Review: MSI Z97 XPOWER AC Mainboard

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, May 20, 2014.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    Join us as we review the all new MSI Z97 XPOWER AC motherboard .MSI took the Z97 chipset and then started adding. Adding a PLX chip for quad-SLI/Crossfire support, adding AC WIFI, adding heaps of SATA...

    Review: MSI Z97 XPOWER AC Mainboard
     
  2. RamCity

    RamCity New Member

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    I'd like to see some more data on the specifics of the M.2 socket. Given that the Plextor M6e worked in it, I guess it's at least PCIe 2.0 x2 lanes.

    1. Is it possibly PCIe 2.0 x4?
    2. Were you able to boot from the Plextor M6e?

    thanks!

    Rod
     
  3. evasiondutch

    evasiondutch Banned

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    Im no expert and im not judging here, its your choice it seems that this review mainly tested and mention SLI and Nvidia.

    Good review but it puzzles me why again only metion Nvidia and SLI?

    Sure you mention it's SLI/Xfire capable, but not once you mention its also very good for Xfire.

    But for me it give a bitter taste in my mouth and doubful i should even concider this MB now i will think twice before i even concider this board.

    SLI and SLI and nothing but SLI plus constant mention of 780 ti i have feeling is the industrie going Nvidia only and screw you AMD and its users?

    Im bit of amateur and no expert and still new to the scene, but this is what i feel reading this review and lately how every on the internet where people only talk or mention Nvidia as if AMD don't matter at all(not that i even for 1 second switch to Nvidia, i'm very happy with my AMD Videocard's).

    This is purely a observation on my part as i am a AMD user.

    The question is i need a honest and objective answer if this board equally as good for AMD'S Xfire or is it best to be used with SLI(sli cables got me even more confused)?

    Maybe i am just seeing things here that are not there, so ignore this reply if this seems stupid no problem.

    Around 350 euro upgrade i wanna be sure i get the right MB that's why i ask this.
    Eventually i will get a motherboard that's equally good for Xfire but just wanted a opinion of you experts hopefully constructive and objective?

    If the reply is dumb just ignore i,ll keep researching more which MB is good for me eventually.
     
  4. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    Why I only mention Nvidia SLI ? I'm sorry but I do not agree here at all my man.

    Did you properly read the article ? I looked up all keyword instances where I mention the word SLI, these are the results:

    • Adding a PLX chip for quad-SLI/Crossfire support,
    • Now this board can manage 3 and 4-way SLI really w
    • MSI can offer you full quad SLI/Crossfire as they added a PLX8747 gen3 switch chip
    • MSI can offer you full quad SLI/Crossfire
    • The motherboard is multi-GPU up-to 4-way SLI/Crossfire ready with more then plenty Gen 3.0 PCI-E lanes available

    Regardless of your comment, obviously this board is equally good for Crossfire as there is a lot of Gen 3 bandwidth available per used slot.
     

  5. evasiondutch

    evasiondutch Banned

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    As i said im no expert and PLX is still bit vague to me.

    The thing about its capble for both SLI/XFire i already understand it was just wonder if its equally as good for XFIRE thats all.

    But thanks for answer i needed thats its also equally good for Xfire.

    As i sad its not judging but more of what i thought this review gave me a more sli capable MB with posible option also for xfire thats all.

    Sorry bothered you with my nonsens hehe.
     
  6. LeonVolcove

    LeonVolcove New Member

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    Ah Hilbert Page 11
    "MSI Z97 XPOWER AC Motherboard Review - Overclocking The Core i7 4770K On Z97I Gaming AC". Wrong statement here
     
  7. chinobino

    chinobino Maha Guru

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    The feature that would cause me to choose this board over all other Z97 models is the integration of Intel WiDi but unfortunately it was not tested in this review.

    I realise you would need a WiDi TV/Monitor or tablet but I am still a little disappointed.
     
  8. xynxyn

    xynxyn Member

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    Asus advertises with all those supposed to be high end network solutions on the Z97 Deluxe motherboard with integrated cFos and what not. Does this really help with gaming online? Thanks.
     
  9. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Active Member

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    I already own, but haven't installed this board.
    I'm waiting on a few water cooler fittings to be delivered.
    What would be the best memory to use with this board and an i7-4790K?
    There are 2 speeds (1600 and 2133MHz) listed in the article, but no comparison between the 2 speeds.
    I'll be using the XMP profile since I don't know how to OC using all the new memory settings used in the BIOS of these modern boards.
    I opened the memory settings in the BIOS of one of my latest ASUS boards and didn't recognize anything except the timing. There are more than 2 entire pages of memory settings I don't recognize at all.
    So now, I just hit XMP and hope the BIOS knows what it's doing on Auto.
    Should I just go for the fastest memory I can afford that's on this boards Compatibility List and let it go at that?
    I do prefer 2x8GB sticks since I no longer see the need to fill all the slots.
    After all these years, I'm a Newbie again.
     
  10. Rich_Guy

    Rich_Guy Ancient Guru

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    I like the looks of that board :cool:
     

  11. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    Don't spend too much on expensive 'faster' DDR3 DIMMs, really the benchmarks look nice but in reality the extra money is better invested in a faster GPU or CPU.

    1600/1866/2133 is the way to go depending on what you find acceptable for pricing.

    GSkill and Corsair both have excellent DDR3 memory, just make sure it supports the latest XMP profile and indeed, in the BIOS you can simply enable it. Timings and voltages will automatically be set then.
     
  12. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Active Member

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    Thanks Hilbert. 1866 it is.
    I'll check the Compatibility chart and see what sticks MSI has already tested.
     
  13. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Active Member

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    Where do I find the control to adjust the TDP limit on this board?
    From your review:
    "If present, increase the TDP limit of your processor to 200~250 Watts."
    I don't recall ever seeing any reference to this setting on any of my boards.
    I set the BIOS as you said for a simple OC, at x48.
    According to the onboard thermometer it never quite reached 70C when running Prime 95 with a 4x120 radiator on cpu only.
    I just backed it down to 4.4GHz and will probably leave it there 24x7.
    It's now idling at 27C.
    So far, I have no complaints with the 1.0 BIOS, as I usually change it right off the bat, especially with ASUS boards. This is just my 2nd MSI and I'm more than happy with it.
    I'm trying to find the best temp. monitor. I'm using AIDA 64, Core Temp 1.0 RC6 and the onboard temp. monitor. None of which agree with each other.
    I'm using 2 packs of (2x4GB) Corsair Vengeance for 16GB total running at XMP of 1866 http://valid.canardpc.com/fwrpru.
     
  14. -Tj-

    -Tj- Ancient Guru

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    Check aida64 again by cpuID, some mobos auto adjust to max so you dont really have to fiddle with that..


    Ie
    [​IMG]


    btw this option is located by cpu power section, Turbo long and Turbo short duration limit.


    As for temp monitoring check with RealTemp TI or hwinfo64
    http://forum.techinferno.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=43

    but use only one or the other, dont use multiple monitoring tools.
     
  15. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Active Member

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    Thanks!
    It reads the same as you posted.
    Unlimited and Unlocked.
     

  16. -Tj-

    -Tj- Ancient Guru

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    Then its ok :)



    And do try RealTemp TI, coretemp is kinda buggy and can cause lockups.
     
  17. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Active Member

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    I'll give RealTemp a try.
    Thanks, again.
     

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