Intel Z97 Motherboard Roundup with ASUS, Biostar, Gigabyte and MSI

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ASUS Z97-Pro, GIGABYTE Z97X-UD5H, MSI Z97 Gaming 7 & BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z97WE

Intel Z97 Motherboard Round Up

Today we are going to take a look at a handful of different motherboards from four different manufacturers. Each of the four motherboards is based on the Intel Z97 chipset with some of the latest and greatest bells and whistles. The first motherboard up is the GIGABYTE Z97X-UD5H. Then we have the BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z97WE, ASUS Z97-Pro Wi-Fi ac, and last but by no means least is the MSI Z97 Gaming 7. Each of the four motherboards is loaded out with some different specifications and features and each carries a different price tag. Pricing is as follows (in order of most to least expensive):

While each of the boards has some different features, the key features are pretty universal. By key features I don’t mean the number of USB ports or fan header, but more along the lines of the chipset features. Which I suppose does relate to the number of USB ports in the end as some of the boards will use an integrated hub or additional SuperSpeed USB 3.0 controllers. One of the newest features that is being brought to the forefront of PC computing is the M.2 port. The M.2 port is the latest and greatest for storage and offers a theoretical 10Gbps throughput! All three of the boards today have this feature on them.

All of these boards are part of the Intel Z97 Express chipset line up from their respective companies, which means all three of these motherboards will support the latest Intel LGA1150 processors (Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Devil’s Canyon) that those are coming out before the holiday (Broadwell). All four Intel Z97 motherboards feature the LGA1150 socket, dual channel memory, native SATA III 6Gbps, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and while the Intel Z97 chipset is capable of SATA Express, only one of our boards today has that feature enabled.

Now that we’ve taken a brief look at what we’ve got planned for the day, lets move on to the first Intel Z97 motherboard below!

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  • Robert Morin

    I’ve been rather torn between the ASUS Z97-PRO and the MSI Z97 Gaming 7 for the longest time, both had the same amount of internal connectivity with them, both were right around the same price range, and they both seemed to allow for a great number of overclocking features. Quite the headache, but turning to this review, it seemed to help me compare a bit better.

  • Carlo Infante

    Awesome round-up. When all of those famous brands are fancying about
    designs on their 9 series. Here comes Biostar’s offering will a full
    pack features at a very reasonable price.

  • panther063

    Considering they were all closely tied within the narrowest margins, it would be hard to criticize one for lack of Sata Express, then back flip on the next board and say it’s probably a short lived fad.
    Personally given the stats, I would have awarded the MSI board as the winner, based on features and appearance.
    p.s. there was no mention of the dip switches on the MSI board.