Help With Motherboard Upgrade

Making the change/upgrade from mini-ITX to ATX. Already transferred
everything into an S340 case and I'm now looking for a new motherboard,
but I'm having a hard time deciding on which one to go with.

The one must-have feature I want is SLI support. I'm running a single
R9 290 right now, but I want that option for potential future upgrade
purposes. Another feature I'd like is the ability to control all fans
from the board by either PWM or voltage and have them adjust according
to GPU temps, not CPU or VRM temps. I know the Asus boards have really
good fan control capabilities, but I've yet to see any board with the
ability to setup fan curves based on GPU temps alone. I don't understand
why this hasn't been done yet (or has it?) because the GPU is the one
component in any serious gaming system that kicks off the most heat
inside your case.

I'm not doing any overclocking as I'm sticking with the i5-4570, so the VRM design is not an important factor.

Budget is preferred less than $160 CANADIAN (please don't link to US
retailers, especially Amazon, they don't ship PC parts to Canada. Thank

Here are a few of the boards I've been looking at and comparing:

MSI Z97S-SLI Plus / Krait Edition
Asus Z97-E
Gigabyte Z97X-SLI
Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 3

I have nothing against ASRock, they just don't seem to have anything with SLI support in this price range.

So which of those would you recommend/suggest? Which should I stay away from and why?

Well like you said, you're not overclocking, so you don't need a z97 board...

But Z97 gives more PCIe lanes.

I'm a tad bit hesitant to choose MSI's Z97 SLI Krait because of this review:

I haven't found another source though, so that may just be a one-time thing.

Oh. I missed the part about SLI/Crossfire... I mostly skim through this stuff because there's a million threads exactly like this created every day.

Yeah I saw that review, but I haven't seen any other review show the same poor results, so I think that was a one-case scenario. Still makes me hesitate on that board though...

Yeah, there are lots of threads like this, but after searching I still haven't found some of the information/answers I'm looking for.

  • single 290 - dual cards is Crossfire not SLI (that nvidia)
  • SLI requirement is at least two 8x pcie lanes, crossfire doesnt.
  • you have a non-oc cpu so you wont need z97 board. Just look for one that has crossfire support. Out of that list I'd probably go with the purely for looks and that it has nice spacing between the pcie x16 lanes.
  • Yes, I'm aware of all that. Perhaps you didn't read carefully. From my OP:

    I never said I wanted SLI support for running two 290's, I know that's Crossfire. I want SLI support so I can run SLI (with two Nvidia GPUs) in the future if I so choose.

    Also, yes I know I have a locked CPU, but again, in order to get SLI support, I have to go Z97. There's nothing wrong with buying a motherboard because you want specific features. There are a lot of people out there with K CPUs and Z series boards who don't even OC and will only ever run 1 GPU.

    And you didn't actually say the board you'd choose out of the list? ;)

    sorry z97-E