Here are key points about the MSI X370 Krait Gaming.
Affordable: I had many vendors tell me that the cost of the AMD chipset is just as high as the cost of Intel's Z270 chipset. The chipset cost is one of the most expensive parts of the base hardware cost of the motherboard, and with many decent X370 motherboards costing over $200, the X370 Krait Gaming chimes in at $150, which is very affordable.
ASMedia USB 3.1: With the chipset being far away from the rear IO, native USB 3.1 requires re-drivers if routed to the rear IO. Some companies have decided to just use ASMedia's solution instead of AMD's native solution, as MSI does on the Krait.
Hardcore Aesthetics: MSI's unique black and white aesthetic spans across both the PCB and heat sinks. I especially like how the PCI-E slot reinforcements have been colored to match the aesthetic design. The white-only LEDs illuminate the corners of the motherboards from below, and the RGB LED header allows for easy LED strip connection.
Dual Internal USB 3.0: Since MSI decided to use a dedicated USB 3.1 controller, they were able to add in an extra USB 3.0 internal header. The Krait offers two USB 3.0 internal headers, one right angled and the other straight.
VRM Could Be Better: At this price point you can't really have it all, and in this case, the VRM is kind of basic compared to more expensive motherboards. Ryzen does not overclock that much over 4GHz, so you should be fine. If you want to ensure VRM longevity, you should ensure there is good airflow around the VRM if you aren't using an air cooler.
The MSI X370 Krait Gaming offers excellent value for an X370 based motherboard. It offers all the latest features people have come to expect from the X370 chipset with a lot of flash and style. While the aesthetics of the Krait might not be important to some people, for those who do a lot of custom designs, it would be the base for a neat Krait-themed Ryzen build.
The X370 Krait Gaming does have its downsides, you can't have it all for $150, and some sacrifices were made to get to that price point. Overall, performance, including storage, was solid all around. The UEFI was easy to use, and overclocking was no more complicated than on more expensive motherboard. If you are looking for a lot of bang for your buck, the X370 Krait Gaming is definitely worth a look.
The Bottom Line: MSI's X370 Krait Gaming chimes in at an extremely low price point with a healthy feature set and unique aesthetic design.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and X370 Krait Gaming Overview]
- Page 3 [MSI X370 Krait Gaming Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [MSI X370 Krait Gaming Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]