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MSI Z270 SLI PLUS Review


MSI Z270 SLI PLUS Testing:

Testing this new platform will involve running it through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which includes both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual gameplay, in which we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 10 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and NVIDIA drivers for the NVIDIA GTX 1080. In the past we had locked the clock speed on the processor to eliminate any easily controlled variables due to processor speed. However, there is a difference in how each manufacturer handles the CPU default and boost speeds, creating opportunity for one board to deliver a higher level of performance. This variable is a point of difference between boards. The majority of users will run the stock settings, making this point a valid concern, so we are changing up the test methods to capture this difference.

Testing Setup: Intel Z270


Testing Setup: Intel Z170



Comparison Motherboard:


Overclocked settings:


Overclocking this latest platform from Intel and MSI has proven to be a bit of fun, but when you get down to it, the tried and true methods of overclocking the chip are much the same as we have seen since Sandy Bridge. One key difference between the 7700K and 2600K is that the clock speeds are fully on point finally, with a 5GHz chip for daily use almost a reality. Another key opportunity for the 7700K is that you can set up an AVX offset multiplier that actually reduces the core clock speed ratio by a user defined amount when an AVX based load is detected. This allows you to use a higher core clock multiplier for lighter loads and backing off a bit when you throw a heavy AVX load into the equation. Basically, you get snappier performance all the time.

MSI gives the user several options to overclock the installed processor, be it an unlocked i3, i5, or i7 7th Generation Core series processor. First up is MSI's OC Genie 4, which will give you a mild overclock with which to start your overclocking adventures. MSI's Control panel software will allow you to adjust some of the parameters in the operating system so that you can tweak and tune a bit before going back into the 5th generation MSI Click BIOS to hard lock your settings. Lastly, you can go into the BIOS and tweak your settings to get the most out of your CPU.

While working with this board for the Intel 7th Generation Core i7 7700K launch review, I found that 4.95GHz was all this chip had in it while using a fairly stout AIO liquid cooling solution. To get to this result and keep the CPU from throttling, I had to run an applied 1.36v to the core and 1.35v to the GSkill RipJaws V memory modules to keep everything rock stable at 4.95GHz. At 5.0GHz, prime 95 stable was not going to happen using even 1.4v; exactly the voltage that pushed the thermal limit on my Corsair H115i AIO cooler from Corsair. Having found the limits on this chip, I am only seeing a 450MHz boost over the factory boost clock of 4500MHz. That's not a lot of additional margin, but every bit helps.




Maximum Core Clock Speed:

Each CPU has been tested for stability at the listed overclocked speeds. These clock speeds will represent the level of performance shown by the overclocked scores in the testing.




  • Scientific & Data:
  1. PCMark 8
  2. SiSoft Sandra 2016
  3. Cinebench R15
  4. HW.bot X265 Benchmark
  5. AIDA64
  6. CrystalDiskMark
  7. ATTO
  8. iPerf
  9. Rightmark Audio Analyzer
  • Gaming:
  1. 3DMark
  2. Tom Clancy's The Division
  3. Hitman 2016

  1. MSI Z270 SLI PLUS: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. MSI Z270 SLI PLUS Closer Look: Included Software
  3. MSI Z270 SLI PLUS Closer Look: The Bios
  4. MSI Z270 SLI PLUS: Specifications & Features
  5. MSI Z270 SLI PLUS Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  6. MSI Z270 SLI PLUS Testing: PCMark 8, SiSoft Sandra, Cinebench R15, HWBot X.265 Benchmark
  7. MSI Z270 SLI PLUS Testing: AIDA 64, CrystalDiskMark, ATTO, iPerf, RMAA
  8. MSI Z270 SLI PLUS Testing: Gaming
  9. MSI Z270 SLI PLUS: Conclusion
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