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MSI Shows Z97 Motherboards Including Mini-ITX

MSI Shows Z97 Motherboards Including Mini-ITX

MSI looks set to continue its support for mini-ITX when Intel's Z97 chipset arrives

Following a leak that showed images of future products, MSI has released a few previously locked-down images of its new range of motherboards.

We're assuming they sport Intel's anticipated Z97 chipset, which still uses LGA1150 CPUs, and is set for launch this summer.

As we reported here, there will be several 'Gaming-series' motherboards, but the images show Gaming 3, Gaming 5, Gaming 7 and Gaming 9 name titles in addition to a mini-ITX board.

Many of the boards feature 802.11ac WiFi adaptors, with the mini-ITX board sporting what appears to be a custom, integrated adaptor on the I/O panel, rather than a standard slot on the PCB.

The Gaming 9 model looks like quite a beast, with an imposing red and black colour scheme and we also spotted an M.2 expansion slot between the two lower 16x PCI-E slots along with voltage measuring points near the on-board power button.

MSI Shows Z97 Motherboards Including Mini-ITX MSI Shows Z97 Motherboards Including Mini-ITX
Gaming 3 and Gaming 5 motherboards - click to enlarge

MSI Shows Z97 Motherboards Including Mini-ITX MSI Shows Z97 Motherboards Including Mini-ITX
Gaming 7 and Gaming 9 motherboards - click to enlarge

MSI Shows Z97 Motherboards Including Mini-ITX MSI Shows Z97 Motherboards Including Mini-ITX
Click to enlarge

The Gaming 3, Gaming 5 and Gaming 7 also offer the M.2 expansion slot, which suggests this will be a familiar feature on Z97 boards, although it appears to be absent from the funky-looking mini-ITX model.

What do you make of MSI's new line-up? Let us know in the forum.

17 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
mikemaher205 15th April 2014, 16:44 Quote
Does the M.2 slot mean a small SSD can be mounted directly to the motherboard? Sorry for the n00b question.
montymole 15th April 2014, 16:55 Quote
i would of liked to seen the 8pin and the 24 pin connectors next to each other at the edge of the board like the Asus ones
montymole 15th April 2014, 16:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemaher205
Does the M.2 slot mean a small SSD can be mounted directly to the motherboard? Sorry for the n00b question.

yes and the M.2 is a faster then the mSATA
one i think
littlepuppi 15th April 2014, 17:05 Quote
Indeed - about 30% quicker I think (than SATA 3) which is what MSATA is - a direct attached SATA drive.
IanW 15th April 2014, 17:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlepuppi
Indeed - about 30% quicker I think (than SATA 3) which is what MSATA is - a direct attached SATA drive.

Wonder how many PCIe lanes it'll use?
Wazza 15th April 2014, 18:04 Quote
play_boy_2000 15th April 2014, 18:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanW
Wonder how many PCIe lanes it'll use?

A pair of 3.0 lanes, providing just shy of 2GB/s throughput; 3x as much as sata 6gbit
Hustler 15th April 2014, 19:00 Quote
For once the stars have aligned,

...my new PC build is going to coincide with an Intel CPU/Mobo refresh as well as falling RAM and SSD prices.
jrs77 15th April 2014, 20:27 Quote
That mITX-board looks damn nice tbh.
SchizoFrog 15th April 2014, 21:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
For once the stars have aligned,

...my new PC build is going to coincide with an Intel CPU/Mobo refresh as well as falling RAM and SSD prices.

Are you sure about that? I am waiting for later in the year once full blown Maxwell GPUs are unleashed.

P.S. Am I the only one who thinks that the shield logo/design looks like a sports car badge? Not sure I really want my PC to look similar.
SchizoFrog 15th April 2014, 21:53 Quote
Bit-Tech:

I have noticed over my last few posts that when I post, I get directed straight to the forum pages rather than staying within the article. Is this a change at your end or something funky going on at mine? It's rather annoying not being able to scroll up to the article to check a detail if needed.
toolio20 16th April 2014, 05:46 Quote
I particularly love how the front panel, power, SATA and audio connectors are scattered all about on the m-ITX board instead of being neatly consolidated...
jopers1986 16th April 2014, 09:38 Quote
Is the release date for these still mid may? I have literally JUST bought the MSI Z87 gaming m-itx... ops! Possible should have waited, but not to fussed though, i'm not exactly and "enthusiast" and needed a new PC!
Any idea on costs of these?
DarkFear 16th April 2014, 10:44 Quote
That ITX board does look pretty.

However, judging from that red RJ45 socket I assume their still using that KILLER NIC...thing on these boards?

Not really a fan of KILLER based on past experience... :/

Wonder if their using it "just because " or if INTEL charges more than KILLER for NICs?
AlienwareAndy 16th April 2014, 11:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkFear
That ITX board does look pretty.

However, judging from that red RJ45 socket I assume their still using that KILLER NIC...thing on these boards?

Not really a fan of KILLER based on past experience... :/

Wonder if their using it "just because " or if INTEL charges more than KILLER for NICs?

They're doing it because Killer NIC is a gaming designed product. IE - a gaming network card. As poor as they may actually be IRL they will appeal to gamers.

I have one in my gaming rig and whilst I can't really say it improves anything I must admit I'm smitten by the software because it's just so easy to use.
JCBeastie 16th April 2014, 12:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by toolio20
I particularly love how the front panel, power, SATA and audio connectors are scattered all about on the m-ITX board instead of being neatly consolidated...

While I love MSI boards their ITX layouts are terrible... I hate the CPU socket so close to the PCI-E.
Dave Lister 16th April 2014, 15:52 Quote
Love the socket cover on the ITX board - "Install Processor Before Removing Cover" hmm I think thats beyond my skill set.
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