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MSI Z87I Review

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SchizoFrog 6th November 2013, 13:06 Quote
There are two main problems I find with reviews on here these days. The first is that reviews of a likeness are often written so far apart from each other that during that time things change and yet comparisons are made regarding details that were only correct at the time of writing the original review. For example, the price of the ASUS Z87I-Pro has dropped to £122.24 (Scan) which is significantly less (16%) than the original review price of £145.99 (OCUK). That would make quite a difference to the value scores.
The second problem is that you very rarely compare items from the same company but at completely different price points which would give a much better comparison of what you are actually getting for the extra money if you buy premium boards. More often you compare a premium product from one company, ASUS for example against the low priced MSI board. As such it would be more than nice and very helpful to compare the ASUS Z87I-Pro against the ASUS H87I-PLUS (£91.04 Scan). However, in this instance I do understand that the Z and H boars are totally different but I hope to get the jist of my comment.

On a different note, I am assuming that onboard sound these days is perfectly good for almost all situations as there is no space to add in a soundcard with these boards, let alone other expansion cards such as a TV card.
Combatus 6th November 2013, 14:10 Quote
Hi SchizoFrog. Some interesting points there.

Firstly - good spot on the Scan price - I did actually check the OcUK price again and did a Google search (for some reason Scan isn't listed there) but they all came up with £135-145 so in that light I'm sure you can forgive me :D I have docked a value point from this review to reflect the Scan price and amended the article to show a £30 price difference as opposed to £40.

I think you hit the nail on the head with the Asus comparison - reviewing anything less than Z87 when it comes to LGA1150 boards be it mini-ITX or any larger sizes for that matter, just isn't what we're about. Also, this and the Gigabyte and Asus mini-ITX equivalents we've looked at recently are just that - equivalents. They're all enthusiast-based boards and MSI still deserves some kudos for having a Z87-based mini-ITX board that's noticeably cheaper than Asus. Yes Asus sells cheaper examples but they still aren't comparable to the board we reviewed here, which is most likely why Asus has seen fit to offer a hefty price cut, at least where Scan is concerned.

As for comparing other items from the same company but at different price points, I think you'll find most review sites are mainly concerned with what's best for specific price points - ie, I have £100 to spend on a PC case, which one should I buy and is A) better than B)? We do very often end with a conclusion that states what you might consider if you have a little more to spend, that kind of thing and I think it's also fair to assume that most bit-tech readers will know what the differences are, for example, between Intel's Z87 chipset and the H87 chipset. However, we can certainly look at including more of this kind of advice in future!
SchizoFrog 6th November 2013, 15:51 Quote
Thanks for the response Combatus.

I do understand and accept your points on why you write reviews from these perspectives and I only comment because after reading tons of reviews (I tend to read every 'internal' hardware article) I do find that I still have questions that don't get covered. For example what it is that I would not be getting if I paid under £100 for a Z87 board as opposed to the ASUS Hero. There are lots of fine details that seem to get glossed over in a review that would show up in a clear and concise way through a direct comparison.

Anyway... Carry on as you were good Sir. :)
[USRF]Obiwan 6th November 2013, 16:39 Quote
The real problem is that the scores are so close to each other nobody is going to notice any difference at all when operating your PC like a normal user would do. What's left is what 'extras' do you get for the money spend on any of the motherboards compared to each other.
Redbeaver 6th November 2013, 17:54 Quote
cheap mini-ITX board?

i'm in. good review. very interested in the board now as i try to rebuild my aging P35-Q6600 combo...
SchizoFrog 6th November 2013, 17:56 Quote
I half agree Obiwan but speaking for my self, 'noticing' is more of an awareness issue and if I am aware of something then I will notice it. For example, my current ASUS board has on board Wi-Fi. I don't use it but I know it is there and is something that I paid for. This matters to me as I may not need or use a certain feature right now but I might in the future if it was there to be used, it also ticks the childish box of being able to say that my board has one more feature that another does not regardless of if I will ever use it. Wi-Fi on my desktop PC will certainly never be used. There are also other aspects of 'notice' that may well apply to performance even at stock levels, such as VRMs overheating or just general layout designs that cause practical issues, such as angled SATA ports.
I do agree with the 'extras' part though and often find myself comparing 2 or 3 like products specification lists or even close up images to see the fine details like how many fan headers a motherboard may have, how many fans are included with a case as well as how many it can take. I do all this kind of research all the time (most of my free time) as I enjoy it even though I don't have the money to buy these things (as you can see from my dated PC specs on the forum pages).

In addition I would just like to comment for anyone from the likes of Scan or any of the other eTailers and say how annoying I find it when a product's spec list is incomplete, inaccurate or just plain empty. They suck balls so much it's like a herd of elephants made a bukkake video.
Rich_13 26th March 2014, 10:36 Quote
The MSI software decided to update recently and reboot my machine without prompting... My RAID0 array failed and I had to reinstall from a backup.. such a pain so a warning to all with regards to their software!
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