Priced at just $139, the ASRock Z97M Pro4 is roughly half the cost of the more expensive boards in this roundup. As such, it’d be unfair to expect the wealth of features found on the premium boards, but ASRock has a reputation for delivering surprising value in its a ordable products. Can the Z97M Pro4 live up to this tradition?
Opening the box reveals a distinct lack of extras – there’s a manual, backplate and a couple of SATA cables. Compared to the overflowing boxes of goodies delivered with higher price tags, it’s a rather stark presentation. The same can’t be said of the front of the motherboard though, as ASRock appears to have put every square centimetre to use. Most obvious are the expansion slots, with a single PCIe 3.0 x16, another PCIe 2.0 x16, and twin PCI slots sitting between these. This presents a couple of issues; firstly, the lack of twin PCI-E 3.0 slots means no SLI support, though CrossFire is. The biggest issue though is the placement of the first PCI slot, which will be impossible to use if a GPU resides in the first PCI-E slot. Despite this, the Z97M Pro4 is the only board in our roundup to still include legacy PCI slots, which could be reason enough to choose this product for those with old PC products that they don’t want to shelve.