With the release of the Z97 and X99 chipsets, Gigabyte has decided to cosmetically overhaul the G1 Gaming line. Gone is the familiar green of old, for it has been replaced with a new red color scheme and a new logo as well. Gigabyte has also saw fit to dramatically increase the number of models, from the previous 6 with the Z87 chipset to 10 with the new Z97 chipset. Today we will be taking a look at one of the lesser priced models, Z97MX-Gaming 5. Based around the mATX, it may be smaller than its ATX counterparts, but certainly does not lack their features.
For the last couple of generations of motherboards, specialty designs have become ever increasingly popular. Many manufacturers have created overclocking and gaming specific designs. Biostar decided to go a different route and design a motherboard that forgo most of the other specialty board features and focus on mainly on the audio. Soon the Hi-Fi Z77X was born. Now, two generations later, the legacy continues with the Hi-Fi Z97WE.
It has been a while since Intel released the 9 series chipset on the LGA 1150 platform. We have reviewed a couple of Z97 motherboard in the site already. Today, MSI have sent us one of their Z97 motherboards to play with under the Classic series, the Z97S SLI PLUS ATX motherboard. This particular motherboard uses the classic MSI color theme of blue and black. It is also the top of the tier in the classic series having the best specifications. Let's check it out and compare it with the previous motherboards we have reviewed so far.
The Fatal1ty X99M Killer supports 4th and 5th Generation Intel Core processors. There is 2way AMD CrossFire and Nvidia SLI support. On the networking side, a Killer E2200 network adaptor supplies more advanced features over the standard Intel 1218V network adaptor, though that is also included. Purity Sounds 2 via a Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio controller with Built-in rear audio amplifier supplies your audio needs. ASRock’s Super Alloy construction features an XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink, premium 60A power choke, premium memory choke, , Ultra Dual-N MOSFET (UDM), NexFET™ MOSFET, Nichicon 12K Platinum Caps, Sapphire Black PCB.
Intel's release of the Haswell-E and the corresponding X99 chipset has created quite a buzz. The new design brought many of the features of the previously released Z97 to the Intel Extreme line up. With the new chipset release there has also been another important change, the introduction of DDR4 memory. Gigabyte has been kind enough to send us one of their recently released X99 chipset motherboards, the GA-X99-SOC Force. The GA-X99-SOC Force is part of their OC (Overclclocking) line. This line of motherboards has proven to be very capable and have been used to break numerous overclocking world records.
A new trend is on the rise with gaming PCs nowadays in the form of size. Small Form Factor (SSF) is the new thing recently and many are into it for some very good reasons. These builds are smaller than typical gaming PCs, lighter and compact which is suitable for LAN parties and also for those that don't really have much space at home to spare. Today, you would see different hardware to make this possible from cases, power supplies down to the motherboard itself with the mini-ITX form factor. Today MSI have given us an opportunity to check out their top-tier mini ITX board, the Z97I Gaming AC mini-ITX motherboard under Intel's new 9 series for the LGA 1150 platform. Let's see what this compact yet powerful motherboard MSI has to offer as we review it today.
It was just recent when we resumed reviewing motherboards again. This time, we will be taking a look at another Z97 chipset based motherboard coming from ECS, their Z97 Machine gaming motherboard. ECS have been in the market since 1987 producing motherboards, graphics cards, notebooks and other mobile products. They too have created their own gaming line of motherboards which is the L337 Gaming Series motherboards going with the trend other brands are doing as well. Let's find out if the ECS Z97-Machine cuts out to the standards today.