Z97 Motherboard Round Up: EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte
EVGA Z97 Classified
EVGA went all out on their flagship Z97 based motherboard, the Z97 Classified. This all-black beauty is the only e-ATX model in our round-up, but it’s packing more than just a larger PCB. The EVGA Z97 Classified is also outfitted with an 8-layer PCB that aids in PCB cooling, massive heatsinks on the chipset and CPU voltage regulation circuitry, and an array of other features targeted at enthusiasts and overclockers.
The EVGA Z97 Classified’s full list of features and specifications are outlined above. In addition to all of the features native to the Intel Z97 chipset, the Z97 classified also offers a number of other goodies, like triple-BIOS support, dual 8-pin CPU power feeds, an on-board POST code error reporter and CPU temperature monitor, switches for disabling PCI Express lanes, and easy-access voltage check points.
To complement the beefed up CPU power feeds (which can support up to 600 watts), the Z97 Classified is also packing an 8-phase PWM and a socket with higher gold content than standard sockets. The additional power feeds, beefier PWM, and higher gold content in the socket all add up to more—and cleaner—power being fed to the board and processor, which will aid stability and overclocking.
EVGA has also taken a couple of additional steps to dress the board up and facilitate overclocking. The Z97 Classified sports a right-angled ATX power connector and it’s compatible with EVGA’s E-LEET Tuning utility, which gives users the ability to tweak settings from within Windows. Of course, the Z97 Classified is also packing a feature-rich BIOS / UEFI in which all of its performance and overclocking-related options can be altered as well.
The EVGA Z97 Classified comes with a couple of manuals, a driver and utility disk, some extension cables for the voltage checkpoints, four GPU-link cables, a whole bunch of SATA cables, an IO shield, a USB 3.0 case bracket, bridges for two, three, and four way SLI, and a metal cover for the backside of the IO brackets, to spruce up the inside of your system.