The Nightblade Z97 is the last in MSI’s Nightblade mini-ITX Gaming barebones series. As the name implies, it comes with the latest MSI Z97I GAMING motherboard, which brings a slew of awesome features for gamers looking for a small system. The Z97I motherboard comes with Audio Boost 2, OC Genie and a handful of front connections for USB devices such as headsets, keyboards and mice.
You’re probably wondering what Audio Boost 2 and OC Genie are and thankfully you have The Game Fanatics here to dish out all the scrumptious details. Audio Boost 2 is a high quality sound processor featuring Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2, which allows gamers to enjoy their favorite titles in glorious 8-channel HD audio.
OC Genie is really handy for gamers who want to overclock but don’t want to mess around with the system’s settings to really push it to the limit. The OC Genie button on the front of the case will overclock your system without needing to adjust settings or open the case. It’s basically a free performance button. When activated, the CPU and memory clock speeds can be boosted up to an additional 15%; all that with just the push of a button.
But the Nightblade Z97 is more than just a motherboard; it’s one heck of a case as well. It features a built-in handle for easy transportation to and from your LAN parties or gaming tournaments. The case features smart fan control, giving gamers complete control over every fan in real-time. But perhaps the coolest feature that the Nightblade Z97’s case has is the ability to use full-sized graphics cards. Graphics cards measuring up to 290mm long and 35mm thick will feel right at home inside the Nightblade Z97’s small form body. That means you can even use one of the top of the line GTX 780 or R9 290x GPUs.
The Nightblade Z97 doesn’t stop there; it has a few more goodies up its sleeve. You’ll also get the E2200 Killer Gigabit LAN, a 600W 80 PLUS Gold power supply and “Military Class Components” so you know the system is going to take care of you for a long time to come. All of this in a system that looks better than any mini-ITX gaming rig we’ve seen before.
We’re positively aching to get our hands on one of these Nightblade Z97 barebones systems and you can be sure as soon as we have our hands on one we’ll put it through its paces. The Nightblade Z97 will be available later this month for $449.99 with an optical drive or $399.99 without.