Z97 gaming 5 review: MSI Z97 GAMING 5 (Intel LGA 1150) Review

MSI Z97 Gaming 5 Motherboard Review: Five is Alive

by Ian Cutresson October 6, 2014 10:00 AM EST

  • Posted in
  • Motherboards
  • Intel
  • MSI
  • Z97



Overview, Visual Inspection, Board FeaturesBIOSSoftwareIn The Box, 2014 Test Setup and OverclockingSystem BenchmarksCPU BenchmarksGaming BenchmarksMSI Z97 Gaming 5 Conclusion

Sometimes it feels odd to review the cheaper elements of the motherboard market. The more expensive models have more to play with, whereas the sub $160 market for Z97 comes down to the choice of an individual controller or two. Here is where brand loyalty and styling seem to matter more than absolute feature set. To make matters worse for MSI, one of the other manufacturers is also branding their motherboards with ‘Gaming X’, making it harder to forge that nomenclature as a brand. Today we are looking at the MSI Z97 Gaming 5 at $160, which at the time of writing is sold out on Newegg.

MSI Z97 Gaming 5 Overview

One of MSI’s main focus points of the last twelve months has been style. This typically means fashioned heatsinks, almost-invisible traces and if possible a reduction of on-the-board components (trying to balance price as well). MSI wants its motherboards to be shown off, rather than hidden inside a case, such that other users can show it off to their friends and perhaps entice them into a similar build. The Gaming 5 aims to the more cost conscious Haswell build while still maintaining a full ATX size in the red and black livery featuring the MSI Gaming logo.

On the gaming side of the hardware equation the Gaming 5 is fitted with a Killer E2205 network port which comes with application prioritization software, as well as an enhanced Realtek ALC1150 audio solution via Audio Boost. For users with USB DACs there is a feature to offer enhanced power to a pair of USB ports as well to improve power signal quality. There is also M.2 support for 22x42mm to 22x80mm devices up to PCIe 2.0 x2 speeds, and all the fan headers onboard are 4-pin.

One of MSI’s positive points of late has been the BIOS and software combination, which for the gaming range is boosted by a six-month premium subscription to XSplit. The box also contains a door hanger to let people know you are gaming and an MSI Gaming case badge to affix to the build.

Performance at stock is a bit of a mixed bag. We get a good array of CPU results due to MSI’s aggressive MultiCore Turbo, along with low idle power consumption and DPC Latency, but MSI’s tri-annual USB speed bug rears its head again. POST times are also longer than expected, being north of 14 seconds in both stock and stripped mode. Despite our audio tests also performing poorly, MSI has informed us of a driver update that should improve performance.

The best point of comparison for the Gaming 5 will be the Z97 Guard Pro at $110 we reviewed previously. Compared to the Guard Pro, the Gaming 5 gets SLI support, Killer NIC over Realtek, ALC1150 over ALC892 audio, HDMI rather than DisplayPort, support for 3 full-length PCIe devices, more rear panel USB ports, more in the package and perhaps a nicer looking product overall. This amount might be a sufficient difference to account for the $50 upgrade, although whereas the price of the Guard Pro might suit a Pentium build, the Z97 Gaming 5 really indicates a good i3 or i5 build.

Visual Inspection

One of the first things I noticed about the Z97 Gaming 5 is the PCB, especially in the socket area. MSI would seem to have a knack for making a PCB look polished, especially on these lower end models where there are fewer components. Like other gaming ranges, MSI uses a red on black theme here, with the heatsinks being the main source of red on the motherboard. The slots and port connectors are all in black, and even the power delivery chokes are an off gray as to not interfere with the general look.

The power delivery heatsinks use an odd surface area design and are not conjoined by a heatpipe, but feel sturdy enough for four phases each. The socket area is not outlined by the typical white box denoting the Intel minimum distances, although we had no issue fitting our CPU heatsink here. The socket area has access to four fan headers – two CPU headers to the top right, one SYS header just above the first PCIe slot and a final one below the 24-pin ATX power connector. The other fan header is at the bottom right of the motherboard.

As the DRAM slots are not color coordinated to indicate to users where to install the first memory stick, MSI puts in a handy diagram on the motherboard.

On the right hand side of the motherboard are the voltage check points. This is more of an overclocker tool, hence MSI has only placed pads here rather than an easier-to-use molded array with bundled connectors. Further down the board is the USB 3.0 header which MSI has placed at right angles to the motherboard to align with the SATA ports but also to not get in the way of any PCIe devices.

MSI uses the six SATA 6 Gbps ports from the chipset, all of which are RAID 0/1/5/10 capable. SATA_5/6 share bandwidth with the M.2 when the M.2 is in SATA mode, so there is a small amount of mental juggling to perform when installing storage. This is despite M.2 is still a few quarters away from mainstream sales. Note that there is no SATA Express, perhaps indicating that SATAe should be reserved for the more expensive produce on the shelf.

The bottom of the motherboard has the front panel headers, two USB 2.0 headers, a TPM header, a COM header, and an interesting addition as the ‘Audio Power’ header. One of MSI’s features is better USB power – this uses a bundled adapter and a 4-pin molex to drive a fresher 5V signal into the USB on the rear panel to give a power signal with less jitter. The concept being that it would benefit USB Audio users for better signal transmission.

The PCIe layout of the motherboard uses x16, x8/x8 and x8/x4/x4 when the full length slots are in use, with four x1 PCIe slots from the chipset added in for good measure. Note that if a device is installed into the bottom PCIe slot then SLI will not work, as the first two main PCIe slots will then run at x8/x4, and SLI needs x8/x8 minimum to work.

The rear panel is a main focus for some of MSI’s gaming features. On the far left are a combination PS/2 port and two USB 2.0 ports, with these USB 2.0 ports being part of the ‘Gaming Device Port’. MSI’s marketing materials say that with 3x more gold in the connector, the port is more responsive and has a 10x longer lifetime. While the latter statement is most likely true, the first statement is dubious – more gold would mean less impedance for signals, although without overriding software to increase the polling rate I doubt it would do anything for responsiveness.

Elsewhere on the rear panel we get another two USB 2.0 ports, VGA/DVI-D/HDMI video outputs, four USB 3.0 ports, the Killer E2205 network port and audio jacks with extra gold plating.

Board Features

MSI Z97 Gaming 5
Price US (Newegg)
Size ATX
CPU Interface LGA1150
Chipset Intel Z97
Memory Slots Four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to 32 GB
Up to Dual Channel, 1066-3300 MHz
Video Outputs HDMI (4096×2304 at 24 Hz or 2560×1600 at 60 Hz)
Network Connectivity Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2205
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC1150 via Audio Boost
Expansion Slots 3 x PCIe 3. 0 x16 (x16, x8/x8, x8/x4/x4)
4 x PCIe 2.0 x1
Onboard Storage 6 x SATA 6 Gbps, RAID 0/1/5/10
1 x M.2 x2
M.2 shares bandwidth with SATA_5 and SATA_6.
USB 3.0 6 x USB 3.0 from Z97 (one header, four rear panel)
Onboard 6 x SATA 6 Gbps
1 x M.2 x2
1 x USB 3.0 Header
2 x USB 2.0 Headers
5 x Fan Headers
1 x TPM Header
1 x COM Header
Two Digit Debug LED
Front Audio Header
Front Panel Header
Voltage Check Points
Audio Power Header
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX
1 x 8-pin CPU
Fan Headers 2 x CPU (4-pin)
3 x USB (4-pin)
IO Panel 1 x PS/2 Combination Port
4 x USB 2.0 Ports
4 x USB 3.0 Ports
1 x Killer E2205 Network Port
Audio Jacks
Warranty Period 3 Years
Product Page Link

I have seen numerous discussions regarding the good and bad parts of an x8/x8 + x4 PCIe layout against the x8/x4/x4 orientation. Ultimately, I believe the former wins out, due to the fact that tri-Crossfire users are low in number and more likely to go to X99. With x8/x8 + x4 a user can still have an extra PCIe card while maintaining SLI. If a user needs three PCIe x4 cards for their build, chances are at least one of them is not PCIe bandwidth bound, which makes the PCIe 2.0 x4 slot preferred. What MSI has done is use x8/x4/x4, because this frees up the chipset PCIe lanes to be split into four PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. It would be interesting to see a user that has a situation where all those need to be filled.

Overview, Visual Inspection, Board FeaturesBIOSSoftwareIn The Box, 2014 Test Setup and OverclockingSystem BenchmarksCPU BenchmarksGaming BenchmarksMSI Z97 Gaming 5 Conclusion



MSI Z97 Gaming 5 — Intel Z97 Express: Five Enthusiast Motherboards, $120 To $160

MSI certainly grabs attention with its matte black PCB and red accents. But the hardware focuses primarily on the Z97 platform’s integrated features. Four I/O panel USB 2.0 ports bolster connectivity on a board that offers a total of six USB 3.0 ports (four of which are also found around back).

The single GbE connection gets a slight boost from its PCIe-based Killer controller, but other PCIe connections are dedicated to slots and the M.2 interface. The chipset has only eight PCIe lanes, so the Z97 Gaming 5 presents four x1 slots in addition to the network controller and two-lane M.2 interface. The M.2 port also steals two SATA ports when a card is installed there.

Notice that the Z97 Gaming 5 has no SATA Express cable provision? That’s because MSI agrees with my boss that the M.2 interface is mostly useful in notebooks that lack space for RAID arrays, and that RAID arrays are most practical in desktops. That certainly gets around the chipset lane limitations experienced in several competing products, but it makes me question where the single-remaining lane might have otherwise been used. MSI could have just as easily omitted the x1 slot beneath the top graphics slot to get the second lane needed for that interface.

And yet it still sounds like MSI is getting around the PCIe limits of some competitors in its x16 slots. That’s because the bottom slot steals four lanes from the middle slot. Nvidia insists its cards need at least x8 for SLI, so using the bottom slot could prevent the top and middle slots from supporting SLI. MSI could have instead made the bottom slot x1/x4 switchable to support slower cards without that issue, but its documentation says it didn’t. Those limitations effectively make it a non-SLI graphics slot, whether those cards are used for CrossFire, an OpenCL-oriented accelerator, or just a massive wall of displays.

The Z97 Gaming 5 features a row of voltage detection points along the front edge and a two-digit POST code display at the bottom edge, both to make overclockers happy. The firm also adds a three-pin audio power input header for output current enhancement, along with a switch to select internal or external power sources (but that sounds just a little gimmicky to us).

The Z97X Gaming 5 includes a flexible SLI bridge and a four-to-three-pin audio power input adapter. But it also only includes two SATA cables. I typically use three cables in a basic build.

Current page:
MSI Z97 Gaming 5

Prev Page Z97-Machine Firmware

Next Page Z97 Gaming 5 Software

Get instant access to breaking news, in-depth reviews and helpful tips.

Contact me with news and offers from other Future brandsReceive email from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom’s Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.

MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard review and test for Intel Haswell processors — Articles and Reviews

MSI Gaming series motherboards appeared relatively recently — just over a year ago, but since then they have managed to win the trust and sympathy of computer gamers. The key to this success is not only high quality and rich functionality, but also a wide range of product lines, thanks to which each user can choose a model that best meets the requirements. Of course, few flagship models are purchased, while the bulk of buyers pay attention to mid-range products, such as, for example, the MSI Z97 Gaming 5.

The motherboard is designed to operate Intel LGA1150 processors, to some extent it can be considered as a simplified version of MSI Z97 Gaming 7. What is the difference between the heroine of today’s review and the older model — you will learn from this material, and for now, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the specifications of the novelty.

Package Contents

The Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard comes in a cardboard box designed in the style of MSI gaming products. The front surface of the package is decorated with the image of a dragon — the mascot of the Gaming series, the name of the model and a couple of logos of the key features of the novelty are also applied here. nine0003

On the back of the box, a brief specification of the motherboard and the configuration of its rear panel are listed, as well as an extended description of design solutions, such as the presence of an advanced Audio Boost 2 sound subsystem and the use of a Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2205 network controller. In addition, MSI Z97 Gaming 5 supports USB Audio Power technology, which provides stable power to USB 3.0 ports, which is especially important when using external sound cards. nine0003

The only thing that can be complained about is the small number of SATA cables, but otherwise the set of accessories corresponds to the offers of competitors.


The MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard measures 305mm x 244mm, which is an ATX form factor. The novelty is based on the Intel Z97 system logic, which provides support for Intel Haswell and offers a full range of overclocking options. The design of the product is closely related to the older model Z97 Gaming 7, the layout is close to the classic, all the main nodes are conveniently located. All electrical circuits use components that comply with the internal reliability standard Military Class 4. The motherboard is equipped with four DIMM slots, which can accommodate modules of RAM with a total capacity of 32 GB. The RAM subsystem is capable of operating at a frequency of 3000 MHz and higher.


The MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard performed quite well during the review, demonstrating a successful combination of high quality workmanship, balanced expansion and firmware options, having all the necessary tools for successful overclocking. The positive picture is complemented by functional complete software and high performance in normal mode. At the same time, during overclocking, the new product showed good, but far from record-breaking results, in any case, it was not possible to achieve maximum overclocking for the test Intel Core i7-4770K. Most likely, the reason lies in the imperfect Vcore control mechanism, which is why the processor in extreme modes was teetering on the verge of instability and overheating. There are also some questions about the operation of the OC Genie automatic overclocking function, which provides a very modest increase in clock frequency. Fortunately, these problems can be solved in the new stable version of the control microcode, since the objective reasons that prevent overclocking in the MSI Z97 Gaming 5 no.

As for the comparison with the older model MSI Z97 Gaming 7, the Gaming 5 does not look like a “poor relative” against its background. All the best features remained unchanged, and some reduction in expansion options and additional functions led to a 25% reduction in cost. At the time of writing the review, the price of the Z97 Gaming 5 in Ukrainian retail was around $175 — not so much for a quality product with a lot of advantages.

More details: www.overclockers.ua/motherboard/msi-z97-gaming-5/1/

We use cookies to store information about the items added to your shopping cart, comparison lists and desired items, online chat, and to display offers that we think may be of interest to you. If you agree with this — just click the button
I agree

MSI Z97 GAMING 5 motherboard review

After the announcement of the Intel 9-Series chipsets, MSI’s popular series of gaming devices has expanded significantly. The manufacturer offers several motherboards of the GAMING line at once, while the company has prepared several original technical solutions for the updated platform. nine0033 MSI Z97 GAMING 5 is a mid-range model based on a top-end chipset, these are the ones that are popular with gamers who need a functional platform for reasonable money. Let’s get acquainted with the possibilities of the board.

MSI has released the third generation of motherboards, positioned as optimal solutions for gamers. The updated line based on Intel 9-series chipsets includes seven models of various form factors and equipment.



Open the profession of business analyst in IT and earn $700 per cob of career.


MSI Z97 GAMING 5 is made in ATX format (305×244 mm), while the PCB has a black matte finish. The dragon is the symbol and talisman of the MSI gaming series. This creature in one form or another is used for the external design of the devices of the GAMING line.
(screenshot. Dragon’s claws)
Continuing the fantasy theme, the company’s designers this time were impressed by the power of the dragon’s claws. Similar elements are used in the design of the cooling system. nine0003

The board uses an 8-phase power regulator. The MOSFET elements are cooled by fairly massive heatsinks. The dragon’s head is no longer visible in the profile of aluminum structures, however, its image is still present on the existing sticker. One 8-pin connector is provided for connecting additional power.

The board offers 4 slots for memory modules. The total amount of RAM can be increased up to 32 GB. At the same time, the list of supported sets includes speed bars up to DDR3-3200. Of course, MSI Z97 GAMING 5 allows you to use XMP profiles to automatically configure module settings. All slots are black, maintaining the overall tone of the device. The connectors have a double-sided locking design, but this does not cause problems with installing / removing modules — the video card does not restrict access to them.

The general layout of the board is generally standard for ATX form factor models. The PCB has 7 expansion slots. Three full-format PCI Express x16 and four compact PCI Express x1. When using one video card, the upper overall connector can work in x16 mode, if you use a pair of video cards in SLI or CrossFire modes, the total bandwidth is divided in half. The board is also ready to take on board three adapters with AMD chips, in which case the configuration of large slots will look like x8+x4+x4. nine0003

The top position is occupied by the PCI Express x1 slot, so there will be no problems installing oversized coolers. In addition, there is a lot of free space around the processor socket. The Thermalright Archon Rev.A used for the test stand with a large mounting bracket was able to be fixed without any difficulties.

There are no additional control keys on the motherboard. At the same time, the model is equipped with V-Check Points for measuring voltages. In this case, they are made in the form of a platform with a set of contacts. Of the innovations, we note that three points with a “ground” have appeared here, allowing you to control several voltages at once. Although, of course, for multiple measurements it is better to have a panel with special multimeter probe holders. nine0003

There is also no separate OC Genie hardware key for overclocking the system in this case, however, the technology itself is supported, but it must be activated programmatically.

MSI Z97 GAMING 5 is equipped with a Debug LED segment indicator, which helps to identify the possible cause of startup failures. Often, upon completion of the loading stage, such indicators turn into a decorative element. However, in this case, after passing the POST procedure, the indicator reflects the current temperature of the processor. A very useful option, unfortunately, manufacturers often neglect this opportunity to improve their product. nine0003

The PCB has five 4-pin fan connectors. Two connectors located at the top edge of the board are provided for a CPU cooler with a pair of fans or a liquid system (pump + fan). The three case fan headers are placed in such a way as to minimize possible cable chaos. One is located at the bottom edge, the second is in the central part of the board, the third is next to the ATX power connector. The speed of rotation of all fans is controlled independently. nine0003

One of the most interesting innovations of the 9-series chipsets is the ability to connect drives using the PCI Express bus. The chipset supports the M.2 (NGFF) port, for which two PCI-E lanes are allocated. The connector is located in the central part of the board. Mounting is provided for drives of three standard sizes, 42 mm, 60 mm and 80 mm long. Recall that the throughput of M.2 in this variation is about 1 GB / s. Note that in addition to PCI Express, the M.2 port also allows you to connect drives that use the Serial ATA interface for data transfer. It was these discs that were the first to be presented in the new format. nine0003

There is no SATA Express connector on the board. The ecosystem of drives with this interface is actually at the very initial stage of development, therefore the manufacturer offers an adapter from M. 2 to SATA Express as an option if it really becomes necessary to connect the drive using the last link. The urgent need for SATA is unlikely to arise before the second quarter of 2015, but in general, I would still like to see the corresponding connector on the board.

For classic SATA drives, there are 6 SATA 6 Gb / s ports, which are supported by Intel Z97. Please note that two of the six Serial ATA ports (SATA5 and SATA6) will be unavailable when using an M.2 drive.

Separately, we note that the chipset is equipped with a large heat sink, which is decorated with a recognizable logo of the gaming series.

Six USB 3.0 ports are also supported by the integrated chipset controller. Four of them are located on the interface panel, while the internal connector can be used to bring another pair to the case wall. nine0003

As for the USB ports, two of them support USB Audio Power technology. The connectors provide a stable 5 V supply, which is important when using a USB headset and especially external DACs.

The board’s sound solution is called Audio Boost 2. In this case, the Realtek ALC1150 codec is used, which is covered with a metal frame. Partial isolation of the audio path from the main array of the printed circuit board will also help to reduce the level of possible interference. To add to the effect of this solution, the border path is illuminated with red LEDs. The circuit uses specialized Japanese Nichicon capacitors. nine0003

Two OP1652 op-amps are provided to amplify the headphone signal. One of them is used to exit on the interface panel, the second is used for a channel designed to bring ports to the case wall.

For the new boards of the gaming series, the manufacturer offers the original Direct Audio Power technology, which involves the use of an independent power supply. For these purposes, a separate connector is placed on the board, to which a power cable from the power supply is connected through a special adapter with Molex. When using an external line, you also need to switch the toggle switch installed next to the codec. According to the developers, this method allows you to get a cleaner sound. Using the SteelSeries Siberia V2 headphones for listening, it was not possible to feel any noticeable difference, although theoretically the benefit of such a solution is possible. nine0003

Sound Blaster Cinema 2 is used on the program line to support the audio subsystem. The application from Creative allows you to noticeably transform the sound stage, while soft enhancers are performed at a good level, so even when listening to music it makes sense to experiment.

Gigabit network controller Atheros Killer E2205 has already become a classic for the GAMING series of motherboards. The chip allows you to set the maximum priority for game traffic. nine0003

On the back of the PCB, we can see that the heatsinks of the cooling system are attached with screws. All active elements fit on the front side of the PCB.

The board’s interface panel contains a combo PS/2 connector, four USB 2.0 ports, the same number of USB 3.0 ports, and an Ethernet socket. To connect display devices, there are three video outputs — DVI, HDMI and D-Sub. DVI-D and analog VGA allow you to get a picture with a resolution of up to 1920×1200 while HDMI provides up to 3840x[email protected]Hz.

Six 3.5 mm connectors are provided for connecting acoustics.


  • 1 Package bundle
  • 2 UEFI and software
  • 3 Summary

Package bundle

The board comes with a manual, a small booklet with the basics of overclocking theory and a disk SATA interface cables, an SLI bridge for connecting a pair of video cards with NVIDIA chips, and a black-colored cover for the rear wall of the case with an additional sound-absorbing lining. nine0003

M-Connector panels are available for easy connection of control keys and indicators. The box also includes an outlandish Molex-to-three-pin adapter to supply power to the audio subsystem. Sets of stickers for marking cables connected to drives can be useful. Well, as a bonus, a large sticker with the logo of a series of gaming devices and a sign on the door asking you not to disturb are offered.

UEFI and software

When starting UEFI, we are greeted by the same familiar, at first glance, Click BIOS graphical shell. However, in the latest incarnation, it offers a number of improvements.

First of all, we note the possibility to use two modes for displaying settings in the OC section — Simple Mode and Advanced Mode.

In the first case, the user can change the main parameters, in the second, a more complete list of settings is provided, which is rather redundant for novice enthusiasts. In general, the list of options is better structured than in previous BIOS versions. Of the minor improvements, we note that the list of parameters is no longer end-to-end, so there is no need to re-scroll them in search of the required option. nine0003

In the upper right corner, next to the OC Genie power button, another virtual key appeared to activate the XMP profile with one mouse click.

The Hardware Monitor section has been completely redesigned. Now it is possible to configure fan operation algorithms using four reference points on the temperature and rotation speed curves.

The Click BIOS 4 wrapper now tracks parameter changes, allowing you to preview the changes before saving and exiting. nine0003

To programmatically configure settings from the operating system, the manufacturer offers the Command Center application. The functionality of the utility is well known. Let’s highlight the ability to create a RAM disk, as well as activate OC Genie technology.

In the Advanced mode, it is possible to configure the supply voltages of various nodes and RAM parameters.

You can also use the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility to tune your system. nine0003

ECO Power is an interesting manufacturer’s initiative. MSI offers using a special application to turn off unused blocks to save energy, and manage these parameters from the operating system.

The list of available options will vary depending on the model. In the case of the MSI Z97 GAMING 5, this list is quite modest, and it’s hard to imagine a situation in which you need to disable USB ports, as well as CPU fans. Well, it’s a start. nine0003

To close the programming section, we note that a 6-month subscription to the XSplit Gamecaster service is offered with all new GAMING series boards. A good bonus for fans of recording and streaming their gaming victories.

Returning to the topic of overclocking, we put the OC Genie technology to the test. After activating the auto-overclocking system, the clock speed of the Core i7-4770K processor was increased to 4000 MHz, and the memory worked in the nominal DDR3-2133 mode.


In manual mode, we got 4600 MHz for our processor instance without any problems by increasing the supply voltage to 1.235 V in UEFI. Under load, the compensation mechanism worked and the voltage increased to 1. 256 V. We look forward to checking the frequency potential of Devil’s Canyon chips. The closer the announcement date, the higher the intrigue.

As for the memory, the test set DDR3-2133 after increasing the supply voltage to 1.7 V passed stress tests and after increasing the frequency to 2400 MHz (timings 11-13-10-31).

We were pleased with the behavior of the processor voltage regulator, namely, very moderate heating of the VRM elements. After overclocking the CPU under load, the temperature of the MOSFET heatsinks rose to only 43 degrees, while the chipset cooler did not warm up above 40C.


MSI Z97 GAMING 5 is a full-format model based on the Intel Z97 chipset. The board has a characteristic «gaming» set, including an Atheros Killer network controller, a fairly high-quality sound solution and the ability to use configurations with multiple video cards. The presence of an M.2 port allows you to equip your PC with a high-speed solid state drive in the future. Some new technical tricks simplify the process of overclocking the platform, and here we will be able to fully evaluate the capabilities of the device with the release of Devil’s Canyon chips. Well, if we remember such a nice feature as support for future Broadwell processors, then buying a board on Intel Z97 becomes even more justified.

The recommended price of MSI Z97 GAMING 5 is $170. Given the equipment, this is a very interesting option for those who do not plan to buy a motherboard for all the money.

Liked it
+ Interesting design, good element base and good layout
+ Ease of use and new UEFI options
+ Atheros Killer E2205 network controller
+ CPU temperature display on LED-indicator
+ Sufficiently high-quality audio subsystem
+ Support for SLI and CrossFire configurations
+ Availability of M.2 port

— No SATA Express port
— Two SATA cables included

+ Interesting design, good element base and good layout; usability and new UEFI options; network controller Atheros Killer E2205; displaying the processor temperature on the LED indicator; high-quality audio subsystem; support for SLI and CrossFire configurations; presence of M.