MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to “gaming” bias

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

Game Series motherboards from MSI’s enjoyed steady popularity, familiarity with the updated line of products based on Intel Z270 we decided to start with a simple average model having the index «M5». The minimum number of additional features allow it to focus on the features of the new galaxy devices, looking ahead, really a lot of changes.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 is a full-featured product with a small number of bonuses and smoothly simplifications in the design. The power system looks quite convincing. Additionally attracted controller for USB 3.1 ports on the rear panel. Looking at the senior card, then find auxiliary buttons for open stand or multipoint activator simplified overclocking. A common set of features collected in the table below:

ModelMSI Z270 Gaming M5 (MS-7A78 VER: 1.0)
The official product page on the
chipsetIntel Z270
Processor socketSocket 1151
processorsCore i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium, Celeron (Skylake-S, Kaby Lake-S)
Memory4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2600 * / 2800 * / 3000 * / 3200 * / 3600 * / 3800 * (OC), a maximum of 64 GB
PCI-E slot2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 + x0, x8 + x8)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4)
3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1
M.21 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280)
Integrated graphics core (processor)Intel HD 510/530/610/630
the video inputDisplayPort, HDMI
Number of connected fans6x 4pin
PS / 2 ports1 (keyboard / mouse)
USB Ports2 x 3.1 Gen2 (2 connector on the rear panel (A and C), ASM2142)
6 x 3.1 Gen1 (2 connector on the rear panel, Z270)
7 x 2.0 (3 connectors on the rear panel, Z270)
Serial ATA6 x SATA 6Gb / s (Z270)
RAID0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z270)
0, 1 (M.2 PCI-E, Z270)
Integrated audioAudio Boost 4:
Codec – Realtek ALC1220 (7.1, HDA)
Op Amp – Texas Instruments OPA1652
S / PDIFOptical (output)
networking opportunitiesQualcomm Atheros Killer E2500 (Gigabit Ethernet)
COM1 (internal)
Form FactorATX
Dimensions in mm305 x 244
Additional FeaturesPOST-indicator contacts for measuring voltage, EZ Debug LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA LED), support for AMD 3-Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI, U.2 port block for connection of RGB LED ribbon, button the BIOS Flashback +, M.2 Shield
Retail price, $241

MSI Z270 Gaming M5: Packaging equipment

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

Making boxes have not changed, and it is quite catchy, the board itself is partially displayed on the front side.

Behind there is a complete picture of MSI Z270 Gaming M5 and the characteristics of the table, made emphasis on the included software suite. Assured the support of five hundred sets of memory, because the user is unlikely to encounter problems (in) compatibility.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

Inside the box there:

  • User’s Guide, which details are illustrated and described in subparagraphs UEFI (in English);
  • multi-lingual Quick Install Guide;
  • CD with drivers and proprietary software;
  • sticker with MSI Gaming Series logo;
  • customer registration card;
  • an extension cord to connect the LED tape;
  • four cable SATA 6Gb / s, two of which with the L-shaped connector on one end;
    Set of twelve labels for marking SATA cables;
  • plug housing, supplemented by a sticker in black tones with Symbols of all nests. Contact part papered with noise absorbing material;
  • one flexible bridge for SLI dual-card organization.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5: Appearance

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

I note the refusal of the bright colors in the design of a new product MSI Z270 Gaming M5, there were only monochrome motives. Also there was a decorative overlay, a new way of manufacturers to diversify the impression of familiarity with the board. Dimensions fit in ATX format, there are nine points of attachment.

On the back of a small number of soldered electronic components, which includes a group of white LEDs, located in the zone of the audio portion. All structural elements are reliable screw fastening.

Strap on the role of a simple chipset cooler was replaced by a bright design element. There is a “lightning” and five holes from the bottom, which will highlight the part of the body. The intensity of the received light is quite high.

To connect the drive has six classical SATA ports and one u.2.

Not without a pair of compact M.2. The top can take the device size 21100.

Lower rated at 2,280 or shorter. System resources are distributed between all these splendor, that is, the simultaneous operation of all ports is not possible.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

Iron Shield performs not only a decorative and, in fact, a protective function – thanks to the thermo cooler it can be called, however, the heat capacity of the solution will be low (but this implementation is better, I think, than nothing at all).

There are pads for connecting four cables from the hull USB sockets of the second and third generations.

Below is the POST code LED red glow after booting the PC there is displayed the CPU temperature.

Five white LEDs execution are in the upper right corner. It is a complex EZ Debug LED lamp and an active state XMP. Above the button is visible memory modules, allows you to flash the firmware, even when the processor is not installed (direct copying of competitors’ technology, but as a result of users only in scoring).

Configuration PCI-E slots unpretentious. Reinforced the resources sixteen lines from the CPU, the others work with PCH.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

The numbers seen on the strip, do not light up, even though such a move almost begs. Instead, the diodes are arranged with another PCI-E sockets edge, the only card in the composition of our stand enabled to make the appropriate instance of red luminescence.

For all slots for memory come up with a single shield cover already under him at the top of the board, there are four white LEDs, they are activated in accordance with the modules there.

AC and audio codec are wired in a conventional performance, they do not have personal shielding structures. There is only one instance of the operational amplifier.

Plastic pad extends even to the VRM heatsinks scheme! It looks a little truncated, probably more imagination in the implementation should be sought in the older products. It did not prevent the tower to install the cooler during testing.

The work is headed stabilizer PWM controller uPI Semiconductor uP9508 . Its standard features are described by the formula 3 + 2 “phase.” Actual execution has transformed this scheme is 4 + 1. To do this, we drew five external driver-doublers uP9516 (two are located on the front side and three more – on the back). Thus, eight channels implement a voltage regulator and two CPUs are provided for the needs of an integrated GPU. Power elements – from Niko Semiconductor. Each processing channel includes a pair of the form and PK616BA PK632BA. In GP within each channel has one and two PK616BA PK632BA .

Radiators power subsystem account for a number of edges, and the heat transmitter role assigned to the pads sufficient area. PCH cooler uses to contact the crystal thermal grease.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

The rear panel is not crowded, but MSI Z270 Gaming M5 of an average price range is nothing to complain about. There are two digital video outputs. Rack to connect the network cable provided with illuminated red. USB Outputs of different generations recite seven units, which for normal operation of the PC scenarios should suffice. There is a button to reset the settings. The HDMI port is added to the converter levels ASM1442 signals.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5: Features UEFI

Appearance firm UEFI, MSI has not changed. It is called the Click BIOS 5. To update the firmware provides a mechanism for M-Flash, exhaust us without comment.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

Basic mode allows detailed to learn about the system used in the processor, memory and storage devices. More here you can customize the work coolers enable XMP profile, or use the services of instant acceleration realized by engineers. Selected items from the shell can optionally collect in one of the five sections of its own.

Hardware Monitor component will show the current value of the four most important values ​​for acceleration voltages are also visible system +5 and +12 V (I wonder why this is forgotten characteristic of the magnitude +3.3)? Just six coolers can change momentum by scripts generated on the board. For pads CPU 1 and PUMP 1 is used exclusively interactive version, but the four system fans operate initially at a fixed speed, but for them, you can create individual profiles Artful work.

For delicate setup of the system provides advanced UEFI mode.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

Section overclocking initially hides part of the parameters, and to display them, you can go to the position of Expert.

Among the auxiliary machinery is interesting to see the profiles for acceleration (or fine tuning) of RAM.

In order to conduct their own experiments, also has a rich set of different parameters.

The reason for the joy of fans MSI products was the emergence LLC mechanism in voltage stabilizer.

For clarity, all the important parameters I’ve collected in the whole table.

Six profiles are provided to save the settings. Interactive browser components showed full functionality.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

MSI Z270 Gaming M5: Software

There are a number of innovations in the set of utilities. In fact, the kit itself is largely similar to the former, as an example we can recall MSI MPower Gaming Z170A the Titanium .

I recommend to start discovering the Live Update 6. You can download and then install the latest (available on the company’s servers) drivers or utilities. In the future, the program will periodically check for updates of the same products.

Branded shell to modify UEFI settings called the Command Center. There are no innovations for myself, I did not mention. She is able to fold into a compact box. The mechanism for adjusting the fans a little different from what is proposed in the UEFI.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

Useful tabs may be Hardware Monitor, and Real-time Onboard Temperature Sensors Control, where you can see the current values ​​of the voltages, the temperature board, CPU coolers and the frequency of rotation.

DPC Latency Tuner is a separate utility to work with a more fine-tuning, but in his beginning it all just based solely on the UEFI capabilities.

Dragon Eye – corporate tool for overlay – or rather the output video from YouTube and Twitch.

Fast Boot – a simple mechanism for instant contact with UEFI environment immediately after reboot.

Adjusting the PC experience in OS environment through various support mechanisms implemented forces MSI Gaming APP. As with the Command Center, on this point, there is nothing new not offered.

A little more to tell you about the backlight system. Algorithm illumination affects only work area cooler PCH. The choice of color implies serious limitations against other RGB LED-backlights. And a little bit own scripts. Disabling triggers for all nodes on the board, equipped with LEDs.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

RAMDisk has a friendly interface and works immediately after installation.

MSI Smart Tool is preparing a medium for the procedure painless installation of Windows 7.

X-Boost controls the disk subsystems. The use of ready-made profiles allow certain scripts to activate the whole system in the complex, but no change in the frequency or impact on the volume of I have not noticed, perhaps, a new utility needs work.

The company has prepared a new Realtek codec, which once took up all the motherboard manufacturers. ALC1220 management is based on the company’s own development. Auto impedance is a little different, if you recall a recent survey ASUS the Maximus the IX Hero . In fact, there are three different profiles for bundles with the OS, but the choice can be made independently. Marketed extreme mode with a sampling frequency of 192 kHz and a quantization to 32 bits. As to the sound, I was pleasantly surprised by the presentation of the material, remembering the best solutions on the ALC889, which I have heard. There is no frequency dips or dryness inherent cheaper codecs.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

For even more emotion from the audio content suggested to use Nahimic 2. There are several ready-made sections, corresponding to a particular scenario, the computer operation, given the most attention, of course, games. It is also possible to do and adjusting various dedicated developers conventional component groups.

Several looks scary new interface to interact with the Killer NIC and the delineation of priorities among the applications that access the network. Slightly reminiscent of the days of Windows 98, but the main essence and content of the tabs remain unchanged. Deep virtually no settings here.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to "gaming" bias

MSI Z270 Gaming M5: Overclocking potential

For the tests was involved retail copy of the Core i7-7700K, who worked full-time without having to replace the thermal interface, this fact is a major limitation when searching for the maximum frequency.

In consideration of the payment of ready scripts for CPU overclocking, there is only one profile Game Boost. Its activation leads to the use of XMP memory, including the increased voltage – to 1.35 V. saving technologies are disabled, operation mode of CPU coolers 1 and PUMP 1 translates into maximum productivity. There is a growing frequency of the CPU – to a value of 4.8 GHz, but the use of AVX will lower the bar to 4.4 GHz. I would also like acting immodestly high values ​​for the auxiliary CPU IO and SA.

The voltage on the nuclei does not exceed 1.3 V, but this line proved to be irresistible to the selected instance of the processor, because after three minutes of clock cycles pass LinX activated as a result of overheating, although the frequency and amounted to only 4.4 GHz. For simpler tasks at around 4.8 GHz, there were no problems.

Increased frequency of BLCK with full system performance ended at the border 363.5 MHz.

However, no specific approach has not been used. In addition to lowering the main factors, rose only four voltage manually and fixed configuration for the delay RAM.

Experiments with an increase in the frequency of the CPU is successfully completed only at a frequency of 4728 MHz. However, operating at 3152 MHz memory system to work on the verge of overheating. Once I eventually face with a particular behavior of the MSI board, it had to recall now. Each “cold” system start-up leads to a new interpretation of the set parameters, the most “distinguished” in this time stamp DRAM Voltage. In the “1.3 V” the final number could take a value of 1.35 V, and much less as it was, for example, when the final experiment – 1.31 V. CPU SA shall not be affected, and IO increased to 1 05 V.

Abundance profiles LLC for the best scenario for the test, it turned out to Mode 4. In this mode, the CPU voltage level was recorded as the most stable, and she was equal to the value of 1,265 V.

Excellent stabilization is visible and on schedule system power consumption, the boundaries have kept within the limits of 52-192 watts. Maximum heat stabilizer plate was 73 ° C, and the radiators (more precisely, the plastic pad, located on top of them) is not warmed above 43 ° C.

Having learned the nature of memory voltage regulator, talk about significant progress in the overclocking DRAM is not necessary. Using a proven set 17-18-18-39-2T kind of delay, it managed to take the barrier of 3415 MHz. Not a bad result, considering the possibility of regular set, but before he had seen on other boards marks a few far. The actual voltage of the module was 1.5 V, and the CPU IO had to raise up to high of 1.32 V. What pleased, so this alone device behavior – I never had to reset CMOS, because in the event of a failed BIOS POST a reboot system proposal to modify the settings.

And this time, the stress test results showed dismal stabilization of the memory voltage, so high overclocking results (if they are really important) better look to another product.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5: Test results

Before starting the test only the change to the system setup – XMP activation of the memory module pair. CPU frequency is 4.5 GHz for all load types, as in the previous trial participants. The value of BCLK was a bit overstated – to 100.3 MHz, because the novelty may well seize the subtle advantage.

Let’s start with the analysis of the results of measurements of the memory subsystem performance.

A test by a few percent behind the rest of our colleagues, although the latency in the order.

Perform simple calculations in no way responded to the identified just feature.

Approximation to the real load benchmarks outlined the picture only in bright colors, appear to be affected by the increased number of reference frequency.

Fresh assembly 3DMark emerging trends in tightening the system performance to the onetime marks (as in version 2.0), which is to be tested, then again no comment there.

Adequate results are recorded in an old game.

Several indicators have surprised to the high settings in GTA V, many times I spent measurements, but they were disappointing. Taking into account the individuality of a puncture, then the wine rather the developers of the test scenario (results vary significantly each time it is started). In other modes of the system to function properly.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5: Power systems

Measurements were carried out after completion of all other tests in the “well-established” computer mode, using the instrument of its own design. To create a load profile was used In-place large FFTs composed Prime95 utility (28.10). Calculation produces the mean consumption of the test stand “from the wall” during the eight minutes of the program, and then, after completion of the test, was measured for a minute the level corresponding to the state of system downtime.

Activation XMP reveals problems in the functioning of the memory subsystem on the board, because immediately grow to incredible marks auxiliary CPU SA (up to 1.37 V) and IO (up to 1.34 V). Our kit of RAM worked with smaller levels, even when overclocking, apparently, the developers it safe from possible problems with other, less compliant modules. The voltage at the processor does not exceed 1.26 V to PCH and all were full-time. All this no doubt affected the elevated level of energy consumption, the good, the computer acted entirely stable and the performance was good.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5: Conclusion

As our acquaintance, MSI Z270 Gaming M5 is consistent with its class. Of special qualities highlight the implementation of a new sound system. Pleased LLC profiles for CPU power supply subsystem is no problem with its acceleration should not be here. Yes, special heights without “scalping” is no longer to achieve, but this is not true enthusiasts scare.

For fluctuating customer product can be attractive simple setup procedure to UEFI, also do not forget about a set of programs. As for the ubiquitous lighting, here it issued even noticeable, but did not provide a mechanism for the full implementation of the fantasies. For overclocking clothed only have one profile, and it is quite optimistic for ordinary retail processors.

As for the memory subsystem, the overclocking of RAM modules is possible, but requires a high voltage, however, even XMP activation leads to the same steps. For the final consumption of the entire computer is a tall. However, no questions to the stability of the system was not expected productivity was also high.

Whatever it was, at the time of the announcement of the new MSI motherboards have time to prepare well, I do not see any obvious limitations for product recommendations wide range of users.

Source: msi

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 review motherboard: redesigned mid-range solution to “gaming” bias was last modified: January 16th, 2017 by Tomas Shellby