Motherboard tier list: H97 chipset

H97 chipset


Intel’s 9 series non-OCable chipset w/o SLI ability, this is a great chipset for non-OCers and single (or dual CFX capable cards at most, though it's not ideal at x16/x4) GPU users. The chipset also supports Intel Smart Response Tech which is a SSD caching tech, useful with dual Hard Drive solutions. As of now, all current LGA1150 chips are supported w/o the need for any BIOS updates. Boards are ranked according to Form Factor and quality in this list, as a mini-ITX board cannot have dual GPU (Crossfire) support. Features like M.2 and SATAe have been given due weightage as well. Quality has been looked upon, and there are no persistent issues with most boards.

NOTE: In addition to lack of OCing and SLI capabilities, no H97 board other than MSI Gaming 3 supports XMP memory (ie, higher than 1600Mhz).

NOTE: OCing is supported on H and B series LGA1150 MoBos when Pentium G3258 is installed.

Helpful links:

Overclocking a Pentium G3258 on H81, B85, H87 & H97 Chipsets

ASUS Enables Overclocking on H97, H87, B85 and H81 Series Motherboards

NOTE: CrossfireX capability is not the best, performance wise, as x4 speed for the second card does not allow it to function to it's full potential, thus reducing performance.

Key:

Red: MSI
Blue: ASROCK
Green: GIGABYTE
Gold: ASUS
Black: EVGA
______________________________________________

Tier One: Very high quality. These MoBos are the best H97 you can find, for their purpose (like mini ITX board for Home theater/ media center builds), have great storage features like M.2 and SATAe (missing in Mini ITX board). Appropriate boards are CFX capable, and they’re solid quality wise.

ATX Form Factor:

H97 D3H
GAMING 3
MSI Gaming 3
Pro Gamer
Fatal1ty H97 Killer
H97 Pro
Fatal1ty H97 Performance
H97 PLUS

mATX Form Factor

H97M-D3H
H97M-E/CSM
H97M PLUS
H97M GAMING 3
H97M-D3HP

Mini ITX Form Factor:

H97I PLUS


______________________________________________

Tier Two: High quality. Good MoBos with CFX capability wherever applicable. Decent quality and good for general purpose. Contains Mini ITX boards as well. M.2 is not present.

ATX Form Factor:

Guard-Pro
H97-PRO4
PC MATE
H97 Anniversary
GA-H97-HD3
H97-DS3H

mATX Form Factor

H97M-PRO4
H97M-G43
H97M-E35
H97M Anniversary
G1.SNIPER H6
GA-H97M-HD3
GA-H97M-DS3P

Mini ITX Form Factor:

H97M-ITX/AC
H97I AC
H97N-WIFI (H97N doesn't have WiFi)

Thin Mini ITX Form Factor:

H97TN

______________________________________________


NOTE: This thread is a part of the article series 'Motherboard tier list'.
79 answers Last reply
More about motherboard tier list h97 chipset
  1. H97M-G43 is high quality? whoah! fried two of them. yeah their VRMs are SOOO high quality.
  2. random5 said:
    H97M-G43 is high quality? whoah! fried two of them. yeah their VRMs are SOOO high quality.


    Tom's included that MoBo in it's budget build list and OCed Pentium to 4.4Ghz w/o issues:

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/build-budget-microatx-gaming-pc,review-33033-3.html

    OC results:

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/build-budget-microatx-gaming-pc,review-33033-8.html


    I'm unsure what you put on it to fry it's VRM.
  3. MeteorsRaining said:


    I'm unsure what you put on it to fry it's VRM.


    Well most basic i5-4690K?
  4. i5 4690K on a H MoBo? These boards are not supposed to contain K series CPUs, which are OCable. H/B MoBos have unlocked multiplier for Pentium but that's it, you can't OC 4690k on H MoBo, the pairing is not right.
  5. No H97 boards have real Crossfire support. The PCI lanes run at x16/x4 speeds. x4 speeds cripples performance of the second card.
  6. RazerZ said:
    No H97 boards have real Crossfire support. The PCI lanes run at x16/x4 speeds. x4 speeds cripples performance of the second card.


    Noted. Point has been added in the chipset description.
  7. No mention of Intel SRT?
  8. chimera201 said:
    No mention of Intel SRT?


    A brief description about SRT has been added in chipset description.
  9. By saying Gaming 3 in tier 1 ATX motherboards , do you mean the MSI h97 gaming 3 or the equivelant of gigabyte ?

    Thank you
  10. mitsosvazelos84 said:
    By saying Gaming 3 in tier 1 ATX motherboards , do you mean the MSI h97 gaming 3 or the equivelant of gigabyte ?

    Thank you


    The green color indicates Gigabyte motherboards, but I by chance left out the MSI's version to be included in any tier. MSI H97 Gaming 3 deserves Tier 1 as well.
  11. MeteorsRaining said:
    mitsosvazelos84 said:
    By saying Gaming 3 in tier 1 ATX motherboards , do you mean the MSI h97 gaming 3 or the equivelant of gigabyte ?

    Thank you


    The green color indicates Gigabyte motherboards, but I by chance left out the MSI's version to be included in any tier. MSI H97 Gaming 3 deserves Tier 1 as well.


    Ok thank you because im on the point of buying the msi h97 gaming 3 .

    Since you seem to know a heck of a lot about motherboards , can you tell me if this msi h97 is a good motherboard ?
    And is the audio chip better than simiraly priced motherboards ?

    Thank you in advance
  12. Yes, no issues with the MSI H97 performance/ quality wise. Looking at the features, Gaming 3 is as good of a board as you can find, with all available features.

    Regarding the audio, the board uses ALC1150 codec which's a high end chip. Many enthusiast level boards use it as well, for eg Maximus 7 boards, altough with a few adjustments. So in the department, MSI is just as good as you'd find (even in very high end boards) :)
  13. Thank you once again for helping me out , I will buy that motherboard after all :0
  14. MeteorsRaining said:
    Yes, no issues with the MSI H97 performance/ quality wise. Looking at the features, Gaming 3 is as good of a board as you can find, with all available features.

    Regarding the audio, the board uses ALC1150 codec which's a high end chip. Many enthusiast level boards use it as well, for eg Maximus 7 boards, altough with a few adjustments. So in the department, MSI is just as good as you'd find (even in very high end boards) :)


    Thank you once again for helping me out . i will buy this motherboard after all :)
  15. No worries, glad to help.
  16. Sorry to interupt again , would you go with the MSI Gaming 3 or the Fatal1ty H97 Performance ? they are really close price-wise in my country , and I can't decide what to get :)
  17. I'd go with the MSI, as it has M.2 which the Fatal1ty lacks, that's the only noticible plus but it's worth considering the MSI over ASRock for :)
  18. Yeah it seems that you are in my mind :) . I have good expierience with msi , I will buy that one for sure now that I have someone else backing me up too :)
  19. Haha it is a worthy board indeed ;)
  20. I wish that they would spend a bit more in pci-e 3x16 slots so that we can have two of theese ... Overall great mobo though ...
  21. Since the chipset itself won't allow SLI (ie, x8 on 2nd PCIe x16 slot), it won't make much of a difference. The second x16 slot is best used for expansion cards/ drives than 2nd GPU for CFX, because of low bandwidth available.
  22. Yeah ... I won't sli or cfx anyways ...

    Thank you for the support :)
    mitsosvazelos84
  23. No worries, glad to help :)
  24. Since the mini-ITX boards don't have CFX capabilities, M2 or SATAe ports, how exactly did you determine their ranking? I would imagine the ASUS H97I PLUS would be on tier two and the other three would be on tier one since they each have a slightly better audio chip (Realtek ALC892) than the ASUS board (Realtek ALC887).
  25. Lordgeorge16, H97I PLUS is the only board from the lot to have a M.2 slot, which is a popular feature and used quite a lot :)
  26. Can you suggest if I should use the Asus Pro/Plus or the Gigabyte D3H/Gaming 3
  27. I'd go with the cheapest board, Sheners. There isn't any real world difference in performance or features.
  28. MeteorsRaining said:
    Lordgeorge16, H97I PLUS is the only board from the lot to have a M.2 slot, which is a popular feature and used quite a lot :)


    Fair enough, but I personally feel like the features of the other boards (better audio chipsets, more audio outputs for 5.1 or 7.1 surround, more USB 3.0 ports on the back panel, etc.) outweigh the presence of the ASUS H97I's M.2 slot. I would say, at the very least, the Gigabyte H97N-WIFI should be on tier one alongside the ASUS board based on the reviews I've read on each of the Mini-ITX H97 boards.
  29. I agree, and that is why Tier 2 is named "High quality". There isn't anything bad with them, but in accordance with the structure applied to all the chipset lists (refer to main article HERE, "Understanding the Motherboard tier list" section), the M.2 has an edge over USB 3.0 ports.

    But again, this list is not set in stone and can be changed, and if there is an opinion about this issue, I'd gladly put the other 3 boards in Tier 1 :)
  30. I also don't see the H97-HD3 full size ATX board listed, only the mATX version. I do see the D3H, which again, is apparently two different boards.
  31. darkbreeze said:
    I also don't see the H97-HD3 full size ATX board listed, only the mATX version. I do see the D3H, which again, is apparently two different boards.


    Sorry, it got missed (like several others, think I need to revise all chipsets to look for missing boards), and has been added in Tier 2 :)
  32. Nice. Nah, I'll probably find them for you. Heh. On another note, I've been saving the motherboard manuals every time I have need to visit a motherboard product page I haven't been to before, to create a master repository for them. At some point I'd like to make them all available in one central location and perhaps at that time you can link each boards listing to it's product manual or at least offer a link to the page that has them if I end up offering them like that. Mainly I'm doing it because I've encountered many manuals through the years that used to be available, but no longer are anywhere, that I'd like to see stay available. Plus, it just makes it easier than telling people to go find it themselves.

    So far I have 101 (Hah, motherboards 101 eh?) motherboard manuals saved as a future resource and am adding more daily.
  33. That is a brilliant idea. Motherboard manual is something most people are initially lazy to check out. Sure, current boards will have their manuals intact on their product pages but manufacturers do take those down. Also, it is much easier to just go to the manual of your choice from a big sorted list than individually searching for them. I find this totally do-able.

    If anything, that adds as a great resource to know each and every bit of the board you're looking at. I'd be happy to include a master link or sub-links, the specifics of which can be discussed. Like, a 'one-click' solution to finding the right manual without searching through the product page.

    Let me know if you've made a master directory, or we can make this together as well (PM is a good place to discuss in further length), I love sorting things out, heh :)
  34. Sounds good and I'll let you know when I get to that point. I'll likely take a day here soon to just go through each OEM's page and get the rest of their listed manuals that I don't already have, so it will be more complete. On another note, I don't see the ASRock H97 Pro4 listed here. I see the H97M Pro4, but not the ATX version.
  35. Also, it suddenly occurred to me, after an explosive realization despite having made recommendations to the contrary a few times in the past, that the H97 chipset boards do not support memory module speeds beyond 1600mhz. I've checked the product pages of every board on the list and can't find a single one that indicates support for 1866mhz and up modules. That's another notation you might want to place at the top next to the lack of SLI and overclocking capability.
  36. I'll be glad to include it, eagerly waiting for it's completion.

    H97 Pro4 was missing, included in tier 2, thanks for pointing out :)

    Coming to memory speeds, believe me, after reading your post the first board I checked was MSI gaming 3 which supports upto 3300MHz OC memory (Product page: HERE). And I was like "darkbreeze must be mistaken with that", since I have recommended 1600MHz+ memory quite a few times myself.

    But then, after checking all other boards it turns out only that particular board supports XMP and no other board does, which is definitely worth mentioning on the description.


    mod edit - The above link is to the Z97 Gaming 3, not the H97 gaming 3. The H97 gaming 3 only supports 1600mhz modules, but does support XMP profiles.-@darkbreeze
  37. Probably also worth noting next to the MSI Gaming 3 that it in fact does support the faster RAM. Thanks bud.

    Edit: Nevermind, I see that you already did. Heh.
  38. I was checking on Gigabyte H97 mobos and I saw 13 models. You haven't included them all
    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/list.aspx?s=42&jid=0&p=2&v=31
  39. Now these greedy bastards want ALL the models listed. Jesus, what's next, user manuals too? Just kidding. And the user manuals are on the way, soon. I'm up to about 250 user manuals right now and we'll link to them all once it's done. I'm sure if you point out the specific unlisted models, meteors would be happy to include them. Some models are new however, since there have been a bunch of just released revisions of previous models that now include USB 3.1, but really have no other differences aside from that.
  40. Thanks chimera201, left out models have been included. Gigabyte keeps releasing new revisions but unless there are major changes regarding quality or features, I probably wouldn't list them.
  41. Hello, the MSI H97 Gaming 3... Does it have bad quality control? Or is the build quality bad?

    Cause I'm really stuck between MSI H97 Gaming 3 (Good looks, dragon design, red and black color combination) and Asus H97 Pro Gamer (Better quality, currently have AMD Asus mobo for over 3 years)
  42. There's nothing wrong with the Gaming 3. It's just not AS high quality, or lacking some features, compared to the boards listed in tier 1. It's still a perfectly good board. Just keep in mind that if you're planning a build where overclocking might be a desirable option at any point, now or later, or if you plan to use or add a second graphics card for SLI/Crossfire, this is not the platform you want to use. For those types of configurations, Z87 or Z97 boards are much better suited. And if you want to be able to upgrade to a newer generation Broadwell processor down the road, then Z97 is the ONLY option.

    If you have no plans for any of those types of configurations and will only be running a single graphics card with no plans to overclock, then any of the tier1 or tier2 H97 boards would serve you well.
  43. darkbreeze said:
    There's nothing wrong with the Gaming 3. It's just not AS high quality, or lacking some features, compared to the boards listed in tier 1. It's still a perfectly good board. Just keep in mind that if you're planning a build where overclocking might be a desirable option at any point, now or later, or if you plan to use or add a second graphics card for SLI/Crossfire, this is not the platform you want to use. For those types of configurations, Z87 or Z97 boards are much better suited. And if you want to be able to upgrade to a newer generation Broadwell processor down the road, then Z97 is the ONLY option.

    If you have no plans for any of those types of configurations and will only be running a single graphics card with no plans to overclock, then any of the tier1 or tier2 H97 boards would serve you well.


    ^That pretty much answers it.

    Extra info: MSI did have quality issues with some of their AMD boards but lately they've been doing really well with their QC. I'd get any of their Intel boards without second thoughts. Keep in mind the limitations of H series, no SLI and no overclocking.

    Also, the only thing which may be the deciding factor amongst tier one boards would be the price, the core features are more or less the same.
  44. Thanks for your responses. I'm not really planning on overclocking the CPU since I'm risking the warranty and the stability of the processor. It might also increase the heat/temperature of the processor (which might melt it, I have 4 fans). (I have ZERO overclocking experience, haven't overclocked before).

    I'll be satisfied if the combination of i3 4160 (planning to buy) + R9 270x Toxic (Already bought) can provide me 40-50 FPS in BF 4 or COD Ghost (Both multiplayer). Will they be able to produce 40-50 FPS, mid graphics settings at 1080p??
  45. Your target frame rate should be met with that combo.
  46. nVidea said:
    Thanks for your responses. I'm not really planning on overclocking the CPU since I'm risking the warranty and the stability of the processor. It might also increase the heat/temperature of the processor (which might melt it, I have 4 fans). (I have ZERO overclocking experience, haven't overclocked before).

    I'll be satisfied if the combination of i3 4160 (planning to buy) + R9 270x Toxic (Already bought) can provide me 40-50 FPS in BF 4 or COD Ghost (Both multiplayer). Will they be able to produce 40-50 FPS, mid graphics settings at 1080p??


    Hey budy :)

    Actually , you might even get more performance .
    I was runing an amd x4 750k and a r9 270x and got 60fps in bf4 , in low settings though . Then I switched to an i5 4460k and can play everything on utra ( ecxept that beautifull crysis 3 ) in 1080p . Anyway my point is that you could hit 60fps on HIGH in bf4 multiplayer .

    EDIT: Make sure you tune your chip to get max performance :)

    Have fun with your build :)
  47. mitsosvazelos84 said:
    nVidea said:
    Thanks for your responses. I'm not really planning on overclocking the CPU since I'm risking the warranty and the stability of the processor. It might also increase the heat/temperature of the processor (which might melt it, I have 4 fans). (I have ZERO overclocking experience, haven't overclocked before).

    I'll be satisfied if the combination of i3 4160 (planning to buy) + R9 270x Toxic (Already bought) can provide me 40-50 FPS in BF 4 or COD Ghost (Both multiplayer). Will they be able to produce 40-50 FPS, mid graphics settings at 1080p??


    Hey budy :)

    Actually , you might even get more performance .
    I was runing an amd x4 750k and a r9 270x and got 60fps in bf4 , in low settings though . Then I switched to an i5 4460k and can play everything on utra ( ecxept that beautifull crysis 3 ) in 1080p . Anyway my point is that you could hit 60fps on HIGH in bf4 multiplayer .

    EDIT: Make sure you tune your chip to get max performance :)

    Have fun with your build :)


    How to tune/tweak the chip?? You mean overclock? I don't know how to overclock.. And it's impossible with the H97 chipset..

    Will the RAM and HDD help increase the FPS up to 60?? Recommendations on RAM? Because currently I have 3-year old 1 x 4gb Kingston 1333... they say I need cheap 2 x 4gb (don't have any idea on cheap, but stable and reliable, rams.) Any idea on any 2 x 4gb gaming ram (cheap, but reliable) that won't go over $90 pricetag??
  48. RAM and hard drive speed have little to nothing to do with your frame rates. That's all about the graphics card and processor, for the most part.
  49. nVidea said:
    mitsosvazelos84 said:
    nVidea said:
    Thanks for your responses. I'm not really planning on overclocking the CPU since I'm risking the warranty and the stability of the processor. It might also increase the heat/temperature of the processor (which might melt it, I have 4 fans). (I have ZERO overclocking experience, haven't overclocked before).

    I'll be satisfied if the combination of i3 4160 (planning to buy) + R9 270x Toxic (Already bought) can provide me 40-50 FPS in BF 4 or COD Ghost (Both multiplayer). Will they be able to produce 40-50 FPS, mid graphics settings at 1080p??


    Hey budy :)

    Actually , you might even get more performance .
    I was runing an amd x4 750k and a r9 270x and got 60fps in bf4 , in low settings though . Then I switched to an i5 4460k and can play everything on utra ( ecxept that beautifull crysis 3 ) in 1080p . Anyway my point is that you could hit 60fps on HIGH in bf4 multiplayer .

    EDIT: Make sure you tune your chip to get max performance :)

    Have fun with your build :)


    How to tune/tweak the chip?? You mean overclock? I don't know how to overclock.. And it's impossible with the H97 chipset..

    Will the RAM and HDD help increase the FPS up to 60?? Recommendations on RAM? Because currently I have 3-year old 1 x 4gb Kingston 1333... they say I need cheap 2 x 4gb (don't have any idea on cheap, but stable and reliable, rams.) Any idea on any 2 x 4gb gaming ram (cheap, but reliable) that won't go over $90 pricetag??



    By tuning I mean unparking your cpu cores , disabling unused programs and services etc. the h97 chip can be overclocked . so does the z87 z97 h97 h87 h85 h81 chip .
    you will need at least 8gb for propper gaming , everything else wont help ( hdd , psu etc )

    the things that make a diference are cpu , gpu , ram .

    hope this was helpful :)
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