When EVGA announced their first Classified motherboard back with X58 I saved up my money so I could get one soon after its launch. The X58 Classified was one of the first mega high end motherboards on the market and it started a race to the top to see who could make the coolest motherboard possible while trying to pack in the highest overclocking headroom as possible. From then on EVGA has introduced Classified motherboards for each Intel chipset launched. They have even expanded into Classified GPUs as well! Well with the launch of X99 it wasn’t a big surprise that EVGA would be ready to go with their latest and greatest based on the new enthusiast chipset. Today I’m going to see how it compares to the other X99’s on the market and see just how far things have come from the X58 Classified that is still hanging on my office wall.  

We can’t very well look at the i7-5960X from Intel and not do a motherboard review along with it right? As the first of what I  expect to be a list of X99 motherboards I will be covering, I wanted to use the X99 Deluxe first because Asus boards are always reliable and the software is perfect for keeping an eye on things when benchmarking the CPU. Asus went with a simpler name than on previous generations with the X99 Deluxe and they also went a little ham and changed up a lot with the new design. Let’s see what all changed, beyond the new white styling.

It’s amazing how quickly things can add up. A great example of this is just how many motherboards a company like MSI manufactures. Just on the Intel side of things, you have multiple chipsets and then from there they have an overclocking line, gaming line, and their general line. From there they still have to break things down by price and feature set. Just for the Intel Socket 1150 they have a whopping 67 motherboards listed on their website. With the launch of Devils Canyon CPUs I really wanted to take a look at a few of their boards to get an idea of what the different price points will get you. So today, I’m going to take a look at four different Gaming motherboards ranging in size from Mini ITX to full ATX. Three are Z97 boards but there is also their only B85 gaming model slipped in as well.  Combined with the Z97 Gaming 5 that I already took a look at, we should be able to get a good idea of what you should be looking at for your builds and why they have such a wide variety of motherboards.

With the Z87 launch, Asus made a few big changes with their mainstream motherboard line, the biggest being the change to the gold color scheme. That change came with a mixed response but the high quality and big feature set that Asus includes on all of their boards they were still very popular. With the Z97 launch, they have stuck with the gold theme but they have softened the color slightly to make it a little less polarizing. Today I will be taking a deeper look at the Z97-A, one of Asus’s mid ranged mainstream boards. I can’t wait to see what they changed for the Z97 launch and to see how the softer gold looks as well.

Typically, Intel keeps their chipset launches timed with new CPUs but todays (official) launch of the Z997 chipset does not come with shiny new silicon from Intel. There are rumors of launch days for a Haswell refresh but as of now, there isn’t anything official. Even without new CPUs we can still take a look at the latest in motherboards. To start things off, today I will be taking a look at MSI’s Z97 Gaming 5. With their new naming scheme we can tell right away that this is a gaming motherboard (of course) and the 5 is their entry level full ATX board with a 7 and a 9 that will round out the line. I’m excited to see what has changed and what remained the same!

It seems nearly every motherboard manufacturer took the chance to change things up slightly when it came time for the Haswell launch. I didn’t have a chance to check out a board from Gigabyte at the launch but I did get one in recently, specifically their Z87X-UD4H. It’s not their highest end board, nor is it entry level. It should give us a good idea of what to expect from Gigabyte on the Z87 platform without breaking the bank. With its red styling, you can’t say it’s not a little eye catching, that’s for sure!

titleAfter what feels like months of prepping, testing, photography, videos, and writing are finally reaching the end of our Haswell launch motherboard coverage and I think we may have saved the best for last. We haven’t covered one of Asus’s TUF Series of motherboards official although we do have one in our cooling test bench and we have seen countless boards in our reader’s rigs. So to finish things off we are going to take a look at Asus's new Micro ATX TUF Series Z87 Gryphon. Its smaller form factor is a first for the TUF line and I am very excited to see what the fuss has been about.

titleThis weekend the first motherboard we took a look at was the MSI Z87-G45 Gaming, MSI’s lower priced gaming model. Along with the gaming product line they also have a line they are calling MPower that is focused more on the overclocking community and general enthusiasts. There are two models the Z87 M Power and the Z87 MPower Max, today I am going to dive in and take a look at the Z87 M Power. I’m excited to see what sets it apart from MSI’s gaming boards.

titleWhen trying to think of a name for our look at Asus’s new Z87 mainstream motherboard options I went through countless bad jokes and Bond Goldmember comments. I came to the conclusion that much like Asus I would let the boards speak for themselves. Today we are going to take a look at the Asus Z87 Pro and Z87 Plus, both what they call Channel boards. In other words this is Asus’s standard lineup. In the past I have been extremely impressed with what Asus had to offer in their standard lineup; hopefully they can keep that up. Let’s see what they have to offer.

titleOur first look at a non-Intel Z87 motherboard today is the Z87-G45 Gaming from the folks over at MSI. With a gaming focus I am really excited to see what the board is all about. At a quick glance at both the packaging and the board itself it’s clear that MSI is going with the dragon theme that we saw on a few of their notebooks this year at CES. I’m curious if the MSI Z87-G45 Gaming will be on fire, or just fizzle out. Let’s take a closer look and find out!

 

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