So, if you read our Pentium G3258 review a while ago here you might have noticed us alluding to the motherboard in that build, and today we will be doing a review on the MSI H97I AC mini-ITX motherboard that is feature packed and budget friendly. Coming in at around $110 this board features enough to make most users looking for a small form factor system happy.
SPECIFICATION AND PRICING
The MSI H97I AC that we have today comes with 4 SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports and 4 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 Ports on the rear and a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 Header for up to 10 USB ports if your case supports it. It also supports Raid 0/1/5/10, and has Intel’s Gigabit LAN is a nice addition and a standard to the H97 Platform.
The H97I AC supports RAM up to 16GB (A limitation of mini-ITX motherboards) and up to 1600 MHz with a single PCI-Express 3.0 slot at x16 perfect for a single graphics card or any other PCI-E card you would be using.
The H97I AC is one of MSI’s Military Class motherboards which feature Super Ferrite Chokes, which are supposed to have 30% higher current capacity and a 20% improvement in power efficiency and overclocking stability. This might be needed since this board is only 4+1 phase power.
It also is equipped with “Solid CAPs”, which are Aluminum core Japanese capacitors and are rated to last for 10 years. It comes with the Realtek ALC892 Audio chip which is a midrange audio chipset which is solid for most users in gaming, and media consumption.
It also features an Intel Dual Band Wireless AC card, as you’ve probably figured out from its name, it also features Bluetooth and is rated at 25MB/s. Intel Widi is also supported if you have a screen that supports it. The wireless AC Speed is rated at 867 MB/s.
Over all we see quite a lot of board for under $120 for this form factor. If you are looking to build in a small footprint this is a good value considering we get wireless AC and very well built components.