'Tis the season for Kaby Lake leaks, with MSI ready to unleash their Z270 and H270 motherboards during CES 2017 - but the leaks are here, and MSI's new boards are looking mighty fine. MSI's 200-series motherboards include the GAMING, Tomahawk, Bazooka, and Pro brands - making me want to build a new gaming PC with a "Bazooka" themed motherboard.
MSI's next-gen 200-series motherboard lineup:
- MSI Z270 Gaming M7
- MSI Z270 Gaming M5
- MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon
- MSI Z270I Gaming Pro Carbon AC
- MSI Z270 KRAIT Gaming
- MSI Z270 TOMAHAWK ARSENAL Gaming
- MSI Z270 SLI PLUS
- MSI Z270 SLI
- MSI Z270 PC Mate
MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon
Now, onto the motherboards that piqued my interest. Starting with the MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon, which rocks some beautiful Mystic Light RGB goodness, we have 4 x DDR4 DIMM slots that support 4000MHz+ RAM in OC mode. The DDR4 DIMM slots are protected by MSI's steel armor which will protect the PCB of the motherboard when installing your RAM.
As you can see, we have 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 ports for graphics cards, 3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots as well as 2 x Turbo M.2 slots. MSI will be shipping the Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon with their new M.2 Shield that will protect, and cool down those super-hot NVMe-based M.2 SSDs that can get ridiculously hot - and lose considerable performance when they do get hot.
Furthermore, we have USB 3.0 ports, USB 3.1, HDMI 2.0, DVI, GbE, 7.1-channel audio, and more.
MSI Z270I Gaming Pro Carbon AC
MSI will be making a smaller mini-ITX version of the Gaming Pro Carbon, and I think it looks slick as hell - rocking 2 x DDR4 DIMM slots that support 4GHz+ RAM (just like its bigger brother) and up to 32GB (16GB per DIMM).
There's a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot for your graphics card, USB 3.0, USB 3.1, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, plenty of storage options with 4 x SATA 6Gbps ports, but unfortunately - no M.2 slot.
MSI Z270I Gaming Pro Carbon AC
This is another board I'm looking forward to seeing, the Z270 Tomahawk Arsenal Gaming motherboard with black/silver/red styling that looks great. We have 10+1 phase PWM supply that'll keep the motherboard clocking along with everything maxed out, with 4 x DDR4 DIMM slots that support 4GHz+ RAM as well.
MSI is including 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, 3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots, 2 x Turbo M.2 slots for super-fast storage, and more. We also have 6 x SATA 6Gbps ports, 2 x USB 3.0 connectors, Audio Boost G chip for audio - something that is isolated with its own PCB and a fancy LED strip with red LEDs around it.
MSI Z270 SLI PLUS
MSI will also be loading up their 200-series arsenal with the Z270 SLI Plus for NVIDIA GeForce graphics card owners - throwing down 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x8/x8) that are joined by 3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 ports, 2 x Turbo M.2 slots, 6 x SATA 6Gbps ports, and USB 3.0 connectivity.
We should also expect it to be a more budget-friendly board for enthusiasts who can't justify $300+ on a motherboard, which is a great thing to see.
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