MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING Titanium review

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PCH - The Platform Controller Hub Chipsets

PCH - The Platform Controller Hub Chipsets

With the Kaby Lake generation desktop processors comes yet again a new motherboard chipset. You can stick to the Series 100 Chipset from Intel but a series 200 is released as well. For end consumers like you and me the H270 chipset will be less performance targeted and comes with better support for HTPC monitor connectivity. The Z270 chipset however is targeted at mainstream performance and enthusiast end users allowing much more tweaking and providing performance features.  


The 200-series chipset tied to the processor series is tagged under codename "Union Point," and will support Intel Optane SSDs and Rapid Storage Technology support for PCIe storage devices. Desktop processors based on Kaby will use LGA 1151, the Skylake slot, and support TDPs from 35, 65 and 91W. The last model will obviously be an unlocked K series processor. The Kaby Lake platform for desktops will support USB 3.1 and DDR4, the laptop versions however will have to make do with USB 3.0 and DDR3. For Kaby Lake you do not need a new motherboard, if you already have an H or Z170 series chipset, upgrade your motherboard BIOS and you should be fine with the new processors.

Z270 Z170 H270 H170
SKU Consumer Consumer / Corporate
Support Kaby Lake-S(7th Gen)/ Skylake-S(6th Gen)
CPU PCIe Configuration 1 x 16 or 2 x 8 or 1 x 8 + 2 x 4 1 x 16
Independent DisplayPort 3
Memory DIMMs 4
Overclocking Yes No
Intel SmartSound Technology Yes
Intel Optane Technology Yes No Yes No
Intel Rapid Storage Technology 15 14 15 14
Intel Rapid Storage Technology from
PCIe Storage Drive Support
RAID 0、1、5、10 Yes
Intel Smart Response Technology Yes
I/O Port Flexibility Yes
Maximum High Speed I/O(HSIO)Lanes 30 26 30 22
Total USB Ports(Max USB 3.0) 14(10) 14(8)
Max SATA 6.0Gbps Ports 6
Max PCIe Express 3.0 Lanes 24 20 16
Max Intel RST for PCIe Storage Ports
(x2 M.2 or x4 M.2)
3 2

The 200 chipset will have a few more PCI-Express gen 3.0 lanes. The chips have 14 downstream PCIe lanes; compared to 10 on the 100-series chipsets for things like optional Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 controllers, more M.2 slots. In total, PCIe lanes number 30, as opposed to 26 on the 100-series chipset motherboards.

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