‘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 …

The Mid-Tower X2 Samurai Case from Spire Is ATX and MicroATX Motherboards Compatible

The X2 products range of the Dutch-Chinese Spire Company has been replenished by a new Mid-Tower Samurai chassis, which is ATX and MicroATX motherboards compatible.



X2 Samurai is produced out of 0.5 mm SPCC steel and is capable to hold seven 1-slot expansion cards, an АТХ-compatible power unit, two 3.5” and a pair of 2.5” drives, as well as two devices of the 5,25” format. This novelty allows to install up to five 120 mm fans.


The PC case is designed in two versions: with a fully acrylic and with a perforated side panel, providing a prospect for installing 2 extra 120 mm fans. Please, note, that the X2 Samurai supply kit doesn’t include illuminated fans, which, however, add showiness to outer appearance. The I/O panel features one USB 2.0, two USB 3.0 ports, a universal card-reader slot and a couple of Mini-Jack.


The Mid-Tower X2 Samurai Case weighs around 4.4 kg and possesses the following dimensions: 445 х 200 х 455 mm. It is already delivered to …

Features of Models AMD Athlon II X4 (FM2)

Like Intel, AMD Company is not protected to the release of a large number of faulty processors, which are eliminated at the stage of laboratory tests. Some have a non-working cache (or part thereof), other — x86-cores, and others — a graphics block, and a fourth — a weak memory controller. According to this, there are releases of less productive CPU, but working with a moderate price tag. About unlocking cores / cache in AMD processors users probably know firsthand.



As the saturation of the defective inventory APU Trinity platform FM2, AMD will decide on the mass production of new models of AMD Athlon II X4. They will be easily distinguished from its predecessors on the number of the form 7xx.


Integrated Graphics Radeon VLIW4, of course, will be disabled. Frequency will be slightly reduced for marketing purposes. Overclocker devotees will primarily be interested in quad-core Athlon II X4 750K of free factor. The operating frequency of the model — 3.4 GHz, cache …
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