A motherboard tested
MSI Z270 GAMING M7
An awesome motherboard for the Kaby Lake platform
In this review we'll check out our 3rd Z270 motherboard from MSI, probably one of the best as it has been loaded with features and offers downright terrific looks combined with a 275 euro/USD pricetag. So, with the 7000 series processor (Kaby Lake) released, it's time for a peek at the motherboards based on Z270. We review the motherboard with a Core i5 7600K processor, that puppy is developed on the 14nm node. The Core i5 series processors are intended to be the more budget friendly offering from Intel, for a more mainstream consumer. For this review we look at the performance of this processor and motherboard in a wide variety of benchmarks and situations. Kaby Lake processors for the desktop platform have been released. Though you'd think it is an all new chip, it is however merely a respin seen from Skylake, meaning both series processors are Socket 1151. This also means that IF you are in the market for a new series 7000 processor, your H170 or Z170 motherboard can be compatible with Kaby Lake after a motherboard BIOS upgrade. The new series Kaby Lake processors are fairly energy efficient, still as powerful as they have been for years. If you are interested in new technologies like Intel Optane, you will however need to upgrade to a Z270 or H270 range motherboard. This new Z270 platform offers supports for Optane SSDs and offers support for slightly faster DDR4 memory.
The MSI Z270 GAMING M7 certainly is a nice looking product, even with the LEDs turned off, the board looks amazing with its dark black/grey/chrome combination and aesthetic feel. LED bling aside you will not find hugely expensive Creative labs audio chips or an Intel Thunderbolt controller on this motherboard. No, everything seems and feels normalized, in line with good looks and features you need. By doing so, MSI is offering this motherboard at a pretty competitive price level, making your upgrade a little better matching your budget.
Above a quick overview of the Mystic LIGHT RGB LED functionality. Hate or love RGB ? You can turn it off / on / use a color and/or animation of your preference.
The motherboard does come with everything you need, and even a trick or two as the MSI Z270 GAMING M7 comes with three M2 slots. You will also notice the new steel armor strips protecting the PCI-express slots and now also DIMM slots, audio boost 4 Pro based on Nahamic 2 and ASMedia 2142 controllers to offer full speed USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices. There is more going on, this motherboard offers Killer LAN E2500 network connector. Lacking however is WIFI or an extra Intel Gigabit jack. Armed with that Z270 chipset this motherboard offers three x16 slots and three 1x PCIe. Everything is and seems subtle. Let's get started with the actual review shall we?