MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC – MSI’s top tier gaming offering for the Haswell refresh

Our Final Thoughts

MSI really flipped its board lineup quite a bit this time around with totally new designs, many more models and a huge variance in feature sets all to the tune of having a board to fit pretty much every users needs.

The MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC is a great board with some very impressive audio implementations but you do pay for it.

The Gaming 9 is priced right along the Gigabyte Z97 Gaming which supports 4 Way SLI at a slightly lower cost but doesn’t necessarily have the bells and whistles that the Gaming 9 has in terms of audio solution.

The Dragon Armor is a nice solution without being too much like we have seen before which I find very welcome as I had some issue with those boards being TUF to install due to the massive Armor allowing screws to fall in or get lodged causing a hassle to screw the board down.

The Gaming 9 is a mixed bag with a pretty high price but with some insane audio, its hard to complain about the price and even if you don’t need the audio MSI has something like 4-5 other gaming models that could fit what you need.


The Pro’s:Cons
  • Killer E2205
  • High end Audio Boost Solution
  • V-Check Point 2
  • Strong VRM with Military Class Components
  • Unique Dragon Styling
  • Sound Blaster Cinema Compatibility
  • Gaming Device Ports
  • new clean UEFI with some cool options
  • M.2 for SSD or SATA Express
  •  WiFi Module pin header is fragile so care must be taken
Introduction - MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC MSI looks to be hitting Z97 pretty hard with not just a gaming board but a full line along with OC series boards and even standard boards so now this begs the question. If offering so many SKU's will it pay off in better customer satisfaction byhaving plenty of options of models to meet their needs or will it be a case of too many options and actually confuse the consumers? That is one of the risks board manufacturers take when they start to expand to multiple lines each with growing…

Review Overview

Performance - 9
Value - 7.5
Quality - 9
Features - 9
Innovation - 9


The MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC is a great board that has an amazing audio solution, but a tough price tag

User Rating: 5 ( 1 votes)

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