- Slot: LGA 1151 CPU: Intel Core 6th generation
- RAM Slots: 4 RAM Type: DDR4
- Connectivity: Gigabit LAN
- Ports: USB 2.0 x 7/ USB 3.1 (Type A & Type C)/ DisplayPort/ HDMI
- Others: M.2 slot x 2
- Future-proof features
- USB 3.1 Type A & Type C on board
- Benchmark Results
- PCMark 8
- Home: 4,438 points
- Creative: 854 points
- Work: 3,492 points
Going for Gaming
The sixth generation is here! When we mean the sixth generation, we are talking about Intel’s latest Core processor, formerly codenamed Skylake. A new processor means a new range of motherboard provided by partner companies, which includes MSI. The big manufacturer from Taiwan is well known for their gaming-centric motherboards – and what we have in the labs today is no exception. Say hello to the MSI Z170A Gaming M7.
One of the first Intel 6th generation motherboards in the market, the MSI Z170A Gaming M7 is MSI’s take on what a gaming should be like for gamers. With an impressive featureset, the Gaming M7 is a motherboard to aim for.
It supports the latest Intel Core series, with the new LGA 1151 socket. This means that the motherboard is not backward compatible with any current generation processor. Also standard on the board is DDR4 RAM slots, which will be the standard RAM for the 6th generation Intel Core processor family.
A whole list of features made it to the Gaming M7. This includes Audio Boost 3, Nahimic Audio Enhancer, SteelSeries optimised platform, USB 3.1 with both Type-A and Type-C connectors on board, Gigabit Killer LAN on board for the best online gaming experience (including optimised traffic prioritisation and low latency connections), one-second overclocking option and many more.
MSI also included on-board are six SATA 6Gb/s ports, two M.2 Sata slots, two SATAe ports, and also features MSI Steel Armor, which strengthens the PCIe slots with a metal armour surrounding each slot. For display connectivity, you get dual HDMI ports and a DisplayPort for multi-monitor setups.
hmarks on the motherboard reveals several interesting items of interest. One, even at load, the motherboard and processor combo managed to register a significant temperature drop when compared with the previous generation.
As a gaming motherboard, the MSI Z170A Gaming M7 is a great example for the new Intel 6th generation platform. While the board is not MSI’s top of the line product, it is specced enough that even the most prolific gamer will not feel out of place using this in their top gaming rig.
CHIP CONCLUDE: MSI’s foray into the new 100 series motherboard is off on a good start, plus you get backward compatibility with your current cooling solution as well.
(previously published in issue September 2015)