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MSI X299 Gaming M7 ACK Motherboard Review

ATTO Disk Benchmark

The ATTO disk benchmark is a Windows-based utility for testing storage performance of any storage drive or controller. We use the default benchmark setup.

M.2 PCIe Performance

For M.2 testing we use a Toshiba OCZ RD400 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD.

M.2 performance saturated the capability of the drive and we were impressed to see that MSI’s Shield Frozr M.2 cooling solution kept the M.2 drive well away from the throttling point. After three extended ATTO runs totalling close to 10 minutes temperatures still did not reach 70 degrees Celsius.

Admittedly, the use of an open air test bench for our benchmarking is probably favourable for the test results but we’ve seen almost every Z270 motherboard before this throttle under the same conditions. MSI’s definitely upped its game for M.2 drive cooling though we wonder if the cooling capability would start to turn into a “hot box” with two M.2 drives and a heat-heavy graphics cards above.

USB Performance

We test USB 3.0 and 3.1 performance using a pair of Transcend SSD370S 512GB SSDs in RAID 0 connected to an Icy Box RD2253-U31 2-bay USB 3.1 enclosure powered by an ASMedia ASM1352R controller.

SATA 6Gbps Performance

For SATA 6Gbps testing we use an OCZ Trion 150 480GB SSD.

USB and SATA performance met expectations.

Audio

Rightmark Audio Analyser is a freeware benchmarking utility designed to objectively test the performance characteristics of audio solutions. We setup a line-in line-out loop and execute the record/playback test before generating the results report you see below. A sampling mode of 24-bit, 192 kHz is tested where available. If unavailable the closest alternative operating mode available is used and clearly marked.

Audio performance was excellent across the range of tests noting that these test results are for one of the two ALC 1220 codecs. This board uses two codecs; one handling front audio and the other rear audio. Since both codecs are the same we’d imagine the front audio would achieve results just as good as the rear if it had the required audio jacks to allow loopback testing.

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