MSI Z87M Gaming
The MSI Gaming motherboard range has always been at the top of the list for gamers looking for the best of both worlds: a powerful, highperformance motherboard that doesn’t put such a dent in their wallets either. Of course, there are also gamers who wish to limit the amount of space that their rig would take up in their home. Enter the Z87M Gaming motherboard, a micro-ATX board that serves just that particular function.
Now, there is a question that we’re pretty sure lingers in the back of your mind: “Can a micro-ATX board really be used for gaming?” The answer is yes, it can be manufactured explicitly for gaming and MSI is not the only company that does these motherboards. The Z87M Gaming, however, differs from the competition by being loaded up with all bells and whistles that MSI has installed on the higher tier Z87 Gaming motherboards, such as the GD-65 and GD-45. On a related note, the Z87M Gaming motherboard was designed not just with space-saving in mind, but also for another group of gaming circle: casual gamers.
There are some relatively significant changes that have been implemented into the Z87M Gaming that you won’t find on the other MSI Gaming motherboards. For starters, MSI has implemented a technology called USB Audio Power into this motherboard. What does it do? Assume for a moment, that you have a USB-powered headset that you connect to this motherboard. Whenever you plug in a USB-based device, power is always drawn from the motherboard in order to power the device. The USB Audio Power feature not only provides power to the USB headset, but also regulates it to ensure that there is no loss in audio quality due to a lack of power.
You’ll also be glad to know that the Killer Ethernet feature has made a comeback on this motherboard. If you don’t quite know what this is, here’s a recap: Basically, it ensures a lower latency rate by limiting the amount of bandwidth allocated to other applications or programs, and instead prioritizes bandwidth allocation for gaming. Simply put, if you’re playing an online game and you’ve got your Facebook page and Twitter running in the background, the Killer Ethernet LAN port will dedicate bandwidth more towards your game time, instead of social media.
Wanting to see how this motherboard performs, we ran it ragged using some of our synthetic benchmarks. The benchmarks that we ran were PCMark 8 and PCMark 7. On PCMark 8, the Z87M Gaming gave us a score of 5,312, which denotes just how capable this motherboard really is. Surprisingly, PCMark 7 yielded a similar score of 5,304, but its computational scores was 7,380, which also means that the Z87M Gaming underwent the benchmark with absolute easy.
As we’ve said, the Z87M Gaming is a motherboard designed not just for the casual gamer, but also for the gamer who’s looking for an affordable and space-saving alternative. So, if you’re looking for a motherboard that’s big on performance and small in physical presence, then choose the MSI Z87M Gaming.