MSI H97 Gaming 3 Review – MSI has an excellent reputation when it comes to value for money, and the H97 Gaming 3 is its attempt at putting together an affordable option for Intel gamers. Being based on the H97 chipset it obviously doesn’t support SLI, but that doesn’t stop it from being a capable little home for your system. Like other H97 boards, we’re pretty sure this one also supports K-series overclocking, but that’s off the record.
It shares a very similar PCIe/PCI slot configuration to the ASUS board in this roundup, with twin PCIe x16 slots for graphics cards, twin PCIe x1 for smaller peripherals, and triple PCI slots for legacy products. Again we have to question if any users will make the most of these three PCI slots, especially as it’s getting harder to find compatible drivers for old PCI devices. A single M.2 PCIe 2.0 x 2 connection is wedged between the PCIe slots, but no sign of a SATAe connector.
Six SATA3 ports are standard at this price point, while six USB 3.0 and six USB 2.0 ports are also par for the course (again, internal headers must be used to enable the entire USB suite). MSI’s take on audio is known as Audio Boost 2, and no points awarded for guessing which audio codec it uses. Yep, Realtek’s ALC1150 is here too. MSI’s unique selling point is that it allows power to be supplied from the PSU to the audio solution, promising to help remove static in the process.
There’s little to differentiate this board from the ASUS H97-Pro Gamer, apart from a slight $10 price drop. Choosing which one you like will probably come down to brand loyalty.
- M.2 and SATAe support
- Good BIOS
- Healthy range of features
- Three PCI Slots
MSI H97 Gaming 3 Specifications
- Socket 1150
- Support Intel i7
- Chipset Intel H97 Express
- DDR3 1066/1333/1600 MHz
- Max memory 32 GB
- Product Page : MSI H97 Gaming 3