‘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 …

Processors Intel Haswell to Rival Accelerator NVIDIA Tesla

Intel Corporation has the intentions to introduce DDR4 memory into their server processors of Haswell series. The launch of such technological approach is planned for the 2014, however the developments in this sphere have already started. Intel’s server solutions will become a part of Grantley platform and the samples of their new series will allegedly be announced next autumn. The preview of new processors makes it clear that some of the chips will be distinguished by the increased heat generation performance which will reach 160 W.



Hence, 16-core processors Haswell-EP will rival parallel computing accelerator NVIDIA Tesla but not AMD server solutions. Intel is going to provide various working frequency options and options with different number of active cores. At the same time, TDP will fluctuate within ranges of 160, 145, 135, and 120 W. In its turn, accelerator NVIDIA Tesla, which is based on GK110 processor, consumes approximately 300 W.


In accordance with the …

First SSDs from Asus to be Released Already in May

First seen at CES 2013 exhibition, Asus ROG RAIDR solid-state drives are on their final stage of development before an official release in May. Unlike the majority of contemporary SSD solutions in the market, the product from Asus features quite distinct form-factor, similar to expansion cards. The new drive is known to employ PCI Express 2.0 x2 interface with the support of x16/x8/x4 slots.



According to the preliminary data, ROG RAIDR solid-state drives will be available in two capacity variations – 120 GB and 240 GB. Both models will run under a couple of SandForce SF2281 controllers, comprised into RAID 0 array. MLC NAND flash-memory chips from Toshiba (designed under 19 nm technological process) will be the heart of revolutionary SSDs. Irrespective of the overall differentiation, ROG RAIDR will support a range of technologies traditional SSDs support, including S.M.A.R.T., TRIM and NCQ.


With the respect to the performance, both drives will be able to demonstrate …
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Registered at: 22 July 2012, 17:50
Last visit: 07 August 2012, 01:48