Motherboard manufacturers have had plenty of time to play with Intels Z97 chipset, and theyVe put that time to good use. We’ve seen so many boards that are jam-packed with innovative, unique, and downright insanely cool íeatures that its diffìcult to keep track of them all. Then we fìnd a motherboard like MSIs Z97 GAMING 7, vvhich manages to give power users all of the goodies the Z97 chipset has to offer at a price that makes it accessible to a whole lot of power users. It was a proposition too good to pass up, so we decided to make the Z97 GAMING 7 the íoundation of this build.



The ATX form fector Z97 GAMING 7 has everything you need to build a beastly PC. The focus here is on gaming, of course, and the Z97 GAMING 7 indudes many of the same íeatures that youd find on MSIs pricier gamer boards. Live streamers and casters will dig that this mobo includes a bundled copy of XSplit Gamecaster, soíuvare that records your gameplay and can broadcast it live over a variety of Services, such as Twitch and hitbox. Wìth a webcam, you can simultaneously stream yourselí delivering the blow by blow of your latest match.

Of course, its the hardware that we’re really interested in, and the Z97 GAMING 7 has it in spades. Equipped with a trio of PCI-E 3.0 xl6 slots, the motherboard supports 2-way CrossFire/SLI (x8/x8) and 3-way CrossHre (x8/x4/x4). The motherboards four DIMM slots can handle up to 32GB of DDR3, and you can install modules docked up to 3,300MHz (which is almost as fàst as DDR3 will ever go, now that the industry is making way for DDR4). The Z97 GAMING 7 is also ready for next-gen

solid-state drives, thanks to an M.2 slot that operates over the PCI-E bus for throughput up to lOGbps; its located between the bottom two PCI-E xl6 slots.

You can fìnd several little bonuses on the Z97 GAMING 7 that should help your games run and sound better. The motherboard is equipped with a Killer E2200 networking controller, which puts videogame and chat traíhc in the fast lane to crush in-game stutter and client-side lag. A pair of integrated headphone amplihers can drive up to 600-ohm loads, so that $200+ set of cans will sound the way the manuíacturer intended. (The rest of the Z97 GAMING 7’s onboard audio, collectively named “Audio Boost 2” is terrihc, as wdl.) The MSI GAMING APP can deliver a quick, hassle-free overclock to your CPU and graphics card, scoring you a few extra íps e\ren if your overclocking skill is nonexistent.

Thanks to things ỉike MSIs Military Class 4 components and Click BIOS 4, the Z97 GAMING 7 is a great option for any enthusiast. At $169, its a great option at a great price.


Max mernory: 32GB (DDR3-1600, DDR3-3300 max 0C); Slots: 3 X Pơ-E 3.0 x16,4 X PCI-E 2.0 x1; storage: 1 X M.2,8 X 6Gbps SATA; Rear I/0:1 X PS/2, Clear CMOS, 1 X Gigabit Ethernet 8 X USB 3.0,2 X USB 2.0,2 X HDMI, 1 X DisplayPort, 1 X optical S/PDIF, audio l/o

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