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  • Nintendo Maniac 64 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Can I just say that it still feels weird to see AnandTech benching Dolphin? I mean, I know that I was the guy that sent the email about the benchmark, but emulation just seemed like one of those more "hush hush" things you just didn't talk much about...

    Also, you've been misspelling "boost" as "post" in every single article with the Dolphin benchmark - "provided a significant post to emulator performance". You may want to fix your typo from wherever you're copy & pasting that text from, not just fixing it in the article.
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Hi NM64, yeah that typo is a carry over from my custom review template. I've fixed in the original now. It's good to have an emulation in general, as not all emulation is perhaps licensed games. Reply
  • silenceisgolden - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Thank goodness MSI is listening to feedback about connectivity. I wouldn't want a thing changed about this motherboard, and if I wasn't waiting for the new -E line I would upgrade to this. It really is refreshing to see a brand not get caught in the SATA Express hype, cater to old PCI, and realize that USB3 is here in full. Reply
  • Galatian - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I beg to disagree but to each their own. Personally I feel somewhat letdown by Z97. We have M.2 and SATA Express ports but they are already outdated because they don't use 4 x PCIe 2.0 lanes as they could. Instead they opt out for multiple SATA and USB ports. Realistically: How many of those ports does one need? Me as a gamer I have one SSD in my case and a keyboard, mouse and xbox controller receiver connected to USB. That's all. Reply
  • Morawka - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    the problem is not enough lanes in haswell and Z87/Z97. 2X SLI is already running at 8X 8X. Besides, what they are currently using on this board is enough to saturate what the M.2 SSD's are capable of. Reply
  • reininop - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Well, from the perspective of another gamer, that also uses his system as a all-purpose system as well, I have a keyboard, mouse, printer, xbox wireless receiver, wireless adapter, headphones, charger for my phone, charger for headphones, extension to monitor usb ports, and maybe one other thing. I'm sure there are others with even more needs. Reply
  • Morawka - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Metro Last Light Inspired Box? Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I was thinking the same :3 Reply
  • r3loaded - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Is Asus coming out with a Maximus VII Formula? It'd be great to compare that with this board as MSI have a very strong competitor here. Either way, it bodes well for the Haswell-E equivalent of this board. Reply
  • Galatian - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    ASUS hasn't introduce their entire line-up for Z97 yet. They are probably waiting for the Devil Canyon chips. Reply
  • Haravikk - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I think the choices made here are pretty sensible; I mean, while I do hope that SATA Express does take off, it's not as if PCIe card type storage is going to just disappear, and this motherboard has plenty of room for one or two of those, so if you do want the best speeds it's not like you're forced to adopt SATAe.

    In fact, personally I prefer drives mounted in or near the PCIe slots now anyway, particularly for air-cooled systems, as it means more space for front fans blasting air back onto the PCIe cards, especially for cases with removable drive cages (and even on those that don't, an electric drill can soon make them removable too ;).

    That said, I think they've still gone a bit too overboard on connectivity; anyone using more than four USB ports really should be considering what they're actually using them for and whether they need them, so four on the back plus headers for front ports is IMO plenty. Also, the addition of two external wireless aerials is ugly; anyone serious about performance shouldn't be using wireless networking to connect a system, not when ethernet is easy to setup, or you can use 500mbps PowerLine networking instead. And who actually uses a PS/2 port anymore? Personally I'd rather see systems cut down on the number of ports and use the saved space as extra room for rear airflow, maybe even orient the RAM to take advantage of that, though it might be a bit tight on a memory slot board, unless they gave up a PCIe slot. But then that said, who actually uses seven PCIe slots?

    I think there's still a lot that performance motherboards could sacrifice in order to really focus on performance.
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I've actually received emails in the past week about a review where I didn't mention the *lack* of a PS/2 port. It offers some advantages for keyboard enthusiasts over USB, hence why a lot of mechanical keyboards come with PS/2 or USB options depending on what system it is for or who is using it.

    I think I'm using at least 7 USB ports on my system right now. A USB stick, two charging cables, a mouse, a keyboard that requires two (one for function, another for power) and a webcam. I've also had reasons to use multiple PCIe slots.

    The reason why motherboard manufacturers include all of this is so the number of people who can use the product increases. If you limit the number of a certain feature, then you lose potential sales. It is a delicate balance between focus and inclusion. Focus may be fun, but without sales that line will die off pretty quickly.
    Reply
  • Achaios - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Why isn't the ASUS Maximus VI Hero ROG motherboard included in the comparison? I am a membger at Overclock.net, and it seems that almost everyone who owns a 4770k pairs it with a Maximus VI Hero. Reply
  • alhopper - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    It's great to see innovation is still alive and kicking with this motherboard. Why didn't they include the Z97 chipset in the water cooling loop? Does the z97 run cooler than previous Intel chipsets? Reply
  • magnusmundus - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Is there any way to remove the barbs so you could add your own water cooling fittings? Looking at the photos I don't see any wrench flats. Reply
  • C.C. - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Sadly, these are "fixed" barbs, meaning they are soldered in place to the most likely aluminum tubing that runs through the VRM heatsink. This is bad since I don't know anyone building custom loops that use tiny 3/8" barbs anymore (this isn't 2006). I personally use 7/16" Compression fittings myself..

    The other issue is that of mixed metals. I run an all copper block loop, and if MSI opted to cheapen out and use aluminum instead of copper for the water tubing (much like Asus and Gigabyte have done in the past) then there is a very real issue of corrosion issues cropping up. Ian, can you please get ahold of MSI and find out if they are using aluminum or copper?
    Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Page 1: "The manual overclocking was very conservative, with OC Genie boosting the CPU to 4.0 GHz only. I would have preferred a 4.2 GHz minimum overclock here at least."

    I think you meant the automatic overclocking!
    Reply
  • mkygod - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - link

    Anyone here looked at the motherboard box cover and automatically thought of the Metro: Last Light box cover? Reply
  • eanazag - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    Being that is has an Intel WiFi card, would I be correct to assume it supports WiDi (wireless display)? Reply

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