We used the MSI GTX 970 GAMING Twin Frozr V for our gaming tests and the driver set to default application controlled.
As always, Battlefield 4 results first.
There’s not much in it at all. We would say the EVGA Z170 Stinger is slightly ahead on average, but you couldn’t really tell between frags.
Next Crysis 3 and we set the graphics to medium for this, giving the motherboard more of a chance to make a difference, and give the graphics card a breather!
The MSI Z97I Gaming AC is giving the EVGA Z170 Stinger a bloody nose as a parting shot with a nice jump in frames over the new arrival. What do we make of this? Nothing to be honest.
It seems as though the new chipset and the outgoing Z97 chipset have similar GPU capabilities, at least the more mature revisions of the Z97 Chipset.
This is a bit obvious now, but that’s a good thing. Recently with some “new” generation graphics cards and previous revisions of the Intel Chipset, Z87 to Z97 for example, have been not really worth the money. The Z170, and namely the EVGA Z170 Stinger, are absolutely the right upgrade to buy if you are looking for a big jump in some kind of performance.
It doesn’t appear the mITX revisions of the Z170 chipset will show much graphics performance over the Z97, you need SLi or Crossfire for that, but it seems to have much improved storage and memory bandwidth. This means less lag, faster loading times, and installation times, and a number of other bandwidth orientated improvements.
The EVGA Z170 Stinger is a little on the expensive side, which is reflected in our overall score,but the rest is heaven. If you have never bought an EVGA product, you should. If you are looking for the finest Wi-Fi less mITX motherboard money can buy, you’ve found it.