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!

Product Name: MSI Z97 Gaming 5

Review Sample Provided by: MSI

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes




Supports 4th and 5th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors, and Intel® Pentium® and Celeron® Processors for Socket LGA1150


Intel® Z97 Express Chipset

Main Memory

Support four DDR3 3300 MHz DRAM, 32GB Max

Dual channel memory architecture

Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

Supports non-ECC, un-buffered memory


3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, (support x16, x8/x8, x8/x4/x4 modes)

4 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots

On-Board SATA

6x SATA 6Gb/s ports (SATA1~6)

1x M.2 port*

M.2 port supports M.2 SATA 6Gb/s module

M.2 port supports M.2 PCIe module up to 10Gb/s speed**

M.2 port supports 4.2cm/ 6cm/ 8cm length module

Supports RAID 0, RAID1, RAID 5 and RAID 10***

Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Start Technology and Intel® Smart Connect Technology


6 x USB 3.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB 3.0 connectors)

8 x USB 2.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB 2.0 connectors*)


Realtek® ALC1150 Codec  7.1-Channel High Definition Audio


Killer E2205 Gigabit LAN controller


Supports 3-Way AMD CrossFire™ Technology*

Supports 2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology

Internal I/O Connectors

1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector

1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector

6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors

1 x M.2 port

2 x USB 2.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)

1 x USB 3.0 connector (supports additional 2 USB 3.0 ports)

2 x 4-pin CPU fan connectors

3 x 4-pin system fan connectors

1 x TPM module connector

1 x Serial port connector

1 x Front panel audio connector

1 x Direct audio power connector

2 x System panel connectors

1 x Chassis Intrusion connector

1 x Clear CMOS jumper

1 x Audio power switch

1 x 2-Digit Debug Code LED

Back Panel I/O Ports

1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse combo port

1 x LAN (RJ45) port

4 x USB 2.0 ports

4 x USB 3.0 ports

1 x VGA connector

1 x DVI-D connector

6 x OFC audio jacks

1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096X2304@24Hz/ 2560X1600@60Hz/ 3840X2160@60Hz/1920X1200@60Hz>


• The motherboard BIOS provides "Plug & Play" BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically.

• The motherboard provides a Desktop Management Interface(DMI) function which records your motherboard specifications.


12 in. x 9.6 in. (30.5 cm x 24.4 cm) ATX Form Factor


9 mounting holes


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garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #34710 11 May 2014 17:22
Reviews have been leaking out all over the place for the past week. Today is the "official" Z97 launch day. Check out MSI's latest gaming motherboard

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