As I said in the introduction of this review the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 motherboard is first and foremost targeted at gamers. ASRock has done a great job adding features to this board that gamers will appreciated. These include Killer E2200 networking, ASRock Gaming Armor, Purity Sound 2 audio, ASRock Key Master and of course the 3 month XSplit license, which does add value to the entire motherboard bundle itself.
Besides just gaming features you are also getting a quality-made motherboard. ASRock’s Super Alloy motherboard feature aluminum alloy heatsink designs, premium alloy chokes, NexFET MOSFETs, Nichicon 12K platinum capacitors and a Sapphire black PCB. This is a great looking motherboard and matches up pretty well to any red and black video cards much like the ones you would find from MSI or ASUS.
When it came to overclocking ASRock does make it quite simple with their F-Stream application and all the changes you make are in real-time, which means you don’t have to restart your system each time you make a change. You can also do you overclocking in the BIOS, which is extremely easy to use. With our Core i7-4790K I was able to bring it up from its stock setting of 4.0 GHz to 4.5 GHz, which is not that bad. This was the same stable overclock I achieved on the MSI Z97I Gaming AC motherboard, although I was able to get a little higher with the ASUS Z97-A motherboard.
The board also features newer storage features like M.2 and SATA-Express capabilities. While this is a gaming board, you do only have a single PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. The board does support CrossFireX, but the second card you install will run a lower bandwidth. So we would only recommend this motherboard if you are going to be using a single graphics card.
At the end of the day it comes down to the price and right now you can get pick up this motherboard for $134.99 at my favorite online retailer. While there are not a whole lot of accessories with this board the XSplit license and ASRock Cloud bring added value. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer motherboard a 9 out of 10 score.
– Sleek design
– Made with quality materials
– Easy to use and navigate BIOS
– F-Stream software is very useful
– Decent overclocking
– M.2 and SATA-Express support
– 3 month XSplit license included
– Only recommended for use with a single graphics card
– Not much of an accessory bundle