‘Mini-Mighty’ MSI Z97I Gaming AC Motherboard Review

Ever-increasing popularity of mini-ITX mainboards is accounted for the augmentation of small-sized PC systems, work- and multimedia stations, as well as gaming platforms. The latter lay down specific demands towards hardware base, requiring the combination of high performance, durability and price-efficiency. MSI is ready to satisfy those demands, by offering ‘mini, but mighty’ Z97I Gaming AC system board. Being a part of Intel Z97 chipset family, this tiny tot owns all ‘Gaming’ series facilities, despite compact dimensions. Let’s check them out.

Specs Overview

MSI Z97I Gaming AC is based on Intel Z97 chipset targeting Haswell-based CPUs for Socket LGA1150 platform (Celeron, Pentium, Core i3/i5/i7 series). The implemented PCB accommodates a pair of DIMM slots for DDR3 SDRAM modules (16 GB volume) with the clock frequencies from 1333 MHz to 3300 MHz. Expansion facilities are introduced by a single PCI-e 3.0 x16 slot with no backup from PCI slots. The board comes …

Intel Thunderbolt Ready Facilitates in Upgrading Your Desktop PC

Last week Intel announced a new instrumentality for upgrading desktop PC, called Thunderbolt Ready. This tool will help in incorporating Thunderbolt interface into the motherboards which initially do not have the support for it. However, only the motherboards with ‘Thunderbolt Ready’ marking and an inbuilt General-purpose I/O (GPIO) socket might fall under the upgrade. In addition to this feature, the user will have to acquire a dedicated card to enable the interface.

This card is installed into an appropriate PCI Express slot and is then connected to GPIO, as well as DisplayPort socket of the integrated/discrete GPU controller, due to the cables that go in batch. After this, the customer needs to upload dedicated software in order to activate the Thunderbolt. According to Intel, there are currently more than 100 alike products with Thunderbolt support; the majority of them are certified for the usage with PCs on Windows or Mac OS X platforms.

To continue, Asus is one …

Motherboard MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 Review

APU A-Series from AMD has already proved itself as a fair correlation of performance and consumer properties. This allows users to create budgetary home systems that can readily cope with all contemporary tasks, video games, simultaneously providing a considerable speed increase. MSI is one of the companies to develop a motherboard on the basis of this platform, ensuring in its FM2-A85XA-G65 rich functional and maximal performance. The developers have managed to design the board with a minimal amount of additional controllers, though expansion facilities are sure to satisfy the majority of potential customers.

Design and Layout

Motherboard MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 belongs to Military Class III line and is developed in ATX form-factor. Similar to other products of this line, this model is differentiated by a voluminous cooling system and a quite powerful VRM node. This board is destined for Socket FM2 logics and is ready to accommodate processors of A-Series and Athlon. It is based …
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Registered at: 01 September 2011, 16:34
Last visit: 01 September 2011, 16:34