Home PC Components Motherboard A First Look at Z97 Motherboards - MSI Z97 Gaming, Gigabyte Z97...

A First Look at Z97 Motherboards – MSI Z97 Gaming, Gigabyte Z97 G1 Killer and GA-Z97X-UD5H and EVGA Z97 Classified

A few weeks ago, we feature the upcoming MSI Z97 Gaming 7 and Gaming 3 prototype motherboards. After that more manufacturers, like Gigabyte and EVGA, also teased their upcoming Z97 motherboards featuring the latest Intel 9 Series chipset, designed for the upcoming Intel Haswell Refresh and Devil’s Canyon processors. Aside from MSI, Gigabyte also teased their upcoming GA-Z97X-UD5H and Z97 G1 Killer motherboard, and we also have EVGA showing their Z97 Classified motherboard. Check them out below.

MSI Z97 Gaming Motherboards

UPDATE: Entire MSI Z97 Gaming Motherboard lineup Revealed, See it here
See also: Asus ROG Z97 Motherboards Revealed

MSI’s upcoming Z97 Gaming series includes Gaming 7, Gaming 5 and Gaming 3; all are based on the latest Intel Z97 Express chipset and have socket LGA1150 that support the next generation Intel Haswell Refresh, Devil’s Canyon and probably 5th generation Broadwell processors. Just like MSI’s current Z87 motherboards, the next generation Z97 Gaming features the company’s Dragon Theme design.


MSI’s high end Z97 Gaming motherboard will feature V-Check Points 2 panel where users can monitor the condition of the motherboard using a direct connection. There’s also Debug LED, OC switches and buttons and Power On/Off and Reset button on the board.



Another interesting feature found in MSI Z97 motherboard is the PCIe M.2 interface for SSD. This is way faster than a SATA 6Gbps, going up to 10Gbps or up to 1250MBps of read/write speed. That’s something we are looking forward.


Gigabyte Z97 Motherboards

Gigabyte is also planning to release the GA-Z97X-UD5H, successor to their Ultra Durable lineup. It features 12 phase VRM, 8pin power connector, some PCIE slots, probably it will also feature a decent Audio core, since I am seeing a LED path coming from its audio ports.


Gigabyte will also release a successor to its G1 series lineup, the Gigabyte G1 Killer Z97 motherboard. It will feature a Sound Blaster audio core with EMI protection and shielding. It will also feature 4x PCIE slots in x16/x16/x16/x8 speeds and 3x PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots. The board will also feature Killer E2200 LAN chip which prioritize gaming connections, a UEFI Dual BIOS and an M.2 PCIe interface.

Gigabyte Z97 G1 Killer

EVGA Z97 Classified Motherboard

Finally we also have EVGA teasing their upcoming EVGA Z97 Classified motherboard, the successor of their current Z87 Classified. EVGA posted the teaser on their Instagram last March 31 with a caption “Something new coming soon from EVGA… #staytuned”. It looks like the card will feature a lot of PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, and probably an M.2 PCIe slot as well.

EVGA Z97 Classified

EVGA Z97 Classified Leaked

Editor’s note: It seems that M.2 PCIe slots will become a standard in Z97 motherboards. If M.2 NGFF SSDs would become popular (since they offer a much faster read/write speed), there might be a significant price change in the current 2.5-inch SSDs that are based on SATA 6 Gbps. Looking forward to it in the future.

See more Z97 motherboard being revealed:
Asus ROG Z97 Motherboards: Maximus VII Gene, Maximus VII Hero and Maximus VII Ranger Revealed
Asus Z97-WS, Z97 Deluxe, Z97-Pro, Z97-A and Z97I Plus Mini ITX
Asus TUF Z97 Motherboards Revealed – Includes Sabertooth Z97 Mark I, Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 and Asus Gryphon Z97
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-G1 Gaming G1 WiFi Black Edition Z97 Motherboard Revealed
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SOC Force Z97 Motherboard Revealed – Made For Overclockers

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Peter Paul
I love computers since I was a kid. I’m always fascinated with new technology, especially in the PC world. Many years ago, I was curious if the reviews I read were true and real. So, why not test them myself and share my first-hand experience? And thus, here we are. Thanks for reading!


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