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Author Topic: Unboxing MSI Z170A Gaming M5 and Gaming Pro Motherboards  (Read 2514 times)

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gzhilTopic starter

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Let me take you on a tour with MSI’s two new Z170A motherboards but before that, here is some new info about MSI new Gaming Series Segments. 
 
1.Enthusiast Gaming (7 stars) – are honoured with the suffix “M for Master” to cite its truly outstanding design and to guide you to the next level in gaming. Aside from this, MSI Overclocking series will also be in this segment too.
 
2.Performance Gaming (5 stars) – it’s all about personalization. Looks will be quite unique with customizable design and distinguished look & feel.
 
3.Arsenal Gaming (4 stars) – basic gaming motherboards which comes with a subtle ambient LED light on the back. These LED lights can be switched off. Basic MSI gaming features are also present in these motherboards.

 

For this short unboxing review, I will start with the Enthusiast Gaming entry level motherboard – Z170A Gaming M5. Box comes with a new red theme design and picture of the motherboard on the front cover. You have the Enthusiast 7 Stars logo at the bottom and at the upper right are Intel Z170 chipset and Skylake logos.
 

Flipping the box over are information about the features, IO ports layout and brief specifications of the M5. For those MSI fanatics out there, by now you already noticed some new hefty innovations that MSI has to offer. You have Nahimic Audio Enhancer which goes hand in hand with Audio Boost 3 hardware, Twin Turbo M.2 which can be configured to create M.2 SSD RAID, Steel Armor video card slots to protect against damage from heavy VGAs, USB 3.1 connectivity which is twice faster than the latter 3.0, DDR4 Boost which isolates the PCB traces of the memory slots to the CPU socket and lastly the feature I like the most is the Game boost which overclocks your processor to different frequency modes.
 
SPECIFICATIONS:
CPU Support:6th Generation Intel Core Processors and Intel Pentium & Celeron Processors
CPU Socket:LGA 1151
Chipset:Z170
Graphics Interface:3x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots with 6th Gen Intel Core Processors
Display Interface: DVI-D, HDMI – Requires Processor Graphics
Memory Support: 4 DIMMS, Dual Channel DDR4-2133
Expansion Slots: 4x PCIe 3.0 x1
M.2/SATA: 6x SATA 6GB/s (2 ports reserved for SATA Express) & 2x M.2
USB port: 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 + 6x USB 3.1 Gen1 + 6x USB 2.0
LAN: 10/100/1000Mbps Killer E2400 LAN
Audio: 8-Channel (7.1) HD Realtek Audio
 

In this case there are no new bundled accessories in the package. Below you have:
•User Guide
•Quick Installation Guide
•MSI Gaming Door Hanger
•Registration Card
•Utility Disc
•SATA label sticker
• Input Output backplate
•SATA 6GB/s Cables
•SLI Multi-graphics card bridge adaptor
•MSI Gaming badge

 
Now here comes the fun part as we will be checking out the sections of the Z170A Gaming M5 motherboard. Hold on, seat tight and relax
 

I never get tired looking at a black red theme motherboard especially how MSI designed this Gaming M5. Heatsinks are way better than the previous Dragon Claw HS and check out how stylish the DDR4 Boost PCB trace looks like. It’s not only for aesthetic but it enhances the communication between the processor and the installed memory. The board has a clean layout with fewer capacitors as components nowadays are energy efficient and consumes less power.
The board uses 8-pins instead of the regular 4-pins for powering up the processor and thus gives extra juice in CPU overclocking. You have a total of 5 fan power header connectors which two can be seen on the upper right for connecting your CPU fans while the rest are for chassis fans. 
 

Taking a closer look around the CPU socket area are the newly improved and enhanced power phases or some say it chokes. Actually this is the latest member to the Military Class V components and MSI calls it Titanium Choke. This choke uses titanium core in which provides better tolerance against unusual thermal temperatures. This component can run at a 220 degree Celsius high temperature, have a 40% higher current capacity, a 30% improvement in power efficiency and better overclocking stability.
 

 
Z170A Gaming M5 offers two M.2 slots supporting different lengths of M.2 devices. Also, the board does not come with a PCI slot anymore. Instead, MSI beefed it up with PCIE x1 connectors.
Moving on, we have two PCIE x16 video card slots with so called Steel Armor. MSI covered these slots with metal and has more solder points on the PCB for more strength and protects the PCI Express signals against electromagnetic interference for a stutter-free gaming experience and higher GPU overclocking.
 
On the left side is Audio Boost 3. It’s a system composing of isolated PCB, high grade quality audio components (Chemi-Con caps, HD Audio Processor) and Nahimic Audio Enhancer software giving you the best audio quality experience ever. MSI also included two dedicated headphone amps, one for the rear and the other for the front panel.
Just few more touches on the bottom are basic headers like the USB pins, Front panel connectors, TPM and the Slow Mode Dip switch which helps overclockers to get the maximum possible frequency.
 

The southbridge heatsink is bigger and has this feel of a sporty gaming look. Red LEDs are embedded underneath this which lit up and can be controlled by using the Gaming App in Windows. Available ambient LED modes are Flashing, Double Flashing and Breathing.
 
Just below the SATA Express ports is the Debug LED which helps users troubleshoot if there are problems during the boot-up process. You can refer to your user manual for the description of the codes. If ever your system boots up fine, next set of numbers will indicate the current temperature of your system.
 

MSI has put right angled 6x SATA 6GB/s ports where 4 ports are reserved for SATA Express and if you don’t need this kind of connectivity, all can be used for SATA 3 connections. Lastly, MSI also included a USB 3.1 front header port too.
 

Finally, we have the rear I/O panel of the Z170A Gaming M5. Starting from left, we have two standard USB 2.0 ports and a PS2 combo port. These are gaming device ports which are optimized to deliver the best connectivity for high end gaming mice/keyboard and to fully utilize its speed. Also, they contain 3x more gold than regular connectors which prevents oxidation and provides 10x longer lifetime when plugging/unplugging. Next for display connectivity, MSI included DVI and HDMI ports.
 
For other connections, you have 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (Type-C Reversible & Type-A) and 4x USB 3.1 Gen1 ports previously called USB 3.0. MSI provided the latest Killer LAN E2400 chip to this board for maximum networking performance for online games and high-quality streaming and included LAN Protect too in which features 15KV anti-surge protection to shield your network from lightning strikes and static electricity. Lastly for your audio needs are gold plated audio jacks with digital output. The single red audio jack there is the port that runs through the amp chip.
 
So that ends our Gaming M5 but wait there’s more as we will be talking about MSI’s Z170A Gaming pro next.
 

Gaming Pro is under the Performance Gaming 5 stars segment. It has this new box design having a sleek sports car picture on it.
 

At the back you have the picture of the motherboard with Mystic Light feature standing out. Noticed the strip of light on the right side of the board. Cool right? The light can be controlled using MSI Gaming App with ambient modes of Flashing, Double Flashing, Breathing and Music Sound Activated. Other than this you have the standard MSI features such as Gaming LAN, Military Class 5, LAN Protect, Audio Boost 3 and USB 3.1 Connectivity.
 
SPECIFICATIONS:
CPU Support:6th Generation Intel Core Processors and Intel Pentium & Celeron Processors
CPU Socket: LGA 1151
Chipset: Z170
Graphics Interface: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots with 6th Gen Intel Core Processors
Display Interface: DVI-D, HDMI – Requires Processor Graphics
Memory Support: 4 DIMMS, Dual Channel DDR4-2133
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x1 & 1x PCI slot
SATA: 6x SATA 6GB/s (2 ports reserved for SATA Express) & 1x M.2
USB port: 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 + 6x USB 3.1 Gen1 + 6x USB 2.0
LAN: 10/100/1000Mbps Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN
Audio: 8-Channel (7.1) HD Realtek Audio
 

As for the accessories goes, below are the following:
•User Guide
•Quick Installation Guide
•Registration Card
•Utility Disc
•SATA label sticker
• Input Output backplate
•SATA 6GB/s Cables
•SLI Multi-graphics card bridge adaptor


 
You can see the difference right away if you compare the Gaming Pro with M5 especially with the size of the heatsinks it have. The board also has DDR4 Boost but not printed in red unlike the first model we discussed earlier. 5 fan headers are also present with all of the SATA 6GB/s ports in upright position.
 

So far all of the gaming motherboards uses 8pins to power the CPU. Titanium chokes are lessen to 8 which are enough for overclocking the processor.
 

Just below the CPU socket is the M.2 SSD slot which has option for different sizes of M.2 SSDs. You can also see clearly below the VRM heatsink is the Gaming LAN having the EMI/Static shielding. You also have a close up shot of the Mystic Light strip at the right side of the motherboard.
 

For the expansion slots you have 3x PCIe x1 and a legacy PCI slot which some users is still looking for. Gaming Pro have 3x PCIE x16 Gen3 slots which two has the Steel Armor.  If you are going for a SLI or Crossfire multi-graphics card configuration, it won’t be a problem. The board has a plenty of space in between the video card slots which helps to have good airflow.
 
You have the Audio Boost 3 to your left with fewer audio components. Below the last VC slot are USB headers and front panel audio connector and to the bottom most right is a SATA Express port which if not being used for this kind of connectivity. Two 6 GB/s SATA ports will be available. Beside the black red southbridge chipset heastsink are 4x 6 GB/s SATA and on top of that is a USB 3.0 header
 

As for the Input Output rear ports. MSI included two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, PS2 Combo & 2x USB 2.0 Gaming ports, 4x USB 3.0 ports, DVI and HDMI for your display connections, Intel Gigabit LAN and lastly 6x Analog jacks with 1 red amplified port and SPDIF Digital Audio.
 
There you have it two MSI Z170A motherboard models unboxed. If you are the type of user who prefers aesthetics or the so called “Modder”, I think the best model that would suit your needs is the Gaming Pro because of the RGB Mystic Light feature it has. It would complement very well with your RGB keyboard, mice or headset if you happen to have. Price range of the Z170A Gaming Pro is very affordable @ around PHP 92XX to 94XX.
 
Then if you want to dominate games be it offline or online, the way to go is the Z170A Gaming M5. It has the new Killer LAN Chip E2204 which can prioritize your game and gives out a smoother online gaming experience. Then ofcourse Nahimic Audio enhancer which gives the best audio quality as possible and can help you win in FPS type of games as you can hear clearly where possible enemy can come from or about to stab you at the back. For this board, the price is around PHP 107XX to 109XX which I think is just right given with the features it offers.
 
That’s it! More unboxing and short reviews to come! Rock to the Gzhil World!!!
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emilylai.tw

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Re: Unboxing MSI Z170A Gaming M5 and Gaming Pro Motherboards
« Reply #1 on: 04-September-15, 01:06:08 »

wow~ Mystic Light feature also ready on Z170 GAMING PRO. i saw the video, looks good. 
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gzhilTopic starter

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Re: Unboxing MSI Z170A Gaming M5 and Gaming Pro Motherboards
« Reply #2 on: 04-September-15, 01:24:07 »

Your name is very familiar :) hehehe. Nice to see you again :)
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Enermax Revolution 1050W watts PSU
MSI XPower
Intel Xeon
G Skill Perfect Storm 3x2GB DDR3 2133MHz
MSI N580GTX Lightning
OCZ Solid 3 60GB SSD 6GB/s
Seagate 500GB 3GB/s
Coolermaster CM 690 II Advance
A4Tech X7 G700 Keyboard
A4Tech X5-70MD
Creative 5.1 Speakers
Hanns-G HG281 28" LCD Monitor

BoboChi

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Re: Unboxing MSI Z170A Gaming M5 and Gaming Pro Motherboards
« Reply #3 on: 10-September-15, 02:41:13 »

how precise unboxing, wanna to buy MSI new motherboards. the design is good. look so pretty
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