MSI Z270 Gaming M5 Preview
Published by Luca Rocchi on 03.01.17 (4097 reads)
Connectors and I/O
In total, MSI equipped the Z270 Gaming M5 motherboard with six SATA 6Gbps connectors, which have all been natively wired to the PCH. Above the first PCIe x16 slot there is the first M.2 slot and on top of the third full size PCIe slot, there is the second M.2 x4 Gen 3 slot. With this motherboard you get three full-sized PCIe Gen 3.0 and three PCIe x1 Gen 3.0 slots and all of them have been painted black. The first two full-sized PCIe x16 slots received metal reinforcement. From top to bottom for the full-sized PCIe slots have been wired using 16 lanes, 8 lanes and 8 lanes. This means you can do 16x/8x SLI/CrossFire and 8x/8x/4x CrossFireX (3-way). Basically these are the standard options you get with any Intel's Z270 based motherboard, that does not feature a PLX chip. The placement of the PCIe slots has been well thought. Unfortunately there are no practical onboard power- and reset-buttons but at least there is a debug LED.
The MSI Z270 Gaming M5 motherboard features a total of six fan headers, which is enough to provide a normal gaming rig with enough of fresh air. A closer look at the pictures below shows where they have been placed. All six fan headers feature 4-pin and support PWM functionality. Therefore it's possible to control fan speeds from within Windows as well as the BIOS.
Looking at the external connectors placed directly at the I/O-panel, MSI equipped the new Z270 Gaming M5 motherboard with two USB 3.1 gen1 ports, two USB 3.1 gen2 ports (Type-C and Type-A), two USB 2.0 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, one HDMI and a DisplayPort connector as well as the analogue audio panel with an optical out.