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ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: This board is my first introduction to ASRock m-ITX product. My experience is mostly with m-ITX from MSI and ASUS. Couldn't find any flaw on this board and for the cost I'd dare say this is the best value on the Z97 line out of all the Z97 boards. Looks-wise it matches up to the old MSI Z77 m-ITX, good blues against a black PCB. On inputs and outputs this board stacks up offering M.2, SATA Express, AC Wifi, and Bluetooth 4.0. Components used seem to be above par, they advertise higher quality caps, chokes and mosfets. This is suppose to translate into less heat, more stability, and better overclockability. I was able to OC the 4670k to 4.5 stable, used an H100i for the testing. Time will tell if it holds but several rounds of gaming and with temps well under control I shouldn't need to worry.

Really like the HDMI-in feature so you can pass through an HDMI signal from a device like a tablet or phone. Audio works just fine. Audio playback in my bluetooth Sennheiser headset was good.

Cons: The only thing that could ruin a reputation for this board would be abnormally high failure rates. As long as this is not the case this board is a keeper considering you get all the Z97 sought after features for less than $140.00 in m-ITX format.

Other Thoughts: The blue G.Skill ram heatspreaders match up well with the blues on the board. One thing I like about this board is that it save money by focusing on whats important. No gimmicky audio features and no gimmicky ethernet features that don't gain you anything. If you like to OC and game and need m-ITX then this board is solid.

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GIGABYTE GA-G1.Sniper Z97 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: My review below covered the Z97X-Gaming which is the same thing and the next step up from this board by adding M.2 and SATA Express. For only $5.00 more it's worth getting instead of the GA-G1.Sniper if you are looking for storage options faster than 6 Gbps. Even if you won't use those options right away it's worth getting.

Cons: none

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GIGABYTE GA-G1.Sniper Z97 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Comparing the other gaming oriented motherboards in the same price point, Gigabyte holds its own. The most obvious departure on the Sniper series is the elimination of the strong green access in favor of the red for the red/black scheme that was brought into vogue by ASUS. The Red does look nice when contrasted with a real black PCB on this board. The capacitors in the lower left part of the board are green which is a nice tribute to the Sniper series. Not enthused by the eye symbol on the heatsink but it could have been worse.

There are two things storage related on this board which make it stand out from your average board. First is the M.2 slot. Google M.2 for a detailed explanation but its essentially an onboard slot that will accomodate an SSD on a stick, this type of slot is what is normally used to connect a small form factor SSD inside a mobile device such as a tablet that will communicate over the PCIe lanes giving a potential of 10 Gbps. This gives you SSD storage that goes direct bypassing the SATA ports. The SSD comes as a smal form factor stick with a PCIe M.2 interface and they are made by Plextor. Second is the SATA-E(express). Designed to work with SATA-E drives, using this port will knock out 2 standard SATA ports and also delivers up to 10Gbps.

The other thing worth mentioning is the audio, it's good using the ALC1150 and it's shielded to prevent interference.

Cons: None so far, would need other Z97 Gaming boards in my hands to compare it to. My experience with Z87 and Z77 boards with other brands such as ASUS, ASRock and MSI are what I use to draw my comparisons.

Other Thoughts: If you are looking for a Z97 board with good sound and fast storage options then this board will do. It OC'd just fine and the extra apps/software that come bundled in are what you would expect. None of the other Z97 Gaming boards really stand-out amongst each other, they are all very equally balanced.

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AJ R.'s Profile

Display Name: AJ R.

Date Joined: 03/27/05

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 59
  • Helpfulness: 31
  • First Review: 05/22/07
  • Last Review: 06/29/14
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