Packaging and Overview
The box and packaging are just as colorful as the motherboard itself!
The accessory package includes four SATA cables, MSI's AERO 4x M.2 card, WIFI antenna, IO shield, RGB extension splitter, three thermal probes, addressable RGB LED extensions, SLI HB bridge, stickers, manual, and bag.
There are a total of 10 fan headers on the motherboard. Two of them are default PWM mode and located at the top of the motherboard, they are circled in red. Eight of them are default DC mode and are circled in blue. Three temperature input ports are located on the motherboard and they are circled in green. All fan headers are hybrid DC/PWM headers, so you can change their modes. The motherboard features a pretty interesting, almost angelic theme. The back of the motherboard has some components on there.
The rear IO panel Clear CMOS button, BIOS recovery button, nine USB 3.0 ports, WIFI antenna connectors, two Gbit LAN ports, USB 3.0 type-C, and gold plated 7.1 audio ports with S/PDIF out.
The PCI-E layout is quite simple as there are so many PCI-E lanes from the CPU that switching of bandwidth is almost non-existent board-wide. The first and third metal reinforced x16 slots offers x16 PCI-E 3.0 full time, while the other two offers x8 PCI-E 3.0 all the time. Spacing is a bit weird, but optimized for two or three cards. All M.2 slots are x4 PCI-E and support SATA as well. They all have heat sinks too.
You need to unscrew a few screws from the PCH heat sink to access the M.2 ports. There are eight SATA6Gb/s ports on the motherboard as well as two right-angled USB 3.0 internal headers.
You also get a USB 3.1 type-C internal header. We find two USB 2.0 internal headers near power and reset buttons. We also find an OC knob for auto overclocking, and a POST code display for debugging. There is an addressable RGB LED header on the motherboard as well, and an RGB LED header in the bottom right corner of the motherboard.
Near the MOLEX power connector for extra power, we find an RGB LED header. At the top right corner of the motherboard we find two 8-pin power connectors, an RGB LED header, and a Corsair/addressable RGB LED header.
The heat sinks on this motherboard are well built, but use mass rather than fins.
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