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MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM ED. (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Oct 19, 2015 2:11 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: MSI

This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review, and get a quick recap and points on the MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION.

 

What's Hot

 

High-Performance All Around: The Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION performs very well compared to other motherboards in CPU, memory, and graphics benchmarks but also in system IO benchmarks. I was impressed with the speeds I was able to get through my storage tests, which points towards a very well-tuned motherboard. Overclocking was also top notch; the motherboard passed all overclocking targets easily.

 

 

OC Dashboard and other OC features: Many brands have experimented with external OC devices in the past, but so far MSI is the only manufacturer I see with such a device on the market. I have used a few of these types of devices in the past, but MSI's device is simple and intuitive. Moving these buttons off the motherboard allows for extreme cooling of the memory area while still being able to use these buttons. Furthermore, the OC Dashboard is very simple in construction and seems to perform hardware-based on-the-fly changes to system parameters. I didn't even have to use MSI software to support the OC dashboard.

 

Unique Silver/White Aesthetics: If seeing a silver/white PCB gets you excited, you aren't alone. I would venture a guess that many people will buy this product just for its PCB color. Some might argue that there aren't that many things that match silver, but the truth is that the PCB looks white when it is installed in a case, and everything matches white. In person, the motherboard looks simply awesome, and you won't be disappointed when you see the motherboard in person.

 

High-Quality VRM and Re-Drivers: While a few Z170 motherboards from each brand carry International Rectifier digital PWMs, only a few also carry the high current integrated power stages. In the case of the Z170A XPOWER, MSI is using IR's latest 60A parts, the first time I have seen this exact part on a Z170 motherboard. Aside from the VRMs, the motherboard also carries many re-drivers that strengthen signal strength for the USB 3.0 ports. This attention to detail deserves acknowledgement, especially considering the price of the motherboard.

 

What's Not

 

High Price: At $299, this is one of the most expensive Z170 motherboards. It offers a wide array of overclocking features instead of gaming, connectivity, or expanded graphics features found on other similarly priced products.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

At $299, the MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION is one of the more pricey Z170 motherboards. For that price, you get excellent overclocking capabilities, strong performance, and a lot of overclocking features. That being said if you aren't going to be doing any hardcore overclocking, it might be hard to justify the price.

 

msi-z170a-xpower-gaming-titanium-ed-intel-z170-motherboard-review_122

 

Knowing that the price might be hard to justify, MSI added some gaming features and improved the aesthetics to make the motherboard more attractive to a larger subset of consumers. What MSI has created is a unique product with a fairly strong non-overclocking feature set.

 

What some people forget is that typical consumers will buy extreme overclocking products for their durability and quality, and in that regard the Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION fits the bill perfectly. It offers a great balance of hardcore overclocking features, durability, and performance that anyone can appreciate. The silver/white PCB is also quite awesome.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance (including Overclocking)95%
Quality including Design and Build93%
General Features93%
Bundle and Packaging91%
Value for Money88%
Overall TweakTown Rating92%

The Bottom Line: MSI's Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION offers a great balance of hardcore overclocking features, durability, and performance which anyone can appreciate.

    We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.

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