Review motherboard MSI Z97 GAMING 7

Review motherboard MSI Z97 GAMING 7

Gone are the days when the stores were a variety of manufacturers of Chambers and chipsets. But today, I remember one of my first assembly, made for a friend. It was based on a motherboard with an Intel processor supporting a chipset Ali, who was not compatible with the Riva TNT2 Ultra graphics card from ASUS, to be more precise, it was Asus AGP-V3800 Ultra Deluxe.What if feelings and suffering was, but they make friends and failed. And the thing was due to the incompatibility of the video chipsets Ali. Yes, of course, today, this can not be found, on the one hand, it happily, on the other hand very sad, sometimes not enough “romance.” But let sentiment and move on to today’s hero, today they would be motherboard form factor ATX MSI Z97 GAMING 7.


The motherboard comes in black and red box with the image of the dragon, red color symbolizes the affiliation to the lineup GAMING.  

At the ends present in the abundance of product information.

But the most informative part of the package is its reverse side, there also can be found mention of the Audio Boost 2 network adapter Qualcomm Atheros Killer and support SLI.

Package Includes:

  • Four cable SATA;
  • One SLI-bridge;
  • Cable Direct audio;
  • A set of connectors M-Connector;
  • Plug for the rear panel;
  • A set of labels for cables;
  • Label on the system unit from the MSI GAMING;
  • The sign on the door with the inscription «I’M SORRY BUSY GAMING»;
  • Manual and DVD-disk with the software.


Motherboard black form factor ATX, whose size 305 × 244mm. The board is easy to make friends with most ATX chassis, and red colors of black and likely to appeal to connoisseurs.

The motherboard inside the present I / O Connectors:

  • 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 8 x SATA 6Gb / s connectors
  • 1 x M.2 port
  • 2 x USB 2.0 connector (supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
  • 1 x USB 3.0 connector (supports additional 2 USB 3.0 ports)
  • 2x 4-pin CPU fan connector
  • 3x 4-pin fan connector
  • 1 x TPM module connector
  • X 1 serial port connector
  • Connector 1 x Front panel audio connector
  • 1x XLR plug for the power supply to the sound card (technology Direct audio power)
  • 2x connector for connecting indicators and front panel controls
  • 1 x Chassis intrusion switch
  • 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  • 9 x connectors V-Check
  • 1 x power button
  • 1 x Reset button
  • 1 x OC Genie button
  • 1 x Switch Multi-BIOS
  • 1 x power switch sound
  • 1 x 2 digital display debugging

On the back you can see:

  • 1 x PS / 2 combo port for keyboard / mouse
  • 1 x Clear CMOS button
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port
  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • 8 x USB 3.0 ports
  • Optical connector 1 x S / PDIF OUT
  • 6 x OFC audio connectors
  • 2 x HDMI
  • 1 x DisplayPort

On the reverse side there is information in the form of white prints on the PCB of the motherboard has a protection class Military Class 4 NIC Killer E2200, support NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire.

On board there are three PCI-Ex16 it follows that that is possible to install three video cards that can operate in PCI-E Gen Gen3 (16,0,0), (8,8,0), (8,4,4). Also on board are four slots PCI-Ex1. Between four and seven PCI-E slot is a slot M.2, can be installed SSD M.2 three sizes 2242, 2260 and 2280.

Review motherboard MSI Z97 GAMING 7

On the left edge is a proprietary sound card Audio Boost 2 on the manufacturer it does a pretty strong focus. And to be honest is not in vain, MSI took care of its customers by setting a relatively high-quality headphone amplifiers that can bleed your ears with resistance to 600Ω. The same quality components and gold-plated contacts. Owners of buildings with transparent walls will be satisfied with the fact that around the sound card line is made with red illumination

The descriptions also mention the CREATIVE SOUND BLASTER CINEMA 2, but it is only at the program level, inside the lid is waiting for us for a long time all the familiar audio codec Realtake ALC 1150.

At the lower end are the power button, reboot and OC Genie, each button has a backlight.

The chipset is cooled by a large heatsink black with red accents and logo GAMING SERIES. At the bottom of the radiator has translucent letters MSI.

On the far right at the bottom of the outputs are eight SATA, running at speed 600Mbit \ s, one SATA7 ~ 8 fall on the chip ASMedia ASM1061, and the rest belong to the chipset Z97. And there is another important feature of the ports SATA5 SATA6 and will not be available if the port will be used M.2.

Close to SATA, to the right is the port for connecting an external USB3.0 engineers decided to turn it 90 degrees, it will certainly make the assembly and the internal view of the body as a whole is much more aesthetic, but still may be some difficulties in the assembly because the wires USB3 .0 inside the body, usually quite hard.

At the top of the right edge is an indicator codes POST code Connector for 24Pin power and a connector for the probe of the voltmeter V-Check Points, also present a mini switch SLOW_1, he can be forced to reduce the speed of the processor. Above them are four black slots RAM DDR3, as much as possible to install on board the mother’s 32 gigabytes of memory, the motherboard supports DDR3 memory modes 1066/1333/1600/1866 * / 2000 * / 2133 * / 2200 * / 2400 * / 2600 * / 2666 * / 2800 * / 3000 * / 3100 * / 3200 * / 3300 * (* OC) MHz.

Power circuits are massive black-red radiators connected by heat pipe diameter of 6 mm

At the ends of radiators depicted corporate dragon.

The cooling system is made quite soundly that should ensure good cooling of the food chain, and the chipset.

With the removal of body kit motherboard began to look much easier, but it has opened access to most of its elements.

The heart of the board is the chipset Intel Z97 Express. Which provides support for intel processors in LGA1150 package 4th and 5th generation.

The power supply system CPU twelve channels if you look closely, you can see that for each phase accounting for two chokes, they work in parallel to greater resilience to surges VRM used super ferrite coil SFC (tantalum capacitors).

Review motherboard MSI Z97 GAMING 7

Clamping frame LGA1150 black hiding underneath the gold contacts of the CPU socket.

Special shows photographs of the backlight in the dark, looks pretty interesting.


UEFI menu done in black and red style GAMING SERIES, in its upper part there is a dashboard, a summary of the system and the data of the connected drives.

In the first working area «SETTINGS» sections present key system settings, view the data on it, the periphery of the advanced settings, load control, password setting, and the ability to save and exit the UEFI menu.  

Tab “OS” is made simple and straightforward it is possible to find everything you need to overclock the processor and RAM.

Convenient and useful tab «M-FLASH» it is possible to save your profiles BIOS settings on the drive.

On the right there is a tab OC profile, respectively, it can be saved and profiles with different settings and load switching between them.

HARDWARE MONITOR made very user-friendly, it enables flexible adjustment of the speed of the fan depending on the temperature, while the latter shows the changes in real time.

In case you have forgotten that you have and where is connected and has a useful set the navigator BOARD EXPLORER.


I would like to mention a few words about the sound card Audio Boost 2. Of course it’s the same Realtake ALC in 1150 and he clearly is not one of the best. But here it is different, the thing preamp headphone manufacturer declares that the Audio Boost 2 can pump headphones with resistance up to 600Ω. In fact, it was confirmed headphone Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro 250ohm sounded without problems, except that the quality of the audio codec Realtake ALC 1150 barely falls short of the Quartet.

Review motherboard MSI Z97 GAMING 7


In terms of overclocking motherboard worthy of praise, to mark 4,7Ghz not very successful core i7 4770k managed to take the stress 1,368v. Earlier this processor is more than 4,6 Ghz not issued. Definitely the data overclocking motherboard MSI Z97 GAMING 7 for the CPU surprised me, looking ahead to say, her younger sister, MSI Z97 GAMING 5 of this could not be repeated.


Undoubtedly, MSI Z97 GAMING 7 looks pretty good, it is a good and functional product for the gaming PC, and also very well suited for overclocking. The motherboard has a rich functionality, high-quality element base is also not to be missed appearance. It is worth mentioning the backlight, the owners of buildings with an open wall, I think, will be enjoyed. Good AC adapter and a good sound card. But if the network is really good, then with the sound it is not so simple because we are dealing with ordinary Realtake ALC 1150, which picked up the gain for the headphones. Yes, quite a good step, but much of the sound do not expect much of a difference with the other internals to miss. Summing up, we can say that the MSI Z97 GAMING 7 was very good, but among the competitors certainly not the best, so the choice will be to decide the retail price of a copy.

Review motherboard MSI Z97 GAMING 7 updated: April 30, 2015 author: John Malkovich