Overall and Final Verdict
I have been a fan of MSI motherboards for the past few years. It’s been really interesting to see them improve step by step. They started off improving their overall board quality and the number of features they built in. From their they started working with their UEFI. Then (last year) they made big improvements in their software design by bundling everything together into one easy to use program. They also focused on creating a gaming product line. With this launch they have taken everything they have worked on in the past and started to refine it all. The gaming board design is cleaner and has less of a dragon focus. They have refined their onboard audio design even more to a point where only the biggest audiophiles will worry about an add-in sound card. On top of all of that their software is still top notch and not bloated.
Really I only had a few complaints. For starters I am still a little gun shy about the inclusion of the Killer NIC, but the performance numbers it did put up were amazing so I am a little less upset than I would normally be. It’s a small thing but I would have liked to see more than two SATA cables bundled with the board. I also did had a bug with the command center software when trying to view the memory information that caused a crash (as seen in our video). None of those issues are enough to prevent me from recommending the board. MSI continues to step up their game and the Z97 Gaming 5 is a great example of that.