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EVGA Z97 Classified Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: EVGA

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of EVGA

The Z97 Classified motherboard is among EVGA's newest offerings in their Intel Z97 line of products. EVGA improved upon their previous revision Classified boards, adding in support for 5th generation Intel Core processors through integration with the Intel Z97 chipset. Most flagship motherboard command a premium price with the Z97 Classified being no exception. It's $379.99 MSRP may price it out of reach for many enthusiasts, but its integrated components and overclocking-friendly features more than justify the price.

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Courtesy of EVGA

EVGA designed the Z97 Classified board with an 8-phase digital power delivery system for the CPU, ensuring a stable system under any operational conditions. The Z97 Classified has the following integrated features: eight SATA 3 ports; an mSATA/mPCI-E port; dual Intel GigE NIC ports; five PCI-Express x16 slots; a PCI-Express x1 slot; 2-digit diagnostic LED display; on-board power, reset, and dual CMOS clear buttons; triple BIOS switche; PCIe disable switch jumper block; integrated EZ Voltage measurement points; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

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Courtesy of EVGA

Continue reading our review of the EVGA Z97 Classified motherboard!

Technical Specifications (taken from the EVGA website and documentation)

CPU Support Supported CPUs - Intel 4th and 5th Generation Socket 1150 Processors
Socket Type - LGA1150
PCH - Intel Z9
Memory 4 x 240-pin DIMM sockets
Maximum of 32GB of DDR3 (2666MHz+ in dual channel configuration)
Storage I/O 8 x Serial ATA 600MB/sec (8 Internal) with support for RAID 0 and RAID1
6 / Z97 PCH
2 / Marvell 9220
USB USB 2.0 Ports/Controller - 6 / Intel Z97 PCH
USB 3.0 Ports/Controller - 6 / Intel Z97 PCH
LAN Network Speed - 10/100/1000
Network Ports/Controller - 2 / Intel i217/i210
Integrated Peripherals Audio - 6 Channel
Audio Controller - Creative Sound Core3D Quad-Core Audio Processor + Optical
PCI-E Slot Arrangement - 1x16,2x16,3x8,4x8
PCI-E Mechanical Slots - 5
PCI-E x1 Slots - 1
mPCI-E/mSATA - 1
BIOS BIOS Type - AMI / UEFI
Form Factor EATX Form Factor
Length: 12in - 304.8mm
Width: 10.375in - 263.5mm
Operating System Support Windows 8 32/64bit
Windows 7 32/64bit
Windows Vista 32/64bit
Windows XP 32/64bit

 

June 23, 2014 | 01:16 PM - Posted by Paul Jones (not verified)

Can you please talk about motherboard support for DDR4?

Reports are that DDR4 is available in Japan now.

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/38609/ddr4-ram-hits-japan-retail-shelves-1...

I pretty much refuse to upgrade my mobo without DDR4 support.

June 23, 2014 | 01:23 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

DDR4 will require a new processor architecture and new chipset. That will not be occuring with the Z97 platform.

June 23, 2014 | 03:33 PM - Posted by jchambers2586 (not verified)

When will we see DDR4 on mainstream boards.

June 23, 2014 | 04:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Whenever Skylake comes out, sometime in 2015 if the leaked roadmap holds up.

June 24, 2014 | 04:07 AM - Posted by Penteract (not verified)

Haswell-E (X99 Chipset) will have quad-channel DDR4 support. It is scheduled for release Q3 2014.

June 23, 2014 | 02:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It seems that EVGA still has a ways to go with its motherboards before it's on Asus' level.

June 23, 2014 | 07:32 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Aesthetically-speaking, it is a nice looking board though.  And it performs well once its dialed in...

June 24, 2014 | 02:55 AM - Posted by Fluxcored

Quite a few connectors oriented 90 degrees to face the edge of the motherboard. This has to be one of the first implementations of 24pin ATX in this way.

June 25, 2014 | 01:23 AM - Posted by Sean Sinha (not verified)

The 90 Degree ATX came about during a phone call between myself and Jacob while I was working at OCZ in their development labs. I had all sorts of motherboard ideas that OCZ would never get around to doing after we decided NOT to get into the motherboard-marketing game. I am glad Jacob ran with the 90 Degree ATX.

June 25, 2014 | 01:25 AM - Posted by Sean Sinha (not verified)

And the sideways connectors has been around since their Z68 series of stuff. Z68 FTW was first with it.

June 23, 2014 | 07:50 PM - Posted by Totalslaughter (not verified)

"would have detrimental effects on the board's long term health or use."

Is that supposed to be (would not have) ?

June 24, 2014 | 04:50 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Thanks for pointing that out, its been corrected...

June 24, 2014 | 02:37 AM - Posted by Lithium (not verified)

You missed one strong point on this one.
There is only few boards that can do triple SLI with one space between cards; or triple SLI with three slot cards.
I have ASRock 3-Way-SLI 2S2S bridge.
So can this board do SLI with 1-3-6 PCI-e slots?

Next, Dolby Digital Live / DTS Connect.
I think that not all Core3D boards support this.
Manufacturers must pay for this option.
So can this board do Dolby Digital Live / DTS Connect?

Cheers

June 24, 2014 | 11:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't believe it can. I have a board with a similar layout. Morry can correct me if I'm wrong, but on my board (a z77 board), the third PCI-e does not use the PLX chip, where as the 2,4,and 6 slots do. Once i put anything in those slots, the third slot is deactivated. This board may behave the same way.

June 24, 2014 | 05:11 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Concerning the PCIe X16 ports, any of the five ports can be used with the following bandwidth constraints (per the product manual):

PCI-E Lane Distribution 
 PE1 – x16 (x8 if PE2 is used) 
 PE2 – x16 (x8 if PE3 is used) 
 PE3 – x8 
 PE4 – x16 (x8 if PE6 is used) 
 PE5 – x1 
 PE6 – x8

Thanks...

July 10, 2014 | 02:56 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Just heard back from our corporate rep on this - the board does not support Dolby Digital Live / DTS unfortunately...

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