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MSI Z170A Tomahawk Motherboard Review

MSI's software bundle with the Z170A Tomahawk is comprehensive and fairly usable, though quite fragmented. There's no single unifying framework which can make managing the software a little more complex than it need be. Command Center is MSI's performance tuning software allowing you to make on the fly frequency or voltage adjustments to the CPU, integrated graphics or system memory, as well as fan speed adjustments.

There is also a Game Boost button which will overclock an i7 6700K to 4.4GHz or an i5 6600K to 4.1GHz. Command Center is probably the most useful software utility on offer.

MSI Z170A Tomahawk Software (2) MSI Z170A Tomahawk Software (3)

MSI's Live Update 6 utility will scan all installed motherboard software and drivers and check with MSI's download server to see if a newer version exists. It's a handy little application if you want to stay up to date.

MSI Z170A Tomahawk Software (1)

There are some other applications branded “MSI Gaming” that some users may find useful depending on their individual circumstances. Gaming LAN Manager is a packet prioritisation software for the Realtek Gigabit NIC, the MSI Gaming App is a little dashboard that allows you to quickly toggle OC or fan profiles.

From Gaming App you can also launch Gaming Hotkey or Mouse Master, which are software Macro programs for your mouse and keyboard. In many cases users will already have mouse and keyboard software, particularly for gaming peripherals, but where they don't these software packages could come in handy.

MSI Z170A Tomahawk Software (4) MSI Z170A Tomahawk Software (5)

MSI Z170A Tomahawk Software (6) MSI Z170A Tomahawk Software (7)

MSI's “EyeRest” utility symbolises perhaps how much motherboard vendors are trying to do with software. There are already numerous bluelight filters out there, f.lux is one of the most popular, plus most mainstream and gaming monitors include a number of built-in image profiles.

MSI Z170A Tomahawk Software (8)

We think MSI should consider slimming down, consolidating or unifying it's software offerings to avoid overwhelming users.

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