• Slot: LGA1151
  • CPU: Intel Z170
  • RAM Slots: 4
  • RAM Type: DDR 4 (Dual Channel)
  • Ports: USB 3.0 x4, USB 3.1 x2, USB 2.0 x2, HDMI x2, DisplayPort x1
  • Size: ATX
  • Pros:
  • Design
  • Performance
  • Cons:
  • None
  • Benchmark Results
  • PCMark 8 (Home): 4,332 points
  • PCMark 8 (Creative): 4,485 points
  • PCMark 8 (Work): 3,921 points

Go Titanium

MSI is going strong on many fronts since Intel announced its Skylake processors, and it doesn’t seem like they’re stopping any time soon, as they recently announced the availability of one of their highest-end Intel Z170 motherboards in the form of the MSI Z170A XPower Gaming Titanium Edition motherboard.

The first thing you’re likely to notice about the XPower Gaming Titanium is that it sports a white and silver finish, which is quite likely where the board got its Titanium moniker from, and is also packed to the brim with features.

The XPower Gaming Titanium features four DDR4 slots, and supports up to 64GBs of RAM, which can be overclocked up to 4,000MHz. As for storage ports, the motherboard features a whopping eight SATA III 6.0Gbps ports, two SATA Express ports and two M.2 ports, supporting Intel’s new NVMe storage technology.

The XPower Gaming Titanium also sports four PCIE slots, and much like many of its higher-end boards, comes with a protection feature MSI calls Steel Armor, which helps hold heavier cards in place.

As far as Input and output ports go, the XPower Gaming Titanium motherboard sports four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports and two USB 2.0 ports. Also included are two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort for video output.

Overclocking is clearly central to the theme of this motherboard, and MSI has added a host of options that allows you to do just that. You can either tune things manually from the Click BIOS 5, now sporting features like Board Explorer, Hardware Monitor, and OC Profile that saves your overclocking values.

If you’re more of a one-touch guy, MSI also has a software called Game Boost which literally turns the dial on your PC to 11, giving you a boost in performance in just one second. This comes together with the Gaming Hotkey feature which allows you to bind a macro to any key on your keyboard, even if it doesn’t have a macro key installed.

The XPower Gaming Titanium’s performance is as awesome as can be expected. We managed to overclock the Skylake i5 processor to almost 5.0GHz with relative ease, and we’re fairly certain that with more tweaking and better cooling options, we’d be able to breach that number with no issues.

CHIP CONCLUDE: MSI has done an excellent job with the Z170A XPower Gaming Titanium motherboard. It is chockfull of features that both enthusiasts, gamers and multimedia hoarder would love, especially since it comes with a lot of overclocking, gaming and storage connection options.

(previously published in issue November 2015)

MSI Z170A XPower Gaming Titanium Edition