MSI Z170A Gaming M7 Review

Published by Marc Büchel on 04.11.15
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Military Class 5 Components

Since years MSI has been using digital power designs. On this board we find the latest implementation of their Military Class Components, which is meanwhile in its fifth generation. This board comes equiped with Hi-c Caps, Titanium Chokes and Dark CAPs for high stability, durability and efficiency.

MSI Steel Armor

There are two PCIe x16 slots on this particular board, which have been equipped with a steel frame. If you place a large and heavy gaming graphics card, while the board is mounted in a case, you will notice, that over time the slots starts to bend by a little bit. Furthermore, when transporting a system it can happen, that the PCIe slot break by the sheer force, when somebody is not dealing carefully with an assembled system. In both cases the steel armor should help increasing protection of the PCIe slots.

DDR4 Boost + XMP LED

MSI equipped this board with fully isolated traces from the CPU to the DDR4 memory. This should help increasing stability and it should also be possible to reach higher maximum DDR4 clock speeds.
XMP LED shows when you're using an optimal XMP profile.

Audio Boost 3

MSI equips its latest and greatest motherboard with an improved audio solution which includes the Realtek ALC1150 chip, Dual headphone amplifier. At the I/O shield we find golden audio jacks which is to improve the audio signals as well as high quality capacitors from nichicon and the PCB separation, as well as USB audio power to enhance USB audio quality and stable 5V power and better signal transmission over USB.

Killer Ethernet

It is rather obvious that MSI is not only optimizing this board for overclocking but for gaming as well. Next to the beefed up audio solution there is a Killer Ethernet chip, which gives gamers additional control over a variety of network settings, which in the end can help reduce latency. The application, which comes with the board allows the user to proritize network/internet traffic on an application level. If you're internet connection is limited you can define that gaming traffic receives the highest priority, which will allow for a smooth gaming experience even if you're downloading large files in the background.

M.2 Support

The Z170A Gaming M7 motherboard from MSI features two M.2 slots which are placed between the PCIe slots. This motherboard can be equipped with SSDs in M.2 format. Both slots are connected via four PCIe x4 lanes, offering up to 32 Gbps bandwidth. These slots can also be equipped with NVMe adapters, which are optionally available.

Page 1 - Introduction Page 14 - SiSoft Sandra 2
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 15 - UC Bench
Page 3 - Features Page 16 - Super Pi 1M / 32M
Page 4 - Layout Page 17 - wPrime 1024M Multi Core
Page 5 - Connectors and I/O Page 18 - Cinebench
Page 6 - BIOS Page 19 - Tomb Raider
Page 7 - Test setup Page 20 - Metro Last Light
Page 8 - Preview / Gallery Page 21 - Sleeping Dogs
Page 9 - 3D Mark Page 22 - Power Consumption
Page 10 - 3D Mark 11 Page 23 - Performance Rating
Page 11 - 3D Mark Vantage  Page 24 - Price Comparison
Page 12 - PC Mark 8 Page 25 - Conclusion
Page 13 - SiSoft Sandra 1  

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MSI Z170A Gaming M7 Review - Motherboards Intel Z170 - Reviews - ocaholic