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EVGA Z97 Stinger (111-HR-E972-KR) Core 3D LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard

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  • Intel Z97
  • Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron (LGA1150)
  • DDR3 2666+/2400/2133/1600/1333/1066/800

  • Overview
  • Specs
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

Engineered for the mITX enthusiast with an ultra-compact form factor that still runs at full performance. Experience a GUI BISO that is focused on functionality, new software interface for overclocking in the O.S.,high quality components, premium Creative Core3D audio and more.

It starts with a full 10 Layer PCB, improving overall overclock stability and PCB cooling. The memory trace layout is optimized for compatibility, improved overclocking and 2 DIMM memory support. The Z97 MICRO also features a 6 Phase PWM for the cleanest variable power switching and efficient power to your CPU. A slew of great onboard devices including 4 SATA 6G ports, Intel Gigabit LAN, Creative Core3D and a USB 3.0 controller for a total of 6 USB 3.0 devices.

The GUI BIOS has been further enhanced, and is brought down to a very lean state while achieving its main goal of keeping it easy to use and follow while not compromising at all on functionality. The way a modern BIOS should be.

Features

  • 10 Layer PCB
  • 2 DIMMs for up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM
  • Memory speeds up to 2666MHz and above
  • Intel Gigabit NIC
  • 4 total internal SATA3/6G ports
  • Native USB3 support
  • Creative Core3D
Z97
  • 10 LAYER PCB

High layer count enhances stability both for heavy loads as well as high over-clocks.

Z97
  • HIGH GOLD CONTENT FOR CPU SOCKET

Higher volume of precious metal (Gold) used in the sockets greatly improves the conductivity and produces a cleaner signal due to less resistance/impedance.

Z97
  • ONBOARD POWER,RESET AND CMOS REST BUTTONS

When testing on the Z97, or running it in a benching environment where you do not need to worry about wiring the board to a case to have access to power and reset buttons, they are built onto the board.

Z97
  • 6 PHASE PWM

A 6 Phase PWM helps to ensure that the power reaching the processor is clean and stable.

Z97
  • M.2 SUPPORT

The Z97 MICRO supports the newest slot architecture with support for several device types, including Wifi and Bluetooth.

UEFI

Z97

These motherboards also feature EVGA's new GUI BIOS that focuses on the best overclocking support, functionality, and are straight and to the point, the way a modern BIOS should be.


Learn more about the EVGA Z97 Stinger Core 3D

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 3 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 3 years
  • Read full details
  • Return Policies
    • Return for refund within: 30 days
    • Return for replacement within: 30 days
  • This item is covered by Newegg.com's Standard Return Policy.
Ownership: more than 1 year
Verified Owner
5/ 5
EVGA Z97 Stinger (111-HR-E972-KR) Core 3D LGA 1150 Intel Z97 4/23/2017 11:45:38 AM

Pros: great motherboard easy overclocked great with any itx build

Cons: none

Did you find this review helpful?
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Verified Owner
4/ 5
Good Board - So Far 7/13/2015 7:58:11 PM

Pros: Good O/C / Gaming BIOS. Understated. Doesn't look like it's intended market is12-year old neophyte dungeon-masters; not a single dragon or flame graphic to be found. No ugly coolant-line blocking daughter cards required. Nice cover included for the I/O. Overclocks well on air. Water? that is still to be determined.

Cons: Stupid placement of the solitary 20 pin USB 3.0 header makes clean cable routing impossible, and the front audio header location is only slightly less terrible. "Professional" online reviews claim this board includes a internal USB 2.0 header. It does not. I am running 7 Noctua case fans and need that extra USB header for my fan controller. At this price point throwing in an extra USB header doesn't seem like too much to ask. Also, the board is not available as of this post.

Overall Review: I ran into some problems while getting this board to play nicely with a new 1 TB Samsung SSD. Some people on the boards have gotten frustrated and resort to flaming EVGA's alleged BIOS issues, but what would a build be without a little hiccup here and there to keep us on our toes?

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
Verified Owner
5/ 5
I love this little board! 5/12/2015 5:54:32 PM

Pros: This board is pretty freaking cool. My last motherboard was able to get my Pentium G3258 from 3.2GHz to 3.7GHz, and I thought that was all I was going to be able to get. The 10 layer PCB on this board says that it will give higher overclocks, and it delivers. I got 4.2GHz from my CPU with this board.

Also, I have a bit of an obsession with having a black motherboard. They just look so cool, and go with any color parts you want to put on them. There is only one spot on the entire board that isn't black, and that is the dark brown piece on the chipset heat sink, which you really have to look at to notice it isn't black.

Cons: None that I can think of at all. Size? I mean, if you're getting a board this small, its size is probably a pro.

Wait, I got one. If you are using the front panel audio, which is probably 99% of people, then be careful. You probably saw, but the board come with a metal cover for the rear I/O ports, so as to keep the black look inside the case (which is really cool, btw). However, it does come down fair close to the front panel audio. I was still able to plug mine in, but the cable on my chassis for the fp audio was pretty flexible at the end. I don't think many people will have any issue with this at all, so I am not taking of any stars. But it's worth noting.

Overall Review: The USB 3.0 is in an odd spot (right next to the PCIe x16 slot). This would be a con on an ATX or mATX board, but Mini-ITX boards are VERY pressed for space. It was no issue, though, to route the cable over my video card. I'm using the Thermaltake Core V1 case (if you want some context), and when I routed the front USB 3.0 cable over the GPU, I couldn't even tell the cable was there.

Also, the LED read-out is not a debug LED, while the board is in normal operation. It will flash error codes, if something were to go wrong. The description says this, but I glanced over that part. I was quite confused for a day or two as to why my LED read-out kept only saying "30," instead of something else. :p

Did you find this review helpful?
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Verified Owner
3/ 5
Do your research 4/27/2015 5:51:08 PM

Pros: It looks cool and runs good.

Cons: Even for an ITX this board greatly lacks USB headers. I wish I would have done a little more reading on it. If you have USB ports on the front of your case you will find this board is greatly lacking in a way to hook them up. I suppose you can always nix having a video card and buy a PCI-E usb card. :-(

0 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Manufacturer Response:
Dear Lyle R.,

Thank you for your feedback regarding the EVGA Z97 Stinger motherboard. I will make sure to forward you feedback to our Product Management team for further review. Should you or any potential EVGA customer ever have any questions about any of our products, then I would encourage you to contact our 24 hour Presales Support team by phone 1.888.881.3842 and pressing option 3 or by email: Newegg@EVGA.com so that we can further assist you.

Sincerely,
EVGA Customer Support
Anonymous
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Verified Owner
5/ 5
Buy if Audio is a Concern 4/26/2015 9:16:46 PM

Pros: Like others below, I decided to sacrafice the onboard WiFi for the Sound Blaster Core 3D, and when pitted against standard (Realtek) onboard audio, it is a night and day difference. Stable board, one click overclock of my RAM from 2,400 to 2,600 and it automatically adjusted timings for stability. This bios does work with my single 21:9 monitor no problems (stretches to fit) but may not work with ultrawide dual monitor setup as posted below. 8 seconds from button push to Windows 7 being usable which is insanely fast, especially with a budget SSD. Very solid board, which stiffened even more once the waterblock backplate was installed. This computer was built with the use inside a semi truck in mind and I was pleased with the board's construction overall.

Cons: Header placement is kinda awful. Especially for the SATA ports. There is no hiding those cables. In my Corsair Obsidian 250D, the fan headers and CPU power cable was dangerously close to the water cooler's fans. You will need small fingers and cable ties. Other cables are routed between the water block and the RAM, sadly blocking my nice KLEVV memory. I/O cover shield is useless, especially if you got fans above it. You also cannot use a full sized M-SATA SSD in this either...

Did you find this review helpful?
Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
Verified Owner
5/ 5
Fantastic overclocker! 4/21/2015 7:02:42 PM

Pros: Fantastic overclock! 4.8ghz without trying on an ITX air cooler. Looks good also

Cons: None that I saw, fit great in my Hadron Air.

Did you find this review helpful?
Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
Verified Owner
5/ 5
Good board, with a few quirks 4/16/2015 7:03:20 AM

Pros: - Solid motherboard. Heavy, does not flex easily.
- It's the only Z97 mITX board sold by Newegg that doesn't use a Realtek sound solution (Creative instead). Since it's mITX, a gaming system built with this board doesn't have the spare PCI-e slot for an internal sound card, so this is as good as it gets for internal use. This was my primary reason for purchase
- Built-in amp is sufficient to power my higher-than-usual-resistance headphones.
- BIOS is quite usable and posts quickly; it's far faster to boot than my mATX ROG was.
- Colors are black and a very subtle gold, but the gold just kind of disappears when it's in a case. So there's slight contrast, but this will work visually with anything that isn't a white build.
- EVGA support is, as usual, completely awesome.

Cons: None of these are major detractors from the board, but definitely design considerations and things that may matter to your build. They ended up being mostly non-factors for me (USB plug still bugs me).

- The board will not output BIOS graphics (internal or external) to a 2560x1080 resolution through HDMI, DVI, or Displayport on either the internal ports or the graphics card. It just doesn't like that resolution. My non-ultrawide secondary monitor serves as the primary until Windows boots. If all you have is a single ultrawide monitor available to you, this may be an issue.

- The 8-pin EPS plug is to the upper left of the CPU socket. This is like every other board I've used, so it's "standard", but ASUS mITX boards place theirs near the 24-pin ATX plug, which is more convenient for cable management and generally better looking. In my 250d, it's not really an issue as I can route the EPS beneath the radiator that gets placed above the board, and you only see a bit of it. Front audio is actually placed beneath the black shroud, which is great for hiding cables, but USB 3.0 plug is on the bottom left instead of the right edge. Just be aware if you're trying to build a sexier system that you're going to have to work to hide cables, or you're going to have one or two running over the board, especially compared to some of the ASUS offerings that will let you just drape everything right over the edge.

- The M.2 slot is...E-keyed? Buh? Kind of an odd decision, since the options for E-keyed SSDs are...slim? None? At least, there aren't enough of them that I would consider the market mature enough for me to buy in. It has plenty (4) of SATA ports, but anyone wanting to do a super tiny build and use an M.2 SSD should probably look elsewhere.

Overall Review: Neither pro nor con:

- New BIOS versions must be flashed using an executable; there's no way to flash from within the BIOS itself, so you have to do a full OS install before updating the board. The executables are probably a positive for users that don't want to tool around in the BIOS, but may be a negative if you're tech-savvy and want/need to flash BIOS before installing an OS.

- No clips on the memory sockets due to space constraints. Make sure you've got those chips seated. It's not like the memory's coming out on its own, just don't expect a click when you push it in.

In general:
It's a board with some quirks, but it's the only mITX board with high-quality, amplified internal sound when using a graphics card, and it does everything other than cable management well, to boot. Add EVGA's stellar support, and I'm very happy with this hardware.

Did you find this review helpful?
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Verified Owner
2/ 5
11/8/2014 6:53:38 PM

Pros: The board is visually fantastic.
The layout is great and it fit very nicely into my EVGA Hadron Air case, which I'm sure is by design.
There are no legacy ports taking up space where more useful interfaces could be added. (Huge plus in my book)

Cons: The board is unfortunately very unstable. After installation, the system would reboot randomly and the whole system ran incredibly slow. Over a period of about 2 weeks, I installed windows multiple times (several failed) and replaced every piece of hardware on the system including the CPU. No matter what I did, the board still ran unstable. I gave up and sent it back to Newegg for a refund and got the other board I was originally considering.

4 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Manufacturer Response:
Dear Shane Q.,

We do apologize for the troubles you experienced with your EVGA Z97 Stinger motherboard. I can assure you that we are here to assist you as best we can in order to work with you and resolve any issues. Should you require any assistance in the future, then I would encourage you to contact our 24 hour Technical Support team by phone 1.888.881.3842 and pressing option 1 or by email: Newegg@EVGA.com, so that we can further assist you.

Sincerely,
EVGA Customer Support
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