• Slots: AM3/AM3+
  • CPU: AMD 970 & SB950
  • RAM Slots: 4
  • RAM Type: DDR3
  • Ports: 6x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.1, 2x PS/2, 1x LAN, 6x OFC audio jacks
  • Pros:
  • Performance
  • Price
  • Cons:
  • None
  • Benchmark Results
  • PCMark 8 (Home): 3,653 points
  • PCMark 8 (Creative): 3,015 points
  • PCMark 8 (Work): 2,621 points

It Matters That It’s Black And White

AMD has been having a hard time keeping up with Intel in their processor department, but that doesn’t mean that they’re bad. One great thing about AMD though, is that they didn’t change their sockets so you could use your same old AM3/AM3+ motherboards for newer processors. This is a huge plus considering you have one less component to invest in when overhauling your system.

Snaking its way into our hands from MSI, is the MSI 970A SLI Krait Edition motherboard that comes with a much loved black and white theme. Out of the box the motherboard was aesthetically pleasing and perfect for a black and white themed build. What we found a bit surprising though was the lack of MSI’s Steel Armor on its PCIe slots which can be found on the Z170 Krait Gaming motherboards.

But on the other hand the motherboard is able to support both SLI and Crossfire, which means whether you’re on the Red or Green team it wouldn’t matter. The SATA ports are angled which is a plus for a motherboard made for using multiple graphic cards, as the SATA cables wouldn’t get in the way of the graphic card shroud. As for the rest of components on the motherboard, MSI is using their Military Class 4 Dark Chokes and Dark CAP’s which ensures stability during gaming sessions.

Audio wise the SLI Krait has an isolated audio PCB to reduce distortion from the rest of the motherboard, and sports high quality Nichicon Japanese capacitors which are popular among many audiophile hardware. When tested with headphones and speakers we noticed little to almost no ‘‘noise” so you could pump the volume up on your speaker up quite high before you might hear any static noises. Saving one of the best for last, the 970A SLI Krait is the first AMD board to sport USB 3.1 Type-A ports, effectively having double the data transfer bandwidth of any AMD board with USB 3.0.

So when it comes to performance the MSI 970A SLI Krait does a pretty great job, it’s able to overclock without any problems with its bundled OC Genie 4 tool. It’s a sturdy board that doesn’t flex much and even without their Steel Armor technology, the board is still capable of holding up some pretty heavy graphic cards.

CHIP CONCLUDE: A black and white themed motherboard which has all the right components to satisfy an avid gamer. The MSI 970A Krait is definitely one of the best choices for building a black and white themed build, not just colour wise but performance wise as well.

(previously published in issue May 2016)

MSI 970A SLI Krait Edition