- Intel Z97
- Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron (LGA1150)
- DDR3 3000(OC)/2800(OC)
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Good MB/Confusing BIOS 08/06/2014
- Solid construction
- Built-in Sound Blaster cinema audio
- Plenty of USB and SATA ports
- Lots of goodies in the BIOS for overclocking, fan control, etc.
- Red and black color scheme is pretty cool if you aesthetics are important to you
- BIOS options can be very confusing
- "Dragon claw" heat sinks and memory slots in close proximity to CPU can make installing an after-market cooling fan difficult
Even though I've only had it a short time, I really love this motherboard. This is my third MSI motherboard and they just keep getting better and better.
I think the quality of the board is outstanding. I love having the dual-BIOS switch as a backup, am impressed with the number of SATA and USB ports and the built-in Sound Blaster audio is solid as well.
My main complaint about this board is the BIOS. When I first loaded it up it seemed to be amazingly robust, especially considering the basic BIOS my last MSI board had.
However, diving in deeper made me feel like I was diving down a rabbit hole. Some of the settings seemed redundant and others seemed to double back on themselves, which led to some initial confusion, particularly with the boot menu and overclocking.
If you are willing to put in the time you will eventually figure things out and be able to do just about anything you want as far as configuration. Just be prepared to put in that time. Or just use UEFI :)
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