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MSI X299 Gaming M7 ACK Review

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MSI X299 Gaming M7 ACK Conclusion:

There are a ton of motherboards on the market for Intel's latest HEDT platform built on the X299 PCH for use with Skylake X and Kaby Lake X processors. MSI's X299 Gaming M7 ACK is just one of the many. However, it is one that stands out from the crowd by delivering a solid hardware solution. MSI's build quality over the past few years has continued to improve while making it easier to use. From the Click BIOS implementations all the way down to the EZ OC button, the feature set on the X299 Gaming M7 ACK is as wide as it is long. The baseline starts with the custom PCB that holds all of the hardware, including the Steel Armor for the PCIe, DRAM, and U.2 sockets; the M.2 Frozer cooling solution; Military Class components; and so much more.

From a performance perspective, I had a pretty small sample size to work with, but as the motherboard I used when I looked at the Core i9 7900X and Core i7 7740X, MSI delivered the potential of the processors in each case.

Overclocking was fairly painless with the X299 Gaming M7 ACK and allowed me to reach up over 4.6GHz on the Core i9 7900X and step over the 5GHz boundary on the Core i7 7740X. The key to overclocking on eight-core and higher chips from Intel is to keep the voltage as low as possible to minimize the thermals. Short-term, a quality AIO will get the job done, but for the long-term you will need to go with a custom water setup. Even so, I found the motherboard was easy to overclock with both manual tuning and by using the EZ OC button to dial up the preset I wanted.

MSI uses its Military Class 6 build components to ensure you have a stable long lasting power circuit that should prove to be fine as long as you do not abuse it. Much like everything else while overclocking, you pay your money you take your chances. I find manual tuning to be the way to the highest overclock and MSI's Click BIOS continues to get more granular in the quest to deliver performance while not going off the deep end.

Priced at $389, it is not the most inexpensive X299 board you can find, but then again with processors that cost up to almost $2,000 available soon, the motherboard cost is a small part of the total system cost. If you compare to the boards offered for AMD's new X399 platform and Threadripper costs, the $389 price point does not seem out of place. If you are looking for an X299 motherboard, you cannot go wrong with the X299 Gaming M7 ACK.  It's got great looks highlighted by MSI's Mystic Lighting and backed up by a stellar feature set with performance to match.

 

Pros:

  • High performance
  • Overclocking
  • Mystic Lighting
  • Killer NIC
  • Storage options
  • Software package
  • Click BIOS
  • USB 3.1

Cons:

  • None


 

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