MSI H97 Gaming 3 Motherboard Review

MSI H97 Gaming 3 Motherboard is produced by one of the most well-known brands by MSI, which is well known for its excellent hardware components in recent years. It is one of the most popular motherboards on the market for its H97 chipset.

In this article, I will also show you the review of the MSI H97 Gaming 3 Motherboard This motherboard supports Intel 4th and 5th gen processors. LGA 1150 in this motherboard, obviously, Intel, so it’s best practice to check the compatibility of the motherboard with the CPU before making any purchase. So first let’s talk about its technical specifications.

MSI H97 Gaming 3

Technical Specifications of MSI H97 Gaming 3 Motherboard

So let’s talk in detail about the general specification of this gaming motherboard by MSI. See full specification at MSI.

  • Standard format: ATX
  • Support Intel 4th and 5th Gen Processors.
  • RAM Support: DDR3 up to 1600MHz.
  • AMD Crossfire support: 2 GPUs (PCI 3.0×16 and PCI 2.0×16)
  • Integrated Sound Card.

Back Panel:

  • LAN Port
  • 6 Audio jacks (7.1 Audio Channels)
  • Vidoe Ports: HDMI, DVI-D, VGA, Display Port
  • 4x USB 3.0 Ports, 2x USB 2.0 Ports
  • 1 PS/2Keyboard/Mouse Combo Port
  • Optical S/PDIF OUT Connector.

On-Board Connectors:

  • Chassis Intrusion Connector.
  • TPM Module Connector.
  • Sound Card Connector.
  • M.2 Connector
  • Sata Connector SATA 6GB/s
  • 24 Pins ATX Motherboard PSU connector.
  • 8 PINS CPU Connector.
  • 2xUSB2.0 Connectors (4 total Ports).
  • 1xUSB3.0 Connectors (2 total ports).
  • 2 CPU Fan Power Connector (CPU_FAN).
  • 3 System FAN power Connector (SYS_FAN).
  • Front Panel Audio Connector for the case.
  • System Panel Connector: Power ON, Restart, LED….etc
  • Serial and Parallel Ports Connector.
  • Sound Card Power Switch: From Motherboard or through Molex.
  • Slot PCIe 3.0×16 (1 Slot PCIe 2.0×16) (2 Slot PCIe 2.0×1) (3 PCI Slots)

Special Features

This motherboard comes with some awesome features.

  • Audio Boost 2: This feature enhances the quality of USB Audio, Stable 5v Signal, 8-Audio Channels, and Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 software.
  • Killer Ethernet: This feature improves the performance of the network during online games, by eliminating network lag.
  • Xsplit Gamecaster: Xsplit game caster allows you to record your gaming moments and broadcast gameplay sessions on Twitch, Youtube…etc
  • OC Genie 4: One of the easiest ways to overclock with one click.
  • UEFI BIOS: User-friendly BIOS optimized by MSI.
MSI H97 Gaming 3

Review And Opinions

Now enough talk about its specifications. The price at which this motherboard is launched is a reasonable price. The optimization for Network LAG Killer is a game-changing feature, especially for gaming. You can also do OC on this motherboard.

In the box, you will find 2 SATA connectors, an MSI logo, and a manual. Alternatively, if you want more OC features then, I will recommend you to go with Z97, which allows you to get better management of the PCI lines.

Also Read: iTEk Destroyer case Review

PROS

M.2 Support

Realtek ALC 1150 Audio

Killer Network Interface Card

CONS

No SATA Express

Detailed Description


CPU

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



Chipset

• Intel® H97 Express Chipset



Memory Modules

Support 4 DDR3 1066/1333/1600 MHz DRAM

Max Memory Support 32GB

Dual Channel Memory architecture

Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

Supports non-ECC, un-buffered memory



PCI Slots

1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (PCI_E2, supports x16 speed)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 slot (PCI_E4, supports x4 speed)*
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots
3 x PCI slots



On-Board SATA

Intel H97 Express Chipset
– 6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports (SATA1~6)
– 1 x 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****

* The SATA5 and SATA6 ports will be unavailable when installing a module in the M.2 port.

** M.2 PCIe interface only supports UEFI option ROM, NOT support legacy option ROM.
*** M.2 PCIe interface does not support RAID 0, RAID1, RAID 5, and RAID 10.
**** Supports Intel Core processors on Windows 7 and Windows 8/ 8.1



USB Ports

 Intel H97 Express Chipset
– 6 x USB 3.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB connectors)
– 6 x USB 2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB connectors)



Audio

Realtek® ALC1150 Codec
– 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio
– Supports S/PDIF output



LAN

1x Killer E2205 Gigabit LAN controller*
* The Killer Network Manager is only available for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 currently. The supported drivers for other operating systems would be available on the website if provided by the vendor.



Multi GPU Support

Supports 2-Way AMD CrossFire™ Technology*
* Supports Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1. 



Internal Input/Output Connectors

-1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector

-1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector

-6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors

-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 Clear CMOS jumper

-1 x Front panel audio connector

-2 x System panel connectors

-1 x TPM module connector

-1 x Serial port connector

-1 x Parallel port connector

-1 x Chassis Intrusion connector

-1 x Direct audio power connector

-1 x Audio power switch



Back panel Input/Output Ports

– 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse combo port
– 1 x LAN (RJ45) port
– 2 x USB 2.0 ports
– 4 x USB 3.0 ports
– 1 x VGA port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920×[email protected]
– 1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920×[email protected]
– 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096×[email protected], 2560×[email protected], 3840×[email protected],1920×[email protected]
– 1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096×[email protected], 2560×[email protected], 3840×[email protected],1920×[email protected] 
– 6 x OFC audio jacks
– 1 x Optical S/PDIF OUT connector



BIOS

The motherboard BIOS provides a “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. 



Dimension

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



Mounting

9 mounting holes.

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