Pricing hasn't been confirmed but we are expecting these to sell for around the $239 mark. This places it price-wise as below:
- ASRock Z87M Extreme 4 at $159
- ASUS Gryphon (not including option armour kit) at $185
- MSI Z87M Gaming ~ $239
- ASUS Maximus VI Gene at $285
- Gigabyte G1 Sniper M5 at $299
The above list are all considered "gaming" or "enthusiast" micro-ATX motherboards - certified for NVIDIA SLI and AMD Crossfire, most with upgraded sound chips (*excluding the Gryphon which has ALC 892).
Like most micro-ATX boards, there is a need and subsequent thermal penalty for running dual graphics cards sandwiched together but at least you have the option to go SLI which cannot be said of all micro-ATX motherboards.
The Z87M Gaming has some great features and MSI designers don't seem to have skimped on the design. Overclocking was solid and easy, the bundled software was reliable and with 6 internal SATA ports as well as SLI and Crossfire support there is room to expand over time.
I would be more than happy to have this board in a micro-ATX case on my desk and couldn't find anything about it that I didn't like. Without hesitation we can highly recommend this motherboard and if you are trying to trim your build to fit within a budget, the MSI Z87M Gaming would be well priced at $239 (if the expected street price is accurate). At this time, without a formal RRP or street price we can't give it the "Value award" but if I had a motherboard budget of $250, this would be going in my LAN rig for sure.
|MSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard|
All the Bells and Whistles a gamer needs
|No DVI port on the rear I/O panel|