ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer Review

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer motherboard has been unleashed onto the market, and it is giving the competition a run for their money.

Based on Intel’s popular Z97 chipset, this addition to the Fatal1ty family caters to gamers with its excellent gaming features, such as the Killer E2200 Intelligent Networking Platform and ever-reliable Gaming Armor.

ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer Review

This review will determine whether the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer is worthy of being your next motherboard. 

ASRock ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150 Motherboards FATAL1TY Z97 Killer
  • Supports the 5th/ New 4th/ 4th Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3/ Pentium/ Celeron Processors
  • Memory: 4x DDR3-3000+(OC)/ 2933(OC)/ 2800(OC)/ 2400(OC)/ 2133(OC)/ 1866(OC)/ 1600/ 1333/ 1066 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, Non-ECC, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of 32GB
  • Slots: 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slot, 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slot (runs at x4), 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slots, 2x PCI Slots
  • SATA: 6x SATA3 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; 1x SATA Express Port
  • Ports: 6x USB 3.0 Ports (4 rear, 2 via headers), 6x USB 2.0 Ports (3 rear, 2 via headers, 1 Fatal1ty Mouse Port), 1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Combo Port, 1x VGA Port, 1x DVI-D Port, 1x HDMI Port, 1x Optical S/PDIF Out, 1x RJ45 LAN Port, Audio I/O Jacks

ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer Motherboard (Our Review) 

Overall Assessment 

Like all Fatal1ty motherboards, the ASRock Z97 Killer is targeted primarily at gamers. ASRock added a bunch of features that they’ll no doubt appreciate.

Yet, excellent gaming features are not all that you will find with this motherboard. The ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 has aluminum alloy heatsinks, alloy chokes, and even premium Nichicon 12K platinum capacitors.

The fantastic price of this board confirms that ASRock aims to win over a newly emerging gamer market. This is a motherboard that’s easy to install and simple to upgrade yet packs enough punch to please.

If you’re looking for a motherboard aimed more at professional gamers and power users, look at our exciting ASRock X370 Killer SLI/AC review.

Supported Processors

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z93 Killer motherboard supports the 5th generation of Intel Core i7, i5, and even i3 processors. With the well-known Intel LGA Socket 1150, this board also supports Pentium and Celeron processors.

We saw a great AMD alternative in our ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming review.

Memory

4x DDR3 DIMM slots mean gamers can install a maximum of 32GB of system memory. With 32GB of RAM installed, you can run the most resource-heavy games effortlessly. 

ASRock ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150 Motherboards FATAL1TY Z97 Killer
  • Supports the 5th/ New 4th/ 4th Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3/ Pentium/ Celeron Processors
  • Memory: 4x DDR3-3000+(OC)/ 2933(OC)/ 2800(OC)/ 2400(OC)/ 2133(OC)/ 1866(OC)/ 1600/ 1333/ 1066 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, Non-ECC, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of 32GB
  • Slots: 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slot, 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slot (runs at x4), 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slots, 2x PCI Slots
  • SATA: 6x SATA3 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; 1x SATA Express Port
  • Ports: 6x USB 3.0 Ports (4 rear, 2 via headers), 6x USB 2.0 Ports (3 rear, 2 via headers, 1 Fatal1ty Mouse Port), 1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Combo Port, 1x VGA Port, 1x DVI-D Port, 1x HDMI Port, 1x Optical S/PDIF Out, 1x RJ45 LAN Port, Audio I/O Jacks

Peripherals

With its reasonable price, we didn’t expect to see much peripheral support on the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer motherboard. Yet, ASRock included just enough goodies to make us smile.

You get 6x SATA ports, each clocking in at an average data transfer speed of 6Gb/s. ASRock included a SATA Express 10Gb/s connector and 1x M.2 port to expand the storage further.

We’re also happy with the number of USB ports on the motherboard. Users get 6x USB 3.1 (Generation 1) ports and 8x USB 2.0 ports to connect external devices. 

One of the exceptional features of the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 is the Killer E2200 networking platform. The Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2200 series chip is an adaptive Ethernet controller that prioritizes network traffic to better online gaming and streaming speeds.

ASRock included 1x PS/2 port for older peripherals and a 3-port audio jack to round everything out.

Graphics

Sadly this is where the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer falls flat. ASRock included 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, 1x PCIe 2.0 x16 Slot as well as 2x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots, and 2x PCI slots.

Even though ASRock supports CrossFireX, with only one PCIe 3.0 slot, your second graphics card will run at a much lower bandwidth. 

If you use a CPU with integrated graphics, the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer offers three different graphics output ports in the form of a D-Sub, a DVI-D, and an HDMI port.

ASRock ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150 Motherboards FATAL1TY Z97 Killer
  • Supports the 5th/ New 4th/ 4th Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3/ Pentium/ Celeron Processors
  • Memory: 4x DDR3-3000+(OC)/ 2933(OC)/ 2800(OC)/ 2400(OC)/ 2133(OC)/ 1866(OC)/ 1600/ 1333/ 1066 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, Non-ECC, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of 32GB
  • Slots: 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slot, 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slot (runs at x4), 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slots, 2x PCI Slots
  • SATA: 6x SATA3 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; 1x SATA Express Port
  • Ports: 6x USB 3.0 Ports (4 rear, 2 via headers), 6x USB 2.0 Ports (3 rear, 2 via headers, 1 Fatal1ty Mouse Port), 1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Combo Port, 1x VGA Port, 1x DVI-D Port, 1x HDMI Port, 1x Optical S/PDIF Out, 1x RJ45 LAN Port, Audio I/O Jacks

Audio

The audio on the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer is excellent. A Purity Sound 2 chip drives the sound. This chip gives you 7.1 channel HD audio and makes use of the great Realtek ALC1150 audio codec.

Aesthetics

Like all Fatal1ty motherboards, the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer comes in an instantly recognizable black and red color scheme. 

We would have loved to see some RGB headers to customize on the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer motherboard. Sadly, ASRock didn’t include any.

If looks are important to you, check out our ASRock Z390 Taichi review. The Z390 Taichi is easily one of the prettiest motherboards on the market.

Conclusion

ASRock hit the nail on the head with the Z97 Killer. They delivered a competitive gaming-ready motherboard at a fair price. Lacking any bloated features that new gamers may never use, this motherboard is simple and clean-cut.

Gamers will also love the added software bundle. ASRock included a subscription to the XSplit streaming service. This subscription allows you to live stream and record gaming sessions. It is an easy way to start your gaming YouTube channel. 

If you love the Z97 chipset, you will also love reading our ASRock Z97 Extreme4 review. For those who find the price a concern, check out the more affordable ASRock X570 Pro4.

Pros

  • Great Intel processor support
  • Fantastic bundled software
  • Quality audio
  • Easy-to-use BIOS
  • Attractive red and black color scheme
ASRock ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150 Motherboards FATAL1TY Z97 Killer
  • Supports the 5th/ New 4th/ 4th Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3/ Pentium/ Celeron Processors
  • Memory: 4x DDR3-3000+(OC)/ 2933(OC)/ 2800(OC)/ 2400(OC)/ 2133(OC)/ 1866(OC)/ 1600/ 1333/ 1066 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, Non-ECC, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of 32GB
  • Slots: 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slot, 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slot (runs at x4), 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slots, 2x PCI Slots
  • SATA: 6x SATA3 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; 1x SATA Express Port
  • Ports: 6x USB 3.0 Ports (4 rear, 2 via headers), 6x USB 2.0 Ports (3 rear, 2 via headers, 1 Fatal1ty Mouse Port), 1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Combo Port, 1x VGA Port, 1x DVI-D Port, 1x HDMI Port, 1x Optical S/PDIF Out, 1x RJ45 LAN Port, Audio I/O Jacks

Cons

  • Only one PCIe 3.0 slot
  • Total RAM is limited to 32GB

Common questions about ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer motherboard

Does the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer motherboard support NVidia SLI?

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer motherboard only supports AMD CrossFire technology. 

Does the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer support 3200MHz RAM?

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer motherboard supports DDR3 RAM with speeds of up to 3200MHz. 

Does the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer have Wi-Fi?

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer motherboard does not have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Gamers can pick up an inexpensive external Wi-Fi networking card to slot into one of the PCIe slots.

Customer Reviews

“The ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer motherboard is outstanding. I didn’t buy this motherboard for gaming, however, as I use it for everyday home use. I am delighted with the features and the quality. It works well with my i5 Quad Core CPU and 16GB RAM.”

Thomas A. Flynt

5/5

“While the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer is a great looking motherboard, and the software is pretty useful, I would have given this motherboard 5 stars if I didn’t need to get a CD ROM to install the network drivers. I would have liked it if this motherboard was Windows 10 compatible right from the start.”

Nick Aytch

3/5

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