MSI Z170A SLI PLUS review

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The Guru3D review

MSI Z170A SLI PLUS motherboard
PRO Series - priced at just 149 USD / €159 

We review the Z170A SLI PLUS from the MSI PRO Series motherboards. Armed with an attractive budget € 159,- price this series not only looks fantastic, it's very fast and tweakable as well. A motherboard that offers plenty of features to provide your Intel Core i3/i5/i7 Skylake processor the full infrastructure is needs for a delicious gaming PC. Dressed in black and with added benefits like USB 3.1, a fully fetched M.2. slot and DDR4 support the product will amaze.

These motherboards can (well must) be paired with new Skylake-S series processors. We'll quickly dive into the two most import ones. Skylake Core i5-6600K and Core i7 6700K processors for the desktop platform have been released. We test both processors, yet have separate reviews on each of these processors. A new chip, a new package meaning both of them are Socket 1151. The new series Skylake processors are energy efficient, quite powerful and this need to be paired with a new motherboards series. For you guys that means the Z170 and h170 range. In this review we test the Core i5 6600K. An unlocked Skylake processor that has four cores and slim a 92W TDP, that is lower compared to Haswell with its 95W TDP, thanks to the new and smaller 14nm fabrication process. The quad core CPU has 8 MB L3 cache, and an integrated memory controller that supports both DDR4 and DDR3 memory. The Z170 and H170 series motherboards will all be offered with DDR4 though. For the gaming community two processors are the most important. The Core i7 6700K has Four CPU cores with Hyper-Threading, 4.0GHz frequency, 4.20GHz maximum Turbo Boost frequency. Then there is the Core i5 6600K with four cores, 3.50GHz frequency and a 3.90GHz maximum Turbo Boost frequency, both based on the new LGA1151 socket package. Skylake is the code-name used by Intel for the 14nm processor micro-architecture under development and is the successor to the Broadwell architecture. So then, the MSI Z170A SLI PLUS edition motherboard sits in their PRO series range. This is the affordable segment, and with prices at  € 159,- with a tenner cheaper in USD you'll be amazed as to what you are purchasing. Sure some stuff is cut out, like onboard power/reset buttons / WIFI and an extra M.2. slot, but other than that, it's more of the same at exactly the same enhusiast class performance. The  Z170A SLI PLUS in fact is a very feature rich product for the money, and if you have a peek below ...  it will look terrific in any DIY PC build as well thanks to that all dark and clean looking PCB.  

Features wise you may expect three PCI-Express 3.0 ports (two usable for multi-GPU), 8-channel Audio Boost audio solution, the usual quality components and a Gigabit/s Ethernet jack. Then you will spot USB 3.1, a x4 configured M.2. slot with up-to 32 Gbps of bandwidth. Anyway, we'll show it all in detail of course. Have a peek at what we review today and then head on-wards into the review.


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