MSI Z170A Gaming M5 Motherboard Review

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Crashman

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That's a little bit harsh, it came up what one-setting short of the record at this voltage?
 

AdviserKulikov

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Could I suggest that Tom's Hardware adds another category for motherboard testing?

Power isolation: see how much noise makes it through the audio out ports, and how much noise makes it through the USB ports if USB audio is used.
 

lbrown

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Maybe this is sour grapes but lately all I see are I7 CPUs in the builds/reviews. How about some I5 CPU builds/reviews? Not all of us get free CPUs to test instead we pay hard earned dollars. :)
 

urishima

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Maybe this is sour grapes but lately all I see are I7 CPUs in the builds/reviews. How about some I5 CPU builds/reviews? Not all of us get free CPUs to test instead we pay hard earned dollars. :)
I second that notion. I plan to save up quite a bit for my next Rig, but it wont have a i7 CPU. Not unless I get a substantial raise next year :p
 

bpbarrette

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This board is $150 after a rebate at Newegg and $164 with Prime shipping at Amazon. Heck of a deal if you ask me (which you didn't).
 

bpbarrette

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This board is $150 after a rebate at Newegg and $164 with Prime shipping at Amazon. Heck of a deal if you ask me (which you didn't).
I should point out that it's an MSI rebate, and I have had bad luck with them in the past.
 

Onus

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Hmmm, this is a nice-looking board. It overclocks well enough for me (I often run stock anyway), and other features do look good. I prefer smaller systems though, so I'd like to see what they offer in mATX; I'm unlikely to ever run multiple graphics cards.
 

That's a little bit harsh, it came up what one-setting short of the record at this voltage?
Cons: Second-tier overclocking

That was whats Tom's said in their eval, now who wrote that eval...
 

ErikVinoya

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the one controller it has, the Killer e2400, is an upscale part favored by some gamers
I had to pause a bit to go to the comments with this one. I thought gamers hated the Killer NICs and that Intel's provide better gaming performance? I must be missing something here...
 

Crashman

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I guess it depends on what else you're doing. Killer has some evidence that its packet prioritization is better than third-party solutions used on Intel platforms. This advantage only occurs under certain types of multitasking, hence "some" gamers.

 

ah

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Talking of feedback promoting the removal of USB 2.0 ports, I believe these feedback serve no purpose. Currently, I'm running out USB 2 ports, the only time I've ever used a USB 3 port is when I back up my files to an external drive or when I plug in a USB 3 flash drive. As it is, most devices on the market at the moment only support USB 2 ports.
 

Crashman

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Right, the only reason to use USB 2.0 instead of USB 3.0 is to save USB 3.0 for another device. It's a good reason, which is why I recommend boards continue to have at least two USB 2.0 ports on the rear panel.

 

ErikVinoya

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I'm willing to bet that's the fault of the hardware manufacturer not properly adhering to the USB spec
 

Crashman

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This conversation can get complicated since USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 are separate data standards and use separate data pathways. A third-party USB 3.0 controller actually has two controllers (USB 2.0 and USB 3.0) built in. These aren't always friendly with legacy devices. While the Intel controller usually is legacy-friendly, a third-party hub between it and the ports can cause similar issues. You'll find that some boards have only 2 USB 3.0 ports out of 6 or 8 that are legacy-friendly, and they're usually not labeled in a way to make that determination easy.
 

ErikVinoya

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Oh, TIL...
I have always thought that USB 3.0 controllers are just single controllers with some sort of "legacy mode". Didn't know they have to contain separate 2.0 and 3.0 controllers.
 

Crashman

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I don't know how much these controller designers were able to simplify and combine, I just know that they're separate signals on separate wires (hence a two-in-one controller chip).

 
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