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MSI Z170A Gaming M7 Review

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Category: Motherboards
Price: $229
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MSI Z170A Gaming M7 Introduction:

I have already seen what kind of performance the MSI Z170A Gaming M7 has to offer while checking out the performance of Intel's Enthusiast SKU Skylake processor, the Core i7 6700K. The combination of the 6700K and MSI Z170A Gaming M7 proved to be a capable performer from the beginning of the testing. Over the past few years, MSI has been upping the ante on its hardware and software packages to make sure it offers a very competitive package for the end user. Looking at the feature set, we get all the buzz words that drive excitement: Military Class 5, Audio Boost 3, Game Boost, DDR Boost, Command Center, OC Essentials, USB 3.1, and so very much more.

MSI's Z170A Gaming M7 is only one out of nine boards MSI is delivering that are Skylake-ready socket 1151 motherboards, and fits close to the upper end of MSI's product stack. Priced at $229, the board offers a lot for the price point in terms of useability and feature set. Let's dig into what makes the Z170A Gaming M7 so special.

MSI Z170A Gaming M7 Closer Look:

Brilliant and red, MSI has changed the look of the packaging for this series of motherboards and no longer features the tribal dragon on the front of the box, but instead have an image of the Z170A Gaming M7 up front and center. At the top right, support for 6th Gen processors is established and at the bottom left MSI lets you know that this board, while a mainstream board, is targeted squarely at the enthusiast and gamer. The back side of the box breaks down the feature set when browsing at a brick and mortar store. MSI goes into detail on all of the features that set this board apart from the competition, including Twin Turbo M.2, USB 3.1, Nahamic Sound tech, Steel Series compatibility, Killer E2400 LAN, and USB Flashback+, to name a few. Flipping open the lid shows the Z170A Gaming M7 on its own in a shell on top of the hardware and documentation of the accessory bundle.

 

 

 

MSI includes a fairly robust bundle of accessories with the Z170A Gaming M7. You get the standard essentials, as well as some MSI specific parts that add to the package. On the hardware side you get four SATA 6Gb/s data cables, two of which have a 90 degree end for tight spaces. An I/O shield that features a shield on the back side to limit EMI emissions. M Connectors for the front panel and USB connectivity from the front panel, an SLI bridge when using multiple NVIDIA video cards, and an MSI Gaming medallion to put on your case. The documentation includes a multi-language manual, driver and software disc, SATA line labels, quick install guide, a Do Not disturb door hanger, and a registration card. Everything you need to get set up and running.

 

 

The packaging and bundle, as usual, are top notch, but the hardware is a bit more appealing when you get down to it.




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