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MSI Z87i Gaming AC Mini ITX Review

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Posted May 5, 2014 by Sandy Bruce in CPU & Motherboards

Overview

Hardware:
 
Manufacturer:
 
Release Date: Now
 
Specifications: See review
 
Price at time of Review: 194.99 (179.99After Rebate)
 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Features, Wireless AC, CPU and Memory Support, Overclocking, Design, Style, Quality, Warranty, Price
 

WHAT WE DISLIKED:

Connection layout may be an issue is some cases.
 
BOTTOM LINE:
In the scheme of things, mini ITX systems are still a niche market. However it is a market that is gaining a lot of attention because of products like the MSi Z87i Gaming AC. Offering the same full size features in a smaller package opens doors to system configurations that have previously been reserved for the most imaginative of dreamers. Dream no more. You can now build it.
by Sandy Bruce
Full Article
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Specifications and Packaging

 

MSI really went all out when designing the Z87i Gaming AC, as it has a long list of features found on full sized main boards.

Specs

Intel® Z87 Express Chipset

• Supports 4th Gen Intel® Core™ / Pentium® / Celeron® processors for LGA 1150 socket

• Supports DDR3-3000(OC) Memory

• USB 3.0 + SATA 6Gb/s + eSATA 6Gb/s

• Audio Boost: Reward Your Ears with True Quality

• Killer Ethernet: Kill Your Lag

• Military Class 4: Top Quality & Stability

• OC Genie 4: Overclock in 1 Second

• USB Audio Power: A Breakthrough in USB Audio Quality

• Click BIOS 4: Easily Fine-tune Your System

• PCI Express Gen 3: World’s 1st PCI Express Gen 3 Motherboard Brand

• Sound Blaster Cinema: Realistic Surround Sound Experience

• Gaming Device Port: Optimized with Triple Gold-plating for High Polling Rate Gaming Devices

• Total Fan Control: Optimize All Fan Speed As You Wish

• Fast Boot: Quickly Boot Up & Enter OS in A Few Seconds

• Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Intel® Wireless Display

 

With the introduction of the Gaming Series from MSI, we started seeing the now iconic dragon on all of the Gaming products accompanied by a red and black theme. There are a few hints to the features the Z87i has to offer on the front of the box.

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One thing I noticed was the features were laid out in a more organized manner than some of the other boxes we have seen. They didn’t try to overload the buyer by listing every single small thing the board can do. MSI only listed the important items like Audio Boost, Killer Lan, OC Genie 4, Built in WiFi and a diagram of the port layout.

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The Z87i AC is nestled tightly in the box that continues with the black theme inside. Once the board is removed, you will be able to access the accessories located in the lower compartment of the box.

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You will find the basic accessories often included with boards along with a few extras. There are two SATA3 6Gbps black and white cables, driver and software discs, dual wifi antennas, user guide, quick installation guide, a “busy gaming” door hanger, MSI Gaming series sticker, and the motherboard I/O cover.

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