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MSI Z170A Gaming M7 Motherboard Review

Rating: 8.5.

Tackling the premium gaming market, MSI outfits the Z170A Gaming M7 with a number of features that will have eager buyers licking their lips. Alongside the eye-catching red and black colour scheme, hardware features include an enhanced audio system, two high-speed M.2 slots, and USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C ports.

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Retailing around the £170-mark, MSI is targeting gamers who are happy to pay a premium for a feature-filled motherboard to accompany their Core i7-6700K processor. MSI pays close attention to styling, as is necessitated by premium gaming buyers spending extra to acquire aesthetically pleasing hardware to complement their build.

Aside from the hefty allocation of storage hardware and the enhanced audio system, MSI allocates resources for a Killer E2400 series NIC and the useful network managing software accompanying it. Additional usability features are delivered in the form of onboard buttons and a two-digit debug LED. The twelve-phase power delivery system utilises Titanium-based chokes and is cooled by a sizeable pair of attractive heatsinks.

Can MSI's Z170A Gaming M7 shine in a segment of the market where it takes more than a healthy feature set and eye-catching colours to attract enthusiasts?

Features:

  • Supports DDR4-3600+(OC) Memory
  • DDR4 Boost: Give your DDR4 memory a performance boost
  • USB 3.1 Gen2 2X FASTER: USB 3.1 Gen2 offers performance twice as fast as a regular USB 3.0 connection
  • Twin Turbo M.2 64Gb/s + Turbo U.2 ready + USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C + Type-A combo + SATA 6Gb/s
  • GAMING LAN with LAN Protect, powered by Killer™: The best online gaming experience with lowest latency
  • Audio Boost 3: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality
  • Nahimic Audio Enhancer: Immersive sound quality that pushes the limits of reality
  • Game Boost: This one goes up to eleven; 1-seconds of easy overclocking
  • GAMING Hotkey: Assign macros, launch your favorite games or do real-time overclocking using a single button
  • XSplit Gamecaster v2: 1 year free premium license to show off your skills and achievements to the world
  • Military Class 5: The latest evolution in high quality components featuring the brand new Titanium Chokes
  • MULTI-GPU with Steel Armor: Steel Armor PCI-E slots. Supports NVIDIA SLI™ & AMD Crossfire™
  • Click BIOS 5: Award-winning brand new Click BIOS 5 with high resolution scalable font
  • BIOS Flashback+: Easy BIOS recovery without the need of a CPU, memory and VGA card
  • GAMING CERTIFIED: 24-hour on- and offline game testing by eSports players for the best gaming experience

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6 comments

  1. I have this board with a i7 6700k @ 4.5GHz, Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3000MHz (2x8GB), and Samsung 950 Pro M.2, and GTX 980 Ti – and I use Command Center all the time. I notice no performance hit when doing so, and after reading your review tested it on several programs and games. No difference. It’s not really impacting anything I do on my rig, gaming or not. If there is any performance drop it’s so tiny it makes no difference. BTW I really like this board. Been trouble free from day 1.

  2. Bought this last year shortly after the Skylake launch day and its a beast. No issues with performance, BIOS, gaming or software. One of the best motherboards I’ve owned.

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