MSI Z270 SLI Plus ATX Kaby Lake Motherboard Review

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joz

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Damn, that thing just looks nice. I'm normally the "all-black and no LEDs" hardware sort of guy, but MSI really made this Z270 board a looker.
 
Anandtech wrote that the Z170 version of this board redefined the market in its price range. It would appear that the the Z270 version continues to carry the flag.

One thing I'd like to see THG tackle is the new ALC1220 audio subsystem that we are seeing in the new gen boards and how it compares with that with which we are much more familiar.
 

JakeWearingKhakis

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I'm still very happy with my MSI 990fxa-gaming motherboard. This motherboard looks so good it might actually make me buy an intel processor! Not really though, I can't wait to see MSI's Ryzen Mobos :D
 
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Would also like to see how they compare. Not only in re to how alc1220 compares to 1150/892, etc, but maybe just a common sense computer audio guide for those who'd like to improve their system's audio, but haven't an idea of what the most cost-efficient way to do so may be at this time.
 

PapiFiveNine

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Is there any merit to using a z270 over a z170 for a Skylake? Or a disadvantage at that? I just like the looks of this mobo and it's the same price range as asus z170-a that is my primary choice atm...
 


there isn't really any game changing features or improvements with the Z270 boards. IMO the only advantage the Z270 boards have is that a kaby lake CPU will work with it right out of the box without a BIOS update unlike the Z170 boards

 
Interesting ...
I understand that this is "mainstream" review, and yet - 10phases ? some of them are for iGPU. I highly doubt that over 8 are dedicated to cores. After that even those are probably arranged in some way since true 8 channel voltage controllers are kinda expensive. A bit more details here would be interesting.

Another thing that is really "mainstream" is fan headers.
Can they operate in both DC and PWM mode ? are they detected automatically ? are they controlled separately ? Is there included SW to control fan's speed ? What sensors can be used as source for fans speed profiles ?
 

Crashman

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From the article Page 1 "All six of the fan headers feature both PWM-based and voltage-based fan speed control." It's discussed a bit more in the firmware section, these are manually select-able.

 


thank you for pointing me to the right section.
Really should have read it more thoroughly :) was so annoyed by "10 phases" that "I totally lost the focus".
 

Crashman

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When most companies quit saying how they were split, I pretty-much quit looking because of following prior issues:
1.) I get more power from six 45A phases than ten 10A phases. We once tested a board with 24 little tiny voltage regulators running parallel.
2.) I could guess at how they were divided, but that doesn't always work. Sometimes a board will have six phases on the back and six on the side, but be split as 8/4 based on where the circuits go. And I can't always follow the circuits visually.
3.) Six phases will usually get you smooth power delivery, but very few companies tell you the ampacity, and some regulator designs have insufficient chokes and caps to keep the output smooth even with eight or more phases. Other boards have super-smooth regulation on four phases, though very few boards have enough amps per phase to make four-phase an overclocker's solution.

So, I turn to overclocking. A relatively small difference in the O/C result can be due to a relatively large difference in output quality.

 
True. It's not easy (even not always possible) to trace it visually.
Another aspect that I found affecting the stability, is the temperature of VRM.
My MB have 6 phases and they overheat if I torture the CPU with ~140-160watt load. Asus kindly put a sensor in VRM area. System always crashes when temperature reaches 100-105C on that sensor.
More phases with higher current capabilities usually means cooler temperature.
 

Crashman

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I was hoping you'd be able to figure that out by looking at the picture, the sliver slots are four apart (meaning there's the top sliver slot, two more slots, and the bottom silver slots).

 


You put two much hope in humanity.
After all, almost half of it has double digit IQ ;)

P.S.
not a personal insult, just a fact.
 

Crashman

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Well look, I have to go by pictures because different companies seem to have different standards. If you go to Newegg, for example, you will find a "zero slot spacing" HB bridge. Zero slots would mean a card in the same place as a card...but the associated picture shows a bridge that's two spaces apart?

Anyway, the distance is 2.375", or 60mm. After that, it's up to a person with good mechanical perception to figure out what the heck these different companies are selling. I know brilliant people who can't tell an inch from a foot in photos...
 
that's true.
some MB even do not have a slot - just empty spacing. so yes, sometimes it's not that trivial to figure out.

My comment was not really related to the topic, just a sarcastic statement about "hope and humans" :)
 

Valentin_14

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I love the design of that mouse also i love the 2 hdmi outputs i love the voltage regulator workjs pefect on my computer i love the kaby motherboard i think that the price i wonderfull so everyone can easy buy it :)
 
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