MSI X370 KRAIT Gaming
That funky looking motherboard for your Ryzen PC.
For our newest AMD X370 and Ryzen motherboard review we move onwards to MSI with the funky X370 KRAIT Gaming. This more affordable Ryzen motherboard is just that, funky, wrapped in an awesome look and feel the motherboard has a feature set and price level that manages to impress.
The board itself is rather breathtaking thanks to that new PCB coating MSI has been using for roughly a year now. It allows them to use prints on that PCB, and it just looks wicked. Compared to the all expensive Xpower model, this board is half the money at € 169,- / $149.99. A motherboard with that black & white coating, extra overclock features, DDR4 A-XMP functions and a properly fast M.2 slot.
AMD has now released Ryzen 7, the product name and series for their physical 8-core (16 thread) processors with Ryzen 5 using the same procs, yet in 4 and 6-core enabled versions.. A processor series fabbed at a more efficient and optimized 14 nanometer FinFET process, rather than the 32 nm and 28 nm processes of previous AMD FX CPUs and AMD APUs, respectively. AMD's processors and APUs over the years have run their course really, for the gamer and more mainstream PC aficionado the older FX and APU series simply lack in raw processor performance compared to what the competition has been offering. We discussed it many times in the reviews, but if you compared an Intel processor core and an AMD processor core and clocked them at the very same frequency, Intel was almost half faster. The effect of that phenomenon showed in the less optimized and threaded applications, many games are a good example here. Ryzen series 5 is likely best matched with the B350 (a little more value) and the X370 motherboards as it is a high-end desktop (HEDT) product series. A new processor series will need a new chipset as the motherboard needs an infrastructure as well. This has been outsourced and at launch you will see multiple product stacked motherboard chipsets. For six and eight-core Ryzen processors, you probably want a high-end / enthusiast class chipset with lots of features and tweaking options, this is the X370 chipset that went along with the launch of the processor series release. X370 will give home to the new socket AM4 and will provide DDR4 memory support (as well as all other modern usual suspects like USB 3.1 gen 2, SATA Express, as well as NVMe protocol based M.2 support and surely PCI-Express Gen 3.0).
And that's where we land at MSI, they have been releasing motherboards from top to bottom (in prices) and today we peek at the affordable X370 KRAIT Gaming, this is the mainstream board of the X370 series from MSI. The X370 KRAIT Gaming is a bit of a gem, all styled and tailored to be overclocked. This motherboard comes well equipped, a full speed M.2 NVMe slot, Gigabit Ethernet jack and a board that is based on many power phases for the Ryzen processor. The MSI X370 KRAIT Gaming edition motherboard is something we have been pleasantly surprised with as it is a very feature rich product that looks terrific in any DIY PC build. The Black and white styled PCB comes with shielding and very subtle white LED light accents. Features wise you may expect x16 PCI-Express slots, an 8-channel audio solution, the usual quality components and USB 3.1. Audio is based on Realtek ALC 892, but was enhanced and works in conjunction with the Audioboost software suite. The board supports two-way SLI and CrossFireX configs split between its PCI Express x16 slots. Overall we have lots to talk about, let’s start up the review, but before you go to the next page have a close look at the photo above, yeah... I stated it, that is funky right?