Best Z97 Motherboards of 2020 – Complete Review

Living in an age where everything moves at the speed of light, why should your computer be slow?

The speed and performance of your PC mainly depend upon its processor. A good motherboard can ensure an amazing functioning of your computer, allowing you to accomplish all your tasks with great ease.

One such processor is the Z97, which not only adds a higher degree of functionality to your PC but also boosts its performance capabilities.

Comparison Chart of the Best Z97 Motherboards

PRODUCTDETAILS
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MSI Intel Z97

  • Highly durability and user-friendly
  • Features an LGA 1150 socket and Intel Z97 chipset, standard ATX size
  • Designed to be VGA, DVI, and 2-way CrossFirex ready
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MSI Z97-G45 GAMING

  • Excellent BIOs for optimal functioning
  • Provides a combination of outstanding LAN
  • Features a convenient layout for easy configuration
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Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H

  • Best for the money
  • LGA 1150 socket and Intel Z97 Express chipset included in the product
  • Gives users the liberty to choose between two great LAN options
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ASUS Z97-K/CSM

  • Best Asus Z97 Motherboard
  • M.2 onboard which allows data transfer speed of up to 10GB
  • With ASUS 5X protection, you can ensure the durability of the product
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ASRock Z97 EXTREME6

  • Best Asrock Z97 Motherboard
  • Features a premium alloy choke that is designed to reduce 70% of the core loss
  • Equipped with Nichicon 12K Platinum Cap made in Japan with high-quality materials
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Are All Z97 Motherboards The Same?

Those who are not very familiar with these processors may not know much about them. If you are wondering whether all Z97-compatible motherboards are the same or not, the answer is yes and no. Confused? Let us explain.

Z97 motherboards are not of different types. This implies that the basic structure, functioning, and design of all these units are the same. They are all designed to perform the same basic functions; however, the efficiency of which may vary with the quality of the chosen product.

MSI Intel Z97

Different manufacturers optimize their units in different ways. Based on their purpose of use, and to some degree, their price, these units may come with different additional features. Manufacturers add a number of features to the basic motherboard in order to not only maximize the efficiency of functionality but also to attract consumers.

In the end, the superiority of one unit over the other depends upon the user. For any consumer, the best unit is one that fulfills all of their requirements. Therefore, declaring that one is better than the other because of a certain feature just isn’t right.

What Makes a Great Z97 Motherboard?

Whatever we choose for our computer, we want the very best, and the same goes for this motherboard. While buying a Z97 motherboard, if you want the best for yourself, all you need to do is carefully examine certain aspects and specifications of the unit. The following are a couple of of the features that one would find in a high-quality Z97 motherboard:

Consistency of Performance

Just a high-end performance isn’t enough when it comes to motherboards. The performance provided by the motherboard needs to be consistent as well. Even though some of these units cost a considerable amount of money, their performance can deteriorate with time, leaving users with nothing but disappointment. While considering a particular motherboard, remember to check the reviews to see if the unit maintains its performance over time.

Speed and Boosting Power

Yet another feature users need to expect from a good Z97 motherboard is excellent speed along with boosting power. The main reason people upgrade their chipset is to obtain a faster and better functionality of their systems. Therefore, it is important that your chosen unit provides greater speed and boosting power as compared to the previous one.

Quick Take - Best Z97 Motherboards

Before we go any further, here are the best Z97 motherboards:

1. MSI Intel Z97
2. MSI Z97-G45 GAMING
3. Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H

Review of the Best Z97 Motherboards

Now that you know how to select a motherboard for yourself, the time has come to finally pick one. Below we have listed and reviewed some of the best Z97-compatible motherboards that the market has to offer. With this guide in hand, you can skip the standard devices and choose from the absolute best.

Best Overall and Best MSI Motherboard:
MSI Intel Z97

MSI Intel Z97 LGA 1150 DDR3 USB 3.1 ATX...

PROS

  • Features military-class 4 components for higher durability
  • Designed for optimal performance with multiple graphics cards
  • Provides users with an unlimited Ramdisk that allows 20x speeds
  • An intuitive and user-friendly command center for easy and convenient use
  • With Live Update 6, users can receive the live status of the system and control accordingly

CONS

  • Pins may bend easily if not used with care
  • Could use more heat sinks than it comes with
  • Provided manual may not provide sufficient guidance

What Recent Buyers Report

This board has absolutely blown users away with its performance. Everyone who has installed and used it has agreed that no other performs as efficiently as this one. They all claim that its speed and efficiency are unmatched by any other chipset out there.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you ask us why the MSI Intel Z97 deserves to be on the top of this list, the answer is simple; it’s all because of its functionality. Even though it features a number of advantages over other comparable alternatives, what really allows it to be the best of all is the great proficiency and smoothness with which it allows your system to work.

Who Will Use This Most

This is not only available at an affordable price, but it also offers a wide range of features along with absolute functionality. All these features, coupled with its ease and convenience of use, makes it suitable for all beginners or professionals.

Bottom Line

This motherboard comes with a long list of features and functionality that allows for no complaints. It is designed to provide users with the absolute best performance. If that is what you want for your system, then this is the perfect option for you to go with.

MSI ATX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 Motherboards...

PROS

  • Dedicated gaming port for an ideal gaming experience
  • Provides a wide range of RAM support that beats any other unit
  • LAN and sound card provided are better than those featured by most others
  • Features an excellent BIOS that enables the user to tune it according to their needs
  • Not only provides an outstanding performance but also features a bold and stylish look

CONS

  • Mouse and keyboard ports are peripheral specific
  • Does not feature sufficient fan slots for enough cooling
  • There are chances of the sound card being shot if it’s too tight

What Recent Buyers Report

Users have found nothing but good things to say about this unit. Everything from its bold design and construction to its dedicated and efficiently performing ports have managed to impress its users. These features have convinced them to make this the go-to motherboard that they would recommend to all.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The MSI Z97-G45 GAMING has a number of features that amazed us, but one that really caught our eye was the dedicated gaming device port that is featured. This MSI gaming device port is designed to optimize the performance of the rig and deliver the best of connectivity and gaming experience for the user.

Who Will Use This Most

Here is a device that is designed not only for a better performance of your PC but also a smoother and enjoyable gaming experience. With its unique features like the gaming device port and enhanced audio, gamers will find this to be the perfect motherboard upgrade for their systems.

Bottom Line

If the top product on our list does not suit you well, but you want the best for yourself, then do not worry. This board will serve as the perfect alternative with functioning that is just as good as the best. It will highly impress you and make sure that you do not regret your decision.

Best for the Money:
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H

Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H LGA 1150 Z97 with...

PROS

  • With the LGA 1150 socket, users can find a greater range of functionality
  • Provides users with a choice between Killer (™) E2200 and Intel gigabit network chips
  • Dual BIOS system will prove to be safer while flashing and provide greater reliability
  • Comes with a sound card that offers 115 dB SNR along with a built-in headphone amp
  • Features SATA express port along with an M.2 connected that is ideal for an operating system

CONS

  • May turn on and off repeatedly and requires fixing
  • Only one of the M.2 and SATA ports can be used at once
  • Point and click BIOS mode may not be suitable for all users

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the users who invested in this unit expected nothing but basic features and standard functionality, given the low budget it came in. Upon use, however, they were greatly surprised at how well it performed and how smoothly the device functioned, with little to no effort.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you ask us what really amazes us about this unit, other than its low price point, it is its CPU support. This outstanding product provides ideal support for Intel Core i7, i5, and i3 processors along with Pentium and Intel Celeron processors too. Such a wide range of support is offered by very few other units.

Who Will Use This Most

Not everyone can find the budget to splurge on a motherboard, but who doesn’t want to experience the best of these units? In order to satisfy all those users who are looking for a Z97-compatible motherboard, Gigabyte has put forth this one that will provide them with an ideal functionality without costing them a fortune.

Bottom Line

Why spend a hefty amount when you can get more for less? With this product, you will not only save a considerable amount of money but will also get to experience the uncompromised functionality that a Z97 motherboard has to offer. Isn’t that what we call a win-win?

Best Asus Z97 Motherboard:
ASUS Z97-K/CSM

ASUS ATX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 Motherboards...

PROS

  • Turbo LAN allows a smoother gaming experience
  • Autotune and control the tuning of the fans according to your own needs
  • Features the ASUS Fan Xpert3, which is designed for optimal heat dissipation
  • Experience flawless audio for an enhanced gaming experience with the Crystal Sound 2
  • Comes with ASUS 5X protection that features DIGI+, VRM, Enhanced DRAM and much more

CONS

  • More expensive than other units
  • A few of the connectors may break easily if not handled well
  • Customizing the device may take a while longer than expected

What Recent Buyers Report

If you tend to investigate the reviews of a product before investing in it, then you will find this to be the perfect one for you. Coming from a known brand, users trusted this product before they invested in it; its quality and performance did not fail them at all, which is why they trust Asus in the longer run.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Given the outstanding performance that this device provides for its users, there is no other feature needed for it to be included on this list. But one thing that definitely stands out about this unit is the flawless audio that enhances the overall experience for the users, and for gamers specifically.

Who Will Use This Most

This motherboard provides absolutely everything a user could expect from a Z97-compatible unit. It may have a long list of features but also comes with a heavy price tag. If you are looking for a high-end product, with no concerns about budget, then this could be the perfect option for you.

Bottom Line

Asus has been known for their competitive and high-end products for years. They have built a relationship of trust with their consumers that they fulfill by putting forth quality products such as this one.

Best Asrock Z97 Motherboard:
ASRock Z97 EXTREME6

ASRock ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150...

PROS

  • Provides great stability that a number of alternatives lack
  • Dual BIOS provides a great enhancement of performance of the device
  • Features ample amount of heat sinks, allowing sufficient heat dissipation
  • High-quality connections ensure efficient flow of data and a fast functioning
  • Provides a number of advanced features that any professional would love to experiment with

CONS

  • Performance may decline over the years
  • Additional Molex connector is tricky to access
  • Configuration and installation requires keen efforts

What Recent Buyers Report

Users who invested in this unit found that everything about it is right up to the mark. From its sleek design to the ideal performance, there isn’t a single thing about this motherboard that would disappoint its users, and that is consistent with what they expect from Asus.

Why it Stands Out to Us

When it comes to this product, what is there not to like? But one particular feature that really stands out from the rest is its Nichicon 12K Platinum Caps. These are designed and made in Japan with a high-quality conductive polymer capacitor that ensures efficient functioning.

Who Will Use This Most

The ASRock Z97 EXTREME6 is mostly known among those that have invested in other products from Asus. It provides a benchmark of quality and performance that Asus has ensured for its users. This unit is, therefore, the perfect pick for anyone that is looking for a Z97-compatible motherboard from Asus.

Bottom Line

Asrock is known to have dissociated from Asus since they had sufficient customers and budget of their own, which they gained from their high-quality sales. This unit is a perfect example of the great quality Asrock provides for its users.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Z97 Motherboard?

Now that you know the features to look at and have considered the best of your options, making your final pick may seem like an easy decision. But before you do, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind in order to ensure that the option you select provides the best possible functionality.

Heat Sinks

If you are one of those users that frequently overclock their computer, then you may be aware of the heating up that takes place in your CPU. This heating up can greatly influence the performance of your device, and not in a positive way. Therefore, it is important that the motherboard that you choose has an efficiently functioning heat sink that keeps your computer sufficiently cooled.

Budget

While looking at various products, you may notice that even the cheapest of the products can cost a considerable amount. While making your final choice, you need to ensure that the unit that you pick has only the features that you need. You can pick a unit with all the features if you can spare a hefty amount for your motherboard, but if you want to stick to a budget, it’s better to buy only what you need.

Conclusion

A Z97-compatible motherboard could be exactly what your computer needs to perform better. It will not only maximize its performance but also allow you to enjoy a more enjoyable experience. All you need to do is make the right considerations and choose an appropriate device for yourself, and you’ll be good to go.

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