MSI Z97 Gaming 5 Review – Gaming motherboards are all the rage these days. Performance, coupled with cool bells and whistles that don’t break the bank too hard, have users spoilt for choice, which is the base for any powerful PC. The MSI Z97 GAMING 5 is one such motherboard, providing users with both power and affordability when it comes to building a gaming rig.
MSI Z97 Gaming 5, High-Five For Simplicity
The Z97 GAMING 5 features the standard four DIMM slots, capable of supporting up to 32GBs of RAM, six SATA 6.0Gbps ports and three PCIe slots, capable of supporting both NVIDIA’s SLI and AMD’s CrossFireX multi-GPU configurations. At the back, MSI are relatively generous with the selection of I/O ports here, which include four USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, one VGA, DVI and HDMI port each, in case you’re using Intel’s on-board graphics for whatever reason. Six audio ports complete the I/O port set, and these are part of MSI’s special Audio Boost 2 feature.
The Audio Boost 2 feature is a great boon for audiophiles as MSI has made sure to use special components and technologies in order for them to get the most out of their speakers and headphones. Using an isolated audio PCB allows for cleaner signals that are not interrupted by other electromagnetic signals, and the use of Direct Audio power means that the motherboard can drive headphones with high impedance levels. The usage of Military Class 4 components means that gamers can also overclock their processors if they so desire.
During our tests, we managed to overclock our Intel Core i7-4770K processor from 3.5GHz up to 4.0GHz without any issues whatsoever. Another new feature is also the MSI Gaming App, which allows you to control overclock settings right from the desktop for both the processor and the GPU, which gives you optimal performance when you game. These include the Silent Mode, Gaming Mode and OC Modes, and with just one click, you’re well on your way to gaming greatness. The MSI Z97 GAMING 5 motherboard is a really great option for those who are looking for an inexpensive motherboard, which doesn’t compromise much in terms of features and performance. While the Z97 GAMING 5 isn’t the highest end in MSI’s range of gaming motherboards, it still comes with all the features and performance a gamer would want.
- Great performance
- Easy to overclock
- Some ports are
- awkwardly positioned
MSI Z97 Gaming 5 Specifications
- CPU Support: Intel Core Processor
- CPU Socket: LGA 1150
- Chipset: Intel Z87 Chipset, Intel Z97 Chipset
- Memory Type: Dual Channel Memory