MSI's Z170A SLI Plus Packs All Necessities On All-Black PCB

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Another welcome "break from the mold" aesthetic effort from MSI. Unlike with Z97, we are not seeing the wide gaming performance swings between manufacturers and models. While MSI hit a cupla home runs w/ Z97 in the Gaming Series, beating many popular boards (Hero, Formula, Gene) by 6 - 7% in performance, they also had a few bombs like MPower Max AC which matched the lowly performance of the Z97-A and the Krait which while it looked great was a performance disaster.

This time around w/ Z170, I haven't seen more than a 1 - 2% difference between boards. So with little to differentiate them performance wise, aesthetics will figure into more purchase decisions.

OTOH, the MSI Z170A XPower Gaming Titanium is frakin gorgeous and matches up well with the silver reference GFX card coolers and this will match up with almost everything else. Where I think they missed the boat, and a good source of income is in selling matching backplates.

Offering backplates to match the boards would be a great move. With 3rd party acrylic versions selling for $40, a metal one that acted as an additional heat sink would sell well I think. That and making the color swatches on the cooler shroud "peel 'n stick" as Asus did some years ago, would complete the customization options . Using the screening process they used on the Titanium MoBo to imprint the circuitry or other graphics would take it to the edge and w/o a significant cost impact.


Oct 24, 2015
But MSI has the one little problem to their OC MoBo..... there is no extra oc sockets for cpu....... while asus built that
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