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MSI Z170A Gaming M9 ACK (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Sep 7, 2015 3:09 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: MSI

Steven's Motherboard Test System Specifications



This is the new test bench, and it is designed to test every aspect of the motherboard and IO. I have designed it so that the motherboard sits in a case and is cooled by fans always on at a constant rate to keep the conditions similar for all tests. I have cut out part of the case behind the motherboard so I can get thermal images of the back of the PCB where the VRM heat spreads. System and CPU power measurements are now digitally logged.



I am also using a Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 for our network (including wireless AC) tests. The latest M.2, SSD, and USB technologies are also being utilized to test the maximum potential of the motherboards that are being tested.




The LEDs provide accent lighting both on and under the PCB. There are even LEDs built into the LAN and two USB ports located on the backpanel IO.




I added light bars to two of the Dominator Platinum DIMMs, but sadly I installed them upside down.




I did install the modular screws on the motherboard and they add the detail one would expect from the display of a $400 motherboard. You do have to use the provided wrench, but it does add a level of security so it is harder to remove the board if you didn't plan on it (like at a LAN party).

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