MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Motherboard Review

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I have always been a fan of the finer things. Even as a child, I found myself asking for the Armani over Oscar de la Renta. There was only one problem, my Draft Beer pockets couldn’t afford my Champagne dreams. Age, education and doing without one to afford the other has opened opportunities but there are still things I desire that I, unfortunately, cannot afford. My tastes are no different when it comes to my personal computer. I have always desired to have the very best but keeping up with the ever changing technology was something I was never able to afford. Now that I have let the cat out of the bag, hopefully you understand why I became a computer hardware enthusiast.

MSI Z97 Gaming 9 Motherboard and Box

 

Hardware enthusiasts were born out of poverty, (I say that lightly) the inability to monetarily keep up with changing technology. Our main purpose in life was to take a less superior product and tune it to outperform even the most superior. It was the unaffordability of the higher end that bred the enthusiast but times have changed. There is less of a gap between the high end and the mainstream than ever before. What was once only obtainable to some is now within reach to many. MSI is one of the first manufacturers to bring enthusiast level hardware to the mainstream. This process began three years ago with the introduction of their Gaming line. MSI Gaming products include many features and options you may expect to find on higher end products while not skimping on the quality of build. The Z97 Gaming 9 Motherboard is the Flagship of the Gaming series.

MSI Z97 Gaming 9 Motherboard

 

The MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Mother Board is equipped with options found on more expensive motherboards. The Gaming 9 MSI Z97 Motherboard comes complete with extra features, one of which can downclock a CPU during common and non-demanding task, like simple web browsing. The new heatsinks on the Gaming 9 line are inspired by the dragon claw gripping the heatsink. Sound is an integral part of gaming and MSI has incorporated USB Audio Power and Audio DAC to deliver stable voltage outputs, which results in less distortion than traditional USB audio. MSI is future proofing the newest Z97 Mother Boards with the addition of M.2 Small Form Factor SSDs, which is based on a PCI-E Gen2 x 2 and supports speeds up to 10GB/s. Additionally, MSI included a WiFi/Bluetooth 4.0 module, which utilizes the newest 802.11 AC standards and provides speeds up to 867Mbps / 25Mbps. MSI has a new tool for gamers in their Gaming APP, which is overclocking made simple, and works on MSI motherboards and graphics cards. Traditional network connections can limit online gamers and cause LAG which can ruin a gaming experience, MSI uses Killer Game Networking which puts game traffic first. Killer Game Networks provide up to 50% faster small packet transfer rates and as much as 300% faster large packet transfers. MSI Gaming 9 AC comes equipped with OC Essentials, such as a debug LED, V-Check points for accurate voltage reads, Multi-BIOS for greater stability, and a clear CMOS button. MSI has used Military Class 4 components for the greatest reliability and 100% stable performance; these include Hi-c Cap, self-healing low profile Tantalum capacitors for 10x greater life expectancy, 60 Amp Super Ferrite Chokes for 20-50% more current, and Dark CAP which is stable under extreme conditions (up to 260 degrees centigrade). Command Center is MSI’s configuration tool that lets anyone control many facets through a simple slider GUI.

 

 

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