Discover the Best Z97 Motherboards for Intel's Broadwell Processors

Broadwell is the codename for Intel’s 5th generation CPUs. They are the successor to Intel’s Haswell based processors, and there are only 2 Broadwell CPUs that are designed for the desktop - the Core i7-5775C and the Core i5-5675C.

Broadwell processors are designed to work with socket 1150 motherboards that have Intel’s Z97 and H97 chipsets, and they are not compatible with 8-series chipsets, such as Z87 and H87.

The latest Intel Broadwell based CPUs feature the most advanced on board graphics engine ever, Iris Pro Graphics 6200, and these chips are compatible with dual channel DDR3 RAM.

Read on to compare a few motherboards that are top rated and top performers for gaming, we believe these are some of the best Z97 motherboards for Intel Broadwell Processors.


Read More: Best X99 Motherboards

Read More: Best Motherboards for Intel Core i7 CPUs


MSI Z97 Gaming 5

MSI Z97 Gaming 5 Motherboard
Motherboard MSI Z97 Gaming 5
Socket Type Intel LGA 1150
Chipset Z97
Form Factor ATX
Year Released 2014
CPU Support Broadwell, Haswell
Expansion Slots 7 x PCI Express
RAM Slots 4 x DDR3
Maximum RAM 32GB

If you are looking for a rock solid motherboard that doesn’t have an abundance of features that you will never use, the MSI Z97 Gaming 5 is the board for you. The M.2 connector, 6 SATA 6Gb/s connectors and 6 USB 3.0 slots ensure that there are more than enough connections available for the average gamer.

Throw in the Audio Boost 2 sound system and the Killer E2200 networking port and this board has everything you need for extreme gaming, without all the unnecessary bells and whistles. It also looks stunning thanks to the striking red and black color scheme that we have grown to love from MSI, complete with the dragon emblem and logo.

A simple BIOS which features one-click overclocking for CPU and RAM makes it easy to adjust voltage and timings. The Extreme Tuning Utility makes all this very manageable indeed.

Overall this is a stand out motherboard and the mid-range pricing means that it is one of the best value Z97 boards on the market.

Pros Cons
CrossFire and SLI support No built in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
Awesome sound quality with Sound Blaster Cinema 2 and Audio Boost 2 If red isn't in your color scheme, this board may not be for you
Killer E2200 network port that boosts gaming traffic ahead of other network traffic  
1 X M.2 slot
3 PCIe x16 connections
6 X SATA 6Gb/s connections
6 X USB 3.0 and 8 X USB 2.0 slots
 

Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H

Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H Motherboard
Motherboard Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H
Socket Type Intel LGA 1150
Chipset Z97
Form Factor ATX
Year Released 2014
CPU Support Broadwell, Haswell
Expansion Slots 5 x PCI Express
2 x PCI
RAM Slots 4 x DDR3
Maximum RAM 32GB

The Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H motherboard is a mid-range model designed for the casual enthusiast who is not too concerned about overclocking, although there are good overclocking features such as a DualBIOS switch and voltage read points. The board also features a power/reset button with a two digit debug display to help troubleshoot any problems.

This ultra-durable motherboard is made with high quality components such as 15 micron gold sockets and 10K black capacitors. Gigabyte are trying to get the message across that this is a strong board that will last a lifetime. The design is also refreshing, with the mustard yellow color complimenting the metallic components and adding to the clean, uncluttered look.

While most other boards in this price range have to choose between SATA Express or M.2 support, the Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H has both, increasing your storage options. With a lightning fast start-up time and low power consumption, the UD5H is one of the best Z97 motherboards for your Broadwell or Haswell CPU.

Pros Cons
3-way CrossFire and 2-way SLI support No built in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
Exceptional audio with a Realtek ALC1150 HD audio Codec and rear audio amplifier Slight issue with audio when at 100%, although this is fixed with a driver update
Atheros Killer networking port which features advanced interrupt handling  
1 X M.2 slot
1 X SATA Express port
3 PCIe x16 connections
6 X SATA 6Gb/s connections
8 X USB 3.0 and 6 X USB 2.0 slots
 

ASRock 1150 Z97 Extreme6

ASRock Mod 1150 Z97 Extreme6 Motherboard
Motherboard ASRock 1150 Z97 Extreme6
Socket Type Intel LGA 1150
Chipset Z97
Form Factor ATX
Year Released 2014
CPU Support Broadwell, Haswell
Expansion Slots 5 x PCI Express
RAM Slots 4 x DDR3
Maximum RAM 32GB

The ASRock Z97 Extreme6 is in the high-end category of socket 1150 motherboards and caters for enthusiasts who are serious about overclocking. The two desktop Broadwell processors, the Core i7-5775C and the Core i5-5675C, are both unlocked so this means they are given access to a range of advanced overclocking features through the motherboards BIOS.

There is an abundance of storage options with 10 SATA 6Gb/s ports, 2 M.2 ports and 2 SATA Express ports. There are also 7 fan headers which is adequate. The BIOS is a joy to use and the quick boot-up time is an added bonus.

The ASRock Z97 Extreme6 motherboard is not recommended for beginners, and if you don’t plan on overclocking then there are much more suitable and affordable options on the market. However it is perfectly suitable for those who like pushing their machine to the limits. If you want extreme overclocking, then this Z97 board is for you.

Pros Cons
Quad CrossFire and Quad SLI support No built in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
Realtek ALC1150 HD audio Codec with Purity Sound 2 sound system for amazing sound USB ports may stop working, but a BIOS update fixed the problem
Thunderbolt ready with support for up to 6 Thunderbolt devices  
2 X M.2 slots (1 X Ultra M.2)
1 X SATA Express port
3 PCIe x16 connections
10 X SATA 6Gb/s connections
10 X USB 3.0 and 5 X USB 2.0 slots