MSI Z87M MATX Gaming Motherboard Review
It might be a diddy little thing but the MSI Z87M Gaming certainly looks the part with red plastics and the gorgeous 'Gaming' dragon logo. It even comes complete with the OC Genie button for the easiest overclocking you could possibly imagine. Of course it doesn't do as well as a manual overclock, but if you're new to the overclocking world then it's a great starting point to get a feel for what is possible.
Audio is provided by the ALC1150 from RealTek, but assisted by a OPA1652 amplifier to ensure that your audio quality is as good as possible. In keeping with the recent trend MSI have also separated the audio PCB from the rest of the motherboard.
The 8-Pin CPU power is extremely tightly placed. This is definitely one that you have to plug in before attaching your CPU cooler, if you're running a twin-tower affair.
The heatsink is one we always reference when discussing the aesthetics of heatsink design and getting something for your money that makes you feel like you've really got a quality product rather than a slab of aluminium.
The whole CPU area is very nicely designed with dragons on both the side and rear. The IO section is full of all the elements we expect to find on a Z87 motherboard, with a combined PS2 port, plenty of USB 3.0 ports, as well as DisplayPort and HDMI outputs for integrated graphics.