Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts
While the MSI Z97 XPOWER AC we looked at the other day sits at the top of the pyramid when it comes to price, the MSI Z97 GAMING 9 AC looks more comforting sitting around $100 less and coming in around the $300 mark. By no means, though, is $300 a cheap price for a motherboard. Just like the XPOWER, though, we feel the price is well and truly acceptable considering what we're dealing with here.
Looking at the package, MSI has put together a really nice bundle. The inclusion of the ac and Bluetooth 4.0 card is fantastic. This is a great extra that people can really make use of. On the topic of networking, the inclusion of Killer networking is also an added bonus. I've been using it for years and feel it's one of the best onboard networking controllers.
The audio side of things is strong as well. Onboard audio continues to improve in leaps and bounds, and here is no different; a really nice onboard audio solution is offered by MSI. In terms of features, the board is really strong, and it's all put together in a nice black and red theme that goes with the GAMING Series perfectly.
As for the overall performance of the board, out-of-the-box numbers are pretty much as you'd expect. SSD performance was a little down under HD Tune Pro, but we saw it sit a lot better under the PCMark 8 and AIDA64 tests. Overclocking wasn't too bad at 4.9GHz. While it looked like we might've had some luck at almost 5GHz, it just wasn't meant to be.
The MSI Z97 GAMING 9 AC is a nice addition to the GAMING Series, which has quickly become one of our favorites. Combined with one of MSI's awesome GAMING Series video cards, you have a killer combination.
MSI does a great job of ticking all of the boxes. We've got a good looking motherboard that offers a great set of features and strong performance all packed together with a nice bundle sitting at a decent price tag. If you're looking to spend around the $300 mark, the MSI Z97 GAMING 9 AC is a great option.
PRICING: You can find the MSI Z97 GAMING 9 AC for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The MSI Z97 GAMING 9 AC retails for $321.00 at Amazon.
- Page 1 [Introduction and Package]
- Page 2 [Motherboard Details]
- Page 3 [BIOS Images and Information]
- Page 4 [Test System Setup and Overclocking]
- Page 5 [CPU & System Benchmarks]
- Page 6 [USB 2.0, USB 3.0 & SSD Benchmarks]
- Page 7 [Memory & Gaming Benchmarks]
- Page 8 [Temperature & Power Testing]
- Page 9 [Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts]
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