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MSI Z97 XPOWER AC – Extreme Overclocking for the new Haswell

Our Final Thoughts

The new Z97 Xpower AC is a superb board on paper and looks pretty damn good as well, and one major good point is it now can fit in a case!

The enthusiasts socket component layout allows for easy insulating of the socket area for extreme overclockers.

The Delid Die Guard is a great idea for those running 4770K chips with bad IHS mount you can now direct die cool your chip.

The native PCIe lanes are only applied to a single slot so if benching a 2 Way card setup you have to run through the PLX Bridge which can induce some latency and while this is not a huge issue, however we saw this on the Z87 model as well and while I have not seen the Z97 Maximus Extreme board I do know that the Z87 version had dual card X8 native as a possibility.

The boards WiFi card pin header is small and I am concerned as to fragility here.

The board delivers on a much more versatile package by taking away the XL-ATX requirement of the Z87 model and I think that as benching picks up in Z87 as I have already seen some benching with this board it could be one of the boards to beat. there are a lot of innovations here but how much value it adds depends on your application.

Get the MSI Z97 XPOWER AC from Amazon!
The Pro’s:Cons
  • Intel Gigabit Lan
  • High end Audio Boost Solution
  • V-Check Point 2
  • Strong VRM with Military Class Components
  • 4 Way SLI Support
  • Delid Die Guard
  • Gaming Device Ports
  • new clean UEFI with some cool options
  • M.2 for SSD or SATA Express
  • Backlit logos and LEDs make for a cool look
  • WiFi Module pin header is fragile so care must be taken
  • No Native dual card configuration for PCIe Lanes
  • Price may scare many users away


Introduction - MSI Z97 Xpower Oh Overclocking, it seems to be whats makes the world go round some days and something that many motherboard manufacturers have really started to embrace as easier ways were found to do it. It used to be back in the old days (not that long ago but it makes it feel more special to reference as so) that overclocking required a ton of work, modding and hacking away at things to make it happen. Now days overclocking is simple, they even have buttons to do overclocks for you. And with recent chipset…

Review Overview

Performance - 9
Value - 8
Quality - 9
Features - 9
Innovatgion - 9


The MSI Z97 Xpower AC has some upgrades from the Z87 model including better form factor, now its a question of does it fit your needs.

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