOS is extremely easy to get around in and everything in it makes perfect sense. Free XSplit license!

Cons: 24 pin power connector is on an unsupported part of the board, be VERY careful when connecting it and support it from the bottom with your hand if at all possible - they should move that to the top of the board with the 8 pin - NO SLI SUPPORT - I do NOT know why ASRock continues to do this, but this is why I dropped 1 egg off the review - H97 technically only has 1x16 support for PCIe, so I'm not sure what kind of magic ASRock has in play here, but my GTX770 worked just fine by itself, obviously a second would not be supported, only 2 PCIe x1 slots, instead there's 2 legacy PCI slots... which is puzzling - why not add an extra PCIe x4 slot?

Other Thoughts: Ok, so the 800 lb Gorilla in the room - the Killer NIC... I personally saw no difference in the ping times or throughput on LAN or WAN using this NIC and the provided software vs. an Intel NIC on another ASRock board (Z97 Pro4). I'm guessing it's a lot of marketing hype, but if you think it helps you then awesome, maybe they should rename it the Placebo NIC? Anyway, this board is confusing - H97 is a business/mainstream chipset, it's a stripped down Z97 completely NOT targeted towards gaming or performance, yet here we have this board, directly targeted at gamers. My opinion would be to spend the few extra bucks and get ASRock's Z97 board, especially if you really want that Killer NIC. This did include a free XSplit license, which is nice - this would make a great board for a streaming PC, but I just don't see why ASRock went with the H97, it's not that much cheaper than it's Z97 brother and the features you're losing are really what a gamer is looking for.

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3 out of 5 eggsUpdated Review from below

Pros: With the help of Asrock tech support, got the motherboard lockup sensitivity under control.

QoS in the NiC driver does something...

Cons: Will not overclock the Pentium G3258 (The 20th yr anniversary edition) despite what the BIOS reports.

Enabling QoS causes stability issues with the Killer NiC depending on traffic type and whether other devices on the network have QoS enabled as well.

Other Thoughts: Overall, I'd recommend skipping this board and going with a Z97 board. The level of features vs cost just isn't very compelling to me.

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4 out of 5 eggsASROCK'S Afordable Performance

Pros: Price is the best part of this motherboard new egg has it listed for 109$ for a motherboard this feature packed you can’t go wrong great affordable entry level gaming motherboard.

This Motherboard is a bit strange but great all in the same is has a mixture of New and old tech uses 1600 ddr3 ram witch is not the fastest but is affordable then they put the super-fast m.2 interface for supper fast SSD.
With that said I coupled this motherboard with a Intel 4790 3.6ghz 4 core processor and 2 4GB 1600 ram sticks and a 120GB SSD. This combo is superfast installed windows 7 ultimate in (18 minutes) from jump drive. That’s FAST….!!!
ASRock hit it out of the park with the bios, Bios is amazing I love the fact you scan use mouse and keyboard to configure the bios. There’s not much you can adjust or manipulate with this bios.
The color scheme of this mother board is great with the red and black you can match ram to it with similar colors and red led fans it look great in a Modder case with a side window.
The internal Graphics Card is actually really good plays most games out of the box, Sound card is probably one of the best sounding internal sound cards I’ve ever used, I’ve been using it in junction with my ham radio as a modulator and it works great no other sound card I’ve used has worked this well.
Good amount of USB ports and headers for 2.0 and 3.0, also good amount of 6 GB SATA connectors.
PS2 PORT!!! For extreme gamers you know awesome PS2 ports are I’m glad to see one is included on the motherboard.
Tons of cooling fan headers, the physical layout of the motherboard is good.

Cons: No SLI
Does not support ram faster than 1600 well is does but the bios will clock the ram down to 1600 hopefully a future bios upgrade can alleviate this.
Due to chipset limitation, the Blu-ray playback is limited too windows 8 / 8 64-bit / 7 / 7 64-bit.

Other Thoughts: Will recommend to everyone that is looking for affordable gaming motherboard.

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5 out of 5 eggsTalk about maxing out a platorm

Pros: Good looking board
Has all of the latest technologies (m.2, SATA express, thunderbolt, etc)
All of the components appear to be of the highest quality
plenty of fan headers
Some actually useful bundled software
Clearly designed with competitive multi-player gaming in mind
CPU multiplier modification on a h97 chipset

Cons: No supports along the far right edge of the board cause it to flex when plugging in the 24 pin atx power connector.

The ability to modify the multiplier on unlocked CPU's should be mentioned more prominently than it is, although it's possible Intel won't allow them to advertise this. If I knew it could overclock, I would have gotten a better CPU. I'm probably not the only one.

The marketing for the network card is over hyped. There is no noticeable performance difference under normal conditions. It won't improve your reaction time in Counterstrike. It will however prevent a file copy or streaming a movie from a network share from reducing your ping.

Other Thoughts: This board is like racing stock cars. It's taking a run of the mill, ho hum, average platform and getting every last feature out of it. On paper, this board clearly stands apart from it's competition with a clock multiplier adjust and multi GPU support. Add that to a high polling USB port, QoS enabled network card, and next gen technologies like thunderbolt, m.2, and SATA Express and you have really all you could ask for in this platform.

It's also worth mentioning that the Pentium anniversary edition is due out soon, and is compatible with this board per the CPU support list on ASROCK's website. A $75ish unlocked cpu paired with this board would be fantastic for anyone who wants to get into Intel overclocking but doesn't have the funds for a $200 cpu plus $150 motherboard. It's almost like this board was designed with this chip in mind. Sort of regretting my decision to put an i3 in.

Performance is as good as you would expect. It's certainly not holding back my i3. I just wish I had known that it supported modifying the clock multiplier ahead of time and I would have paired it with a better CPU to take advantage of it.

If you're a gamer, and your on a budget you can really consider paring this board with an unlocked i5. Put the money saved vs a z97 towards your graphics card and enjoy your premium sound, QoS network card, and high poll rate mouse port that you likely won't get on a low end z97. Just make sure to get AMD cards if you want the option to add a 2nd card somewhere down the line.

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4 out of 5 eggsGreat motherboard, strange chipset

Pros: Works well, BIOS is reliable, and has features not available to the stock H97 chipset.

This motherboard also has unlocked MSRs, which is nice (relevant to OS X).

Was able to overclock my i5-4670K without issue.

The VRM and Southbridge heatsinks use screws, which makes taking them off and modifying easy (no dealing with those annoying 1-time use push pins).

Works great with Windows 8.1 x64, Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 x86_64 with kernel 3.15.1), and OS X Mavericks (10.9.3; you will need to mess around with kexts specifically for PS/2 (can use VoodooPS2), the Ethernet, and Audio (can use VoodooHDA), possibly even PM if using SpeedStep). All operating systems work fine with UEFI, and CSM disabled. Windows 8.1 works fine with Ultra Fast Boot, and Ubuntu works fine with Fast Boot. Works fine with the Clover (OS X) and Grub2 bootloaders as well.

This motherboard even has dual-BIOS chips. I wouldn't assume you are totally 100% safe from bricking the motherboard with flashing a BIOS (although it's possible you just may well be unless you flash both BIOS chips with broken firmware), but you should be far safer.

Cons: There is no way to select a particular EFI file to boot from within the BIOS GUI interface. I was unable to boot Clover with just using a EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI file on the HDD, but was able to when it was on a flash drive. I had to use the bootmgfw.efi trick to get an entry showing initially (Windows Bootloader).

The EFI Shell also appears to be a bit incomplete (typing help shows a bunch of null commands).

The chipset is a bit strange, but I do applaud ASRock for making it better. Basically, there is the Z97 chipset, and the H97 chipset, which is basically a stripped-down version of the Z97. As to why Intel launched such a chipset, I don't know, but in any case, ASRock did re-implement plenty of the stripped features (most notably Crossfire and overclocking). Re-implementing such features though doesn't come without downsides though; specifically, there are strange expansion slot card speed conditions. Basically, a 2nd GPU in the PCI-E slot will out-of-the-box run slower than the 1st slot, and if another expansion card is inserted elsewhere, the PCI-E slot speed gets cut in-half (from x4 to x2). Using a single GPU is fine though, and will have no problems running at the advertised PCI-E 3.0@x16 specification.

Other Thoughts: As most people claim, the Killer NIC isn't as great as it sounds. The software in-particular on Windows isn't something I would vouch for personally. However, you should be aware that the E2200 chip is just a slightly-modified AR8161 Atheros chip, and thus, you can use it's driver. Under Windows, you have to manually force the installation of that driver, but based on testing and feedback from others, it works fine, and on-top of being far less bulky, it may even be more stable than the Killer-specific driver.

The unlocked MSRs note is relevant if you plan to install OS X with this motherboard. With a motherboard with locked MSRs, OS X (Mavericks specifically) will reboot early in the booting process when trying to access a specific CPU register. This motherboard (along with certain other Fatal1ty boards) has unlocked MSRs, which means no boot-time kernel patching is needed. It's unknown if Windows or Linux benefits from this though, but it's still a nice touch.

There is a Non-Z OC feature for this motherboard. I however didn't need to enable it in order to overclock my 4670K. According to an article however, it seems this feature is needed to overclock K and non-K CPUs on non-Z chipsets (like the H97 chipset this motherboard uses).

This motherboard also worked fine with the CM Hyper 212 Plus cooler I have.

The USB ports on this motherboard are a bit interesting (in a good way). First off, the labeled USB 3.0 ports work even though USB 3.0 is disabled in BIOS. However, the ports will function as 2.0 ports. Another thing is the USB Compatibility Path setting in BIOS. Under normal circumstances, the setting should be disabled, and based on my testing, works fine with just about everything, except for VMware Player (likely other VMware virtualization products and other similar software). The Player would not allow me to pass USB devices over to the Guest OS until I enabled the patch setting. Normal USB usage still worked fine though.

There is also a red light under the PCIE2 slot. I imagine this just lets you know the motherboard has power and is turned on, but I couldn't find any information about it.

From a cold boot, when pushing the power button, the system turns on briefly, and then turns back off, and then powers on for real. The reasoning for this is unknown in my situation, but perhaps it has to do with the CPU and overclocking.

When using Linux, kernel 3.13 (included in Ubuntu 14.04), the onboard audio was glitchy and basically unusable. Upgrading to 3.15 fixed the issue though. I'm unsure how kernels in-between would work with audio.

Although Crossfire may not be the most ideal experience with this motherboard, you could try another interesting feat. If using a compatible CPU (you need VT-d for this, and all the K CPUs from Intel aside from the upcoming Devil's Canyon CPUs lack this feature), you could attempt to use GPU-passthrough with virtual machines.

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4 out of 5 eggsInteresting board - mostly good

Pros: I started evaluating the ASRock H97 Killer motherboard thinking it would be a straightforward process. It turned into much more than I anticipated. This motherboard promises more than could be expected at this price point. To determine what features provided real benefits and which were marketing fluff required a couple late nights of work.
The H97 Killer needs to be viewed in the context of attempting to provide the most useful Z97 chipset features at an H97 price point. Depending on the fullness of your wallet, the extra 30 bucks or so an equivalent Z97 board may or may not be a factor. Assuming you are a gamer on a budget, let's see how well the ASRock H97 Killer works.

The main performance differences between Intel's Z97 chipset and the H97 are (1) The Z97 supports multiple graphics cards (e.g. CrossFire), the H97 does not and (2) CPU overclocking is only supported on Z97 boards. ASRock addresses both issues. They added a second PCIe x4 slot for CrossFire graphics support and, wonder of wonder, they bypass Intel's prohibition on overclocking with the H97. The "Killer" in the motherboard's name refers to the Qualcomm Atheros Killer network port. This feature gets the most advertising space on the product box and in the manual. In theory, it allows prioritizing game traffic over other network communications. Or, in ASRock's breathless marketing, "No lag, just frag!" OK. Alright then. See the "Other thoughts" section below for more on this.

To compare overclocking, I used an i7-4770K processor on the ASRock H97 Killer board and on an Asus Z97-WS. The systems were air cooled using a Noctua D14. On the Asus board, the 4770K runs happily - Prime95 for days at a time - at 4.5GHz using a relatively sane VCC of 1.136 V. The first problem I encountered on the ASRock board was that the Noctua heatsink would not clear the memory I used (see cons, below). Switching to different memory sticks with low-profile heat spreaders produced 4.4GHz on the Asus Z97 board and a maximum stable (Prime95 running error free for 3 hours) clock of 4.3GHz on the ASRock board. This was at the same 1.136V core I have been running the processor at. In other words, the ASRock H97 Killer board overclocked to within 0.1GHz of as Asus Z97 board costing twice as much. Not too shabby!

On the assumption that you are not considering a gaming board and planning to use the on-board graphics, I next checked dual graphics card performance. The Asus board sports dual PCIe 3 x16 slots while the ASRock board has a single x16 and one PCIe 2 x4. Graphics performance did improve when adding a second card to the ASRock board, but the lower bandwidth was evident in framerate and resolution compared to what I got from the Asus board. Overall, I saw ASRock's dual card graphics performance about in the middle between single card and dual CrossFire on the Asus. Considering that even entry level graphics cards cost more than ASRock's motherboard, I can't recommend it for CrossFire use.

Cons: As mentioned above, the memory slots are too close to the CPU. DIMMs having tall heatspreaders could not be used with a large tower heatsink. This probably is not too serious of a concern in the lower-cost gaming market segment ASRock targets.

Dual graphics are indeed supported, bypassing a limitation of the H97 chipset. Unfortunately, Crossfire performance is hampered by the slow bandwidth of the second slot. You do see an improvement in maximum playable resolution and possible effects, but not as much as a Z97-equipped card provides. You really should only consider this motherboard if you plan on using a single graphics card. For that, it works well.

The bundled software is more of a disaster and resource hog than that of other vendors. You need it if you plan on utilizing the "Killer" LAN capability. Otherwise, it is bloatware that prompts one to purchase ASRock apps. I ended up having multiple application hangs after installing the full ASRock suite. Thankfully, I was using a test system where reverting to a new Windows install state only required rebooting and a few minutes of backup. I couldn't find any truly useful features to recommend ASRock's software.

The SATA connector placement is such that some ports are blocked by long graphics cards.

The motherboard also has two PCIe x1 slots. If either is occupied, the bandwidth of the x4 slot drops to x2. This is not a board to choose if you require add-in cards.

Other Thoughts: Other reviewers noted the presence of the PCI slots. I assume ASRock's hack to allow dual graphics cards cut into the available PCIe lanes. They were left with additional space on the board and no more PCIe lanes. Ergo, the old-fashioned PCI slots.

The unanswered question is whether the "Killer 2200 Intelligent Networking Platform" is either killer or intelligent. The Qualcomm network port provides basic Quality of Service (QoS) support. Essentially, this is a fancy way of saying that certain network traffic (e.g. games) can be prioritized over other traffic. This is a standard feature of even mid-range enterprise network switches and routers, and something we use in a work environment daily.

Enabling QoS on the ASRock board's LAN port requires installing their "Killer Network Manager" application. To its credit, the app has an readily readable display of all processes and their network use. Prioritizing one over the other is simple, detailed logs are available, and the app can even act as a basic outgoing firewall to block a process entirely. A drawback is that Killer Network Manager, like all the ASRock applications, is a total CPU hog. More on this below.

I started testing by playing several online games while monitoring ping times and looking for signs of lag. To provide additional network load, I also streamed a HD movie through the same network port. There was no effect on gameplay when video streaming started. I then added a file copy to the mix, repeatedly copying a series of 2GB files to a second computer. Again, no change in game network performance.

Finally, hauled the computer into our office. I started a multithreaded copy of 200GB worth of 10 - 100MB files, 16 in parallel, to a server on our fast network. The initial hop from ASRock LAN port to the switch was 1Gbps, but from there on it used our 10Gbps fiber network and dumped the files into a massive RAID array capable of over 15Gbps throughput. Finally - ping times went up by 10% or so, and I saw occasional lag spikes when comparing no QoS to prioritizing game traffic.

So, we can safely conclude that the "Killer NIC" does do something. What that something is, however, may not be to your liking. CPU usage by the Killer Network Manager application soared to 50% during my torture testing. This resulted in lower frame rates and stuttering during gameplay. I found this more objectionable than the occasional lag.

In summary, my tests indicate that while the Qualcomm NIC can reduce gaming lag, it required a highly artificial environment for any difference to be apparent. In the process, the ASRock software stole enough CPU cycles to adversely affect game play.

Interestingly, I did find one (semi) real-world benefit to the Qualcomm Killer LAN and software. HD video streaming while copying a substantial amount of files to another machine (not my insane test, just standard copying 10+GB of files) stuttered and stopped. Using the ASRock QoS, I could prioritize video. Pe

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4 out of 5 eggsDecent bang for yo RUBLES!

Pros: Packed well. I really like that this main board was surrounded by foam. That will keep it much safer during shipping. Good manual, easy to understand if you are new to the world of computer building... I like the I/O bracket, looks cool and the ports are all labeled so that if you have NO clue where things go, all you need to do is look. Came with a 3 month FREE subscription card for Xsplit a "livestreaming" service. Don't know if I would use it, but I'm sure others that pick up this board might, so that is nice. BIOS was easy to navigate and this board didn't have any issues with the i3, i5, or i7 CPU's that I used. Onboard video worked well but I also used a GTX660Ti to check out gaming performance, HUGE difference from on board video of course. This board looks robust and the layout is nice. I also like that it came with legacy PCI slots, you never know... Qualcomm Killer NIC, personally I think it's just "hype" but it's on this board if you want / need it. General network speed on my 1000Base LAN was what all my other gigabit nics would pull... While gaming (Rust) I did not notice any better ping. May have been my ISP, who knows. Board is built well, good caps good looking PCB too... M.2 port for SSD, that is nice to have, but blocks some things from a design standpoint, still nice to have I think. Audio sounds really decent, might be attributed to the "Purity Sound 2" onboard. Generally great performance from this board. Windows 7 installed in 10 minutes. Good board for a gamer that does not want to spend a ton of rubles.

Cons: Qualcomm Killer NIC is hype I think... Depending on what SATA ports you use, the board can lock also did not like one set of DDR3 that I had, it might have been a timing issue. Worked fine with two other sets, G-Skill and Crucial. I would make sure that you stick with name brand RAM and not the cheap stuff. I'm going to knock off one "Egg" with the RAM issue, I've never experienced that and I really think that the Killer NIC is just marketing hype, which in turn makes things cost more...

Other Thoughts: I feel that most of these H97 platform boards will all be pretty competitive and similar it really depends on if you are shopping by price or by allegiance. I myself am a Gigabyte fan, I've used LOTS of their boards and their failure rate is VERY low. I've used some AsRock in the past 5 years and have had some issues. Having said that, this board was not DOA and was able to POST without issue. Just remember, get decent RAM, not the super cheap stuff. Some other things to consider, Intel Haswell-E will be here soon, DDR4 and 8 core chips.
Even with me being a EggExpert reviewer, I want people to know what is going to work, how intuitive a product is and that it is a value, because at the end of the day that is all one can ask for! I look forward to continued good service out of this product and feel that it is a great deal!

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