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MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM ED. (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review (Page 3)

By: Steven Bassiri from Oct 19, 2015 @ 9:11 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: MSI

Circuit Analysis


The Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION looks nice in the nude.


This motherboard carries a 10+4+2+1 phase (VCore, VCCGT, VCCSA, VCCIO) VRM. The CPU and iGPU phases carry very powerful integrated power stages and are powered by a total International Rectifier solution. MSI has re-branded their quality scheme using the "Titanium" (Ti) moniker, it is hard to say what part of the inductor is titanium without taking an inductor apart, but it would be the first time that a manufacturer has used inductors containing titanium. MSI uses a large number of tantalum capacitors that are much more resilient to lower temperatures than the solid polymers other overclocking motherboards might use, and they are lower profile that makes it easy to insulate around the socket.


The CPU VCore and CPU VCCGT (iGP power) phases use International Rectifier IR3555M, which are 60A integrated power stages. These are top notch power stages; they are very pricey and very rare on the Z170 platform. The PWM is an International Rectifier IR35201, a 6+2 phase (flexible to 8+0 phase) fully digital PWM. In this case, 5+2 phases are being used. The five phases for the CPU VCore and two phases for the VCCGT are routed to IR3599 phase doublers producing a 10+4 phase output.


Both the VCCSA and DRAM phases are controlled by individual Powervation 2-phase digital PWMs; the PV3205 (the VCCSA PWM/phases aren't shown). I couldn't find datasheets on the MOSFETs for either system, but they are PowerPAKs, and I could venture to guess they are more than adequate. An IDT 6V41516NLG is a clock generator used for the BLCK, and it produces a clock frequency separate to that of the PCI-E clock, and one that can go much higher for overclocking.

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