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MSI Z97I AC (Intel Z97) Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

By: Shawn Baker | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Aug 25, 2014 10:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: MSI

Test System Setup and Overclocking




We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, MSI, Western Digital, MemoRight, and Corsair.


We've got a bunch of boards in our graphs today, and we've finally replaced all of our Z97 showings here with boards that are using our newer i7 4790K processor. Although, we still have the older ASRock Z87 Killer using the i7 4770K. Sitting alongside that, and the MSI Z97I AC, we have the ASRock Z97X Killer, GIGABYTE Z97X Gaming G1 Wi-Fi-BK Black Edition, ASUS Z97-A, and the GIGABYTE Z97N GAMING-5, which is another Mini-ITX board we looked at lately.


Before we get into the performance side of things, we need to quickly cover what is going on with overclocking. Earlier, we headed into the BIOS and thought we would try for the 47x multiplier. With that set, along with an increase in voltages, we headed back into Windows to see if everything worked okay. After running some benchmarks, we saw everything was working great, so we figured we'd head back to the BIOS and test our luck with a 48x multiplier.




With our CPU at 4.8GHz, we got into Windows with no issue, but as soon as we started to run a benchmark, our machine blue screened straight away. With that failing to work, we headed back into the BIOS, moved to the 47x multiplier, and tried to do something with the BCLK. With a little bit of testing, we could get the 101 BCLK working with the 47x multiplier. Unfortunately, it wasn't 100% stable, and we had to move back to the base 100 BCLK. In the end, we had our system running stable at 4.7GHz.

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