Review – MSI Z170A SLI Plus
| Specs | Price
Back at MSI again today with another motherboard equipped with socket 1151, the Z170A SLI Plus! Unlike the models tested previously, the card today is not part of the so-called “gamers” models, indeed no colors that fart the retina, less pompous marketing while keeping almost all the functionalities. The program is compatible with the latest Intel “Skylake” processors of course, an ATX format and SLI / Crossfire compatibility.
Offered at a price of around € 130 at the time of writing, the Z170A SLI Plus is placed very slightly above the entry level with Intel Z170 chipset, let’s see what it has in its belly !
|MSI Z170A SLI Plus|
|Format||ATX (30,5 cm x 24,4 cm)|
|Socket||Intel LGA 1151|
|CPU||Intel Celeron / Pentium / Core i3 / Core i5 / Core i7|
|Chipset||Intel Z170 Express|
|Memory||4 x DDR4 2133 Mhz “Dual Channel”
Maximum of 64GB
Up to 3600 MHz (OC)
|Slots d’extensions||1 x PCIe 3.0 16X (working in 16X)
1 x PCIe 3.0 16X (working in 8X)
1 x PCIe 3.0 16X (working in 4X)
3 x PCIe 3.0 1X (working as 1X)
1 x M.2 PCIe x4 / Sata 6Gb, compatible NVMe
|Multi-GPU||NVIDIA® SLI™ 2-Way
AMD® CrossFire™ 3-Way
|Audio Chipset||Realtek® ALC1150 + high-end capacitors|
|Wired Network||1 x Intel® I219-V Gigabit LAN|
|Number of connectors for fans||5 x 4-pin PWM|
1 x M.2
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
2 x USB 2.0
|Video outputs||1 x HDMI
1 x DVI-D
1 x VGA
The MSI Z170A SLI Plus is therefore a motherboard in ATX format (30.5 x 24.4 cm) all that is more classic equipped with the Z170 chipset from Intel and therefore compatible with the overclocking of “K” processors (6600K and 6700K in this case) but also all 1151 processors (Celeron, Pentium, i3 to i7 ..). DDR4 memory is also part of the game with “Dual Channel” operation ranging from 2133 MHz to 3600 MHz (in overclocking mode), XMP support will allow easier configuration at the frequency and timings of the kits sold.
In terms of expansion ports, the Z17A SLI Plus has 3 PCIe 16x ports operating at 16x, 8x and 4x respectively, it is therefore highly recommended to connect the graphics card (in the case of a mono-GPU configuration) to the one that works in 16x (the first next to the processor). A multi-GPU configuration is possible with 2-card SLI compatibility at nVidia and 3-card Crossfire at AMD, in this case the PCIe ports will operate at 8x / 8x (or 16x / 0x / 4x if the second card is installed on the port on the farther) or 8x / 8x / 4x. The card can therefore accommodate a gamer config equipped with 2 graphics cards without the slightest problem.
In terms of the integrated components we find for the sound part a Realtek ALC1150 chipset accompanied by high-end capacitors, this will allow to have a completely correct sound. The network part is provided by an Intel I219-V Gigabit chipset, more upscale than the usual Realtek found on entry-level cards.
The storage is provided by 6 Sata 6Gb / s ports managed by the Intel Z170 chipset and an M.2 connector compatible with PCie 4x, Sata 6 Gb / S SSDs or even NVMe), nothing out of the ordinary if this is that there is no possibility here to install Sata Express peripherals there which is clearly not a big loss.
Offered at a price of around € 130, the technical characteristics show a card that clearly has all of what even an advanced user could want, only the most enthusiastic will want more 🙂
Far be it from me the idea of praising the aesthetics of a motherboard box, but there for once the total lack of marketing is extremely pleasing! No gaming in all directions, no stars to note the “performance” of the beast in games, only the make and model on a black background!
At the rear, it is expanded a bit with a listing of the strengths of the card (audio part, multi-GPU compatibility, high-end components, etc.), the technical characteristics as well as the rear connectors.
When opened, we fall directly on the motherboard packed in its antistatic bag.
Below the card is the entire bundle.
The bundle consists of:
- 1 x MSI Z170A SLI Plus motherboard
- 1 x Manuel
- 1 x quick installation guide
- 1 x DVD de drivers
- 1 x I / O plate
- 1 x pont SLI
- 4 X Sata cables
As we can see the card bundle is rather classic, there is no frills here, only the essential! The presence of 4 Sata cables is however appreciable when there are only 2 generally on a motherboard of this price.