Z97 Motherboards are on the Market

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Since last year I been waiting to build a new system, but things just keep coming up. Now again with the new Z97 motherboards from ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI, do I wait again or continue on building the dream machine I personally put together and study/learned so much about. Even though their very much the same in features the big difference is the new M.2 and SATA Express finally right. Reading the preview or overview from Legit Reviews of the ASUS Z97-Pro (WiFi AC), Z97-Pro and Z97-A kinda got me thinking, why go with the Z97 Chipset if there’s only one new feature, that’s long over do the SATA Express rated for a theoretical bandwidth of 16Gbps or 1.97GB/s that we all waited for so long, three 1/2 years I believe.

Also when looking though the screen shots of the UEFI Rom BIOS there’s no NVM Express support that basically replaces the AHCI, guest we’ll get that in the new Sky Lake when it lands in 2015 or when SATA Express takes off. Sure the UEFI BIOS gotta face lift, EZ Tuning Wizard is just about the same, Dual Intelligent Processors 5, CPU and DRAM Power with DIGI+ 16-phase, 12-phase or 8-phase design. Stupid Home cloud for dumb down hardware and a lack of performance smart phone’s.

NVM Express Boot Support added to Windows 8.1
Intel Devil’s Canyon i7 To Be 4GHz Out of the Box?
Broadwell to complete a year of chip launches for Intel

There’s noting really, what Devils Canyon and 5th Generation Broadwell processors when they hit the streets later this year and beginning of 2015. Something the desktop user didn’t even know he was getting, because Intel said it was only going to be a SOC, just like the GT3 Iris Pro graphics in their Haswell.

Now that we are getting the Broadwell Processor that’s no more then a SOC and all about power saving, I still think if your building a new system like I’m, there ant any real reason to build it with the Z97. Unless your have a fat wallet or just want to be on the bleeding edge of technology the Z97 is the way to go. The plus side of things the Intel Z97 Chipset maybe the new chip on the block, it will continue to support Intel’s Haswell processor and still takes advantage of the LGA1150 socket. So if you’re looking to upgrade your motherboard to one that has the Z97 Chipset and features M.2 and SATA Express knock yourself out.

When I get a chance to read about the new ASUS ROG Z97 motherboards I’ll make my decision what Chipset to buy, like I said there’s little are no differences at all when looking at the Z87 and Z97 except for the SATA Express. Newegg has some Z97 motherboards available now but none I would purchase.

ASUS Next Generation Z97 Motherboards (ASUS)
ASUS Z97I-PLUS mini-ITX Motherboard Review
ASUS Z97I-Plus Motherboard Review
ASUS’ Z97-A Motherboard Review (Techreport) (Eteknix) (Modders-inc) (Lanoc) (Thinkcomputers)
ASUS Z97 Pro (Wi-Fi AC) Intel Z97 Motherboard Review
ASUS Z97-Deluxe Mobo Review (HardOCP) (Benchmark Reviews) (Anandtech) (Techpowerup) (Hardwarecanucks)
ASUS Maximus VII Gene Motherboard Review (Vortez) (HardOCP)
ASUS Maximus VII Ranger Motherboard Review (Ocaholic)
ASUS Maximus VII Hero Motherboard Review (PC Gamer) (PureOC) (OCClub) (Techpowerup) (Kitguru)
ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 Motherboard Review (PC Perspective) (Ocaholic) (Guru3d)
ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 Motherboard Review
ASUS Gryphon Z97 Motherboard Review
ASUS Z97-WS Motherboard Review

Gigabyte Next Generation Z97 Motherboards (Gigabyte)
Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming G1-WIFI-BK BE Mobo Review (Hardwarecanucks) (HWSecrets) (HardOCP) (Legitreviews)
Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 5 Motherboard Review (Eteknix)
Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 7 Motherboard Review (Vortez)
Gigabyte Z97-D3H Motherboard Review
Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H Motherboard Review (Anandtech) (Techreport) (HardOCP) (Hardware Canucks)
Gigabyte Z97X-SLI Motherboard Review
Gigabyte Z97X-SOC Force Motherboard Review (Ocaholic) (Madshrimps) (Kitguru) (Hardware Asylum)

AsRock Next Generation Z97 Motherboards
ASRock Fatal1ty H97 Performance Motherboard Review (PCGameware)
ASRock Fatal1ty H97 Killer Mobo Review (PCGameware)
AsRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer Mobo Review (Bit-tech) (XtremeHW) (HWSecrets) (PCGameware) (PureOC) (HardOCP)
ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer Motherboard Review (PCGameware)
ASRock Z97 Extreme4 Motherboard Review
ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Motherboard Review (Phoronix) (Kitguru)
ASRock Z97 Anniversary Edition Motherboard Review

Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Motherboard Review
(Technologyx) (Madshrimps) (OCClub) (Techpowerup)
EVGA Z97 Classified Motherboard Review
ECS Z97 Machine Motherboard Review

MSI Next Generation Z97 Motherboards (Z97 Gaming Series) (Z97 MPower Series) (Z97 XPower AC)
MSI Z97S SLI Plus Motherboard Review
MSI Z97M Gaming Motherboard Review
MSI Z97I Gaming AC Motherboard Review
MSI Z97 Gaming 5 Motherboard Review (Techpowerup) (Pureoverclock) (Lanoc)
MSI Z97 Gaming 7 Motherboard Review (Eteknix) (Techreport) (CustomPC) (PCPer) (Bit-tech) (OCClub) (HardOCP)
MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Motherboard Review (Hitechlegion)
MSI Z97 MPower Motherboard Review
MSI Z97 MPower MAX AC Motherboard Review (Modders-inc) (Anandtech) (Hitechlegion)
MSI Z97 XPOWER AC Motherboard Review (Hitechlegion) (Vortez) (PCPer) (Ocaholic) (Eteknix)

19 Intel Z97 Chipset Motherboards Review: Testing the New Generation
Z97 Motherboard Group Test ASUS, AsRock, Gigabyte and MSI
Z97 Motherboard Round Up: EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte
EVGA Unveils Its Z97-Based Motherboards (EVGA)
Intel Z97 Motherboard Roundup with ASUS, Biostar, Gigabyte and MSI

ASUS should have some ROG motherboards at ComputeX 2014 this years, but has of now we’ll just have to wait and see what ASUS brings to the table. Since were on the topic about features, because that’s all they have left to offer, now that the CPU gobbled up most of the Chipset. Come’s MSI first I like how Dan Stoltz from Legit Reviews sated he didn’t like the gold look of the Z87 motherboards and on the new Z97, witch ant close to what it was on the Z87 DELUXE version, and have to say I’m with him on that one. This is were MSI come’s in, when I first started out with computers 8 years ago, I always found that MSI just had a complete mess on their motherboards. Hell AsRock had a better layout back then at less it didn’t look like it had a load of soldering dumped all over the motherboards.

Now with MSI’s Gaming 3, Gaming 5, and Gaming 7 motherboards, they seam to be copying other motherboard makers like ASUS and Gigabyte instead of coming up with their own design. Look at their Gaming 7 motherboard and ASUS ROG Maximus 6 Hero Z87, audio almost the same, at lease it don’t look a bucket of soldering dumped over the board. Still it looks like MSI leaves it up the big boys to do the heave lifting while they sit back just copying their moves, nevertheless that’s just what I’m seeing.

I’ll follow up with a update to this post when more reviews of the Z97 motherboards show up, also with the verdict on what Chipset I’ll be going with.

Update: Verdict is made, I’ll be going with the ASUS Maximus VII Hero Motherboard and Intel’s Devil’s Canyon Core i7 4790K. Really happy I decide to holed off on upgrading to the Z87 Chipset last year, sure it’s not much of a difference but now I have the option of having SATA M.2 port not that I’m going to use it. Overclocking features with EZ Tuning Wizard are nice and a better understanding coming from the Z87 Chipset, Keybot microprocessor or Macros, You can also set up some function keys to wake your machine up with different overclocking profiles, 5 way optimization based on Temps, Core speed to fan noise etc extremely nice, love having control over the hardware I own.

Support for Intel’s new Devil’s Canyon processors, Fan Expert 3 that allows you to have four 3 or 4 pin header fans running off one fan header again nice, five USB motherboard headers something that was really need. At this point I would be crazy to pick the Z87 over the Z97 considering I haven’t purchased anything yet, but there’s just one thing that’s holing me off again besides money and that’s the Devil’s Canyon when will it hit the market? I can wait a little longer but just hope it ant sometime around September or October Q3, because I’ll just end up with the Core i7 4770K even though the TIM is the cause of bad overclocking and the new Haswell refresh Devil’s Canyon will fix that problem. I ant going to wait that long.

Turns out I’ll be going with the Core i7 4770K because Intel’s Pushing Back Launch of Next-Gen CPUs, Broadwell seems to more important at this point then the high end market or someone looking for that extra boots in performance let it be a workstation or for bragging rights.

ASUS Z97 Motherboard Extravaganza! Videos Covering Mainstream, ROG, TUF and Workstation Series
Gigabyte Z97 Motherboard Roundup with Leon and Ryon Shrout PC Perspective