Product Listing

MSI Z97 Gaming 7 - The Dragon Strikes Again

By Martin James David - 29 May 2014
Launch SRP: PhP12500

BIOS and Bundled Software

Click BIOS 4

MSI's Click BIOS 4 makes a comeback with a few new features. It still has the same red and black layout that matches the color scheme of the board, but now has the new Gaming series logo instead of the Dragon Army logo that was in previous versions of the Click BIOS for MSI's Gaming series boards. Moving around the new UEFI was pretty smooth using the mouse, and the layout is easy to work with.

Nothing much has changed in terms of layout, which makes it easier for those familiar with MSI's Click BIOS.

The new features added into the Click BIOS 4 are the Board Explorer and Hardware Monitor. The Board Explorer provides you information about certain parts of the motherboard like what's installed into a specific USB port, SATA port, or PCIe slot. This feature also lets users get a quick overview of their current setup, which helps when you're trying to determine specific components that you have installed on your rig. Hardware Monitor on the other hand provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for the board's temperatures and fan speeds. It also allows users to set fan profiles even while in the BIOS.

Hovering over the red sections on the Board Explorer allows you to see what components you have installed on specific slots.

The GUI for Hardware Monitor is extremely easy to use and does the job of controlling fans quite well.

Bundled Software

Motherboard manufacturers today also has a ton of bundled software to make life easier for the user. For instance, MSI has the Command Center, Live Update 6, Killer Network Manager, Sound Blaster Cinema 2, Gaming App, and a free 6-month subscription to XSplit GameCaster.

MSI's Command Center is intended for controlling and monitoring the motherboard on the fly, without the need of restarting the system.

MSI's Command Center lets you monitor and change specific settings like CPU ratio and BCLK. All in all, it lets users control their motherboard on the fly and while in Windows, so no more restarting and going back to the BIOS to change settings. Mighty helpful for those that can't be bothered to restart their system but are looking for a quick boost in performance.

Live Update 6

Live Update 6 is a software that monitors your drivers and notifies you if there are newer versions to keep you up to date. A pretty nifty additional software if we might say since you won't have to bother manually checking for the latest drivers.

Killer Network Manager

The Killer LAN controller installed on the Z97 Gaming 7 also has its own application that allows you to manage your bandwidth. It is quite easy to use, you just have to prioritize the apps or games that you'd like to have more bandwidth poured into so you can make all your games the top priority for a smoother experience especially when playing online.

Sound Blaster Cinema 2

What better way to supplement the beefed up onboard audio of the Z97 Gaming 7 than to have an accompanying application that lets you choose presets and allows you to experience surround sound. MSI also has this board bundled with the Sound Blaster Cinema 2 software, which allows users to adjust sound quality to either bring out a better gaming experience or a better watching experience in terms of audio.