Intel’s 9 Series chipsets are here and with that brings a whole onslaught on new motherboards based on these chipsets. The two main chipsets in the 9 series are the Z97 and H97, which effectively replace and are upgrades to the Z87 and H87 chipsets respectively. Most of you are probably more interested in the Z97 chipset and that is what we will be covering today. We have our first Z97 motherboard in for review and it is the Z97-A from ASUS. It is their entry level board in their mainstream series with a modest price point of around $149.99. Even though this is an entry level board ASUS has still loaded it with features like SATA Express, M.2 support, their Crystal Sound 2 audio technology and a whole suite a incredible software. Let’s see if this is the board to make your entry into Intel’s Z87 chipset.
The Z97-A comes in ASUS’s typical retail packaging. The front is rather plain, but does point out ASUS’s 5-way optimization, which we will get into a bit later in this review.
Flipping the box over there is quality a lot of detail on the back about the main features of the board and a full overview.
Getting everything out of the box, as far as accessories go we have three SATA cables, I/O shield, SLI bridge, Q-connectors, driver and software CD, user’s guide and a Z97 features guide.
For a full unboxing and overview of the Z97-A be sure to check out our video below.