MSI's Z170 GAMING M-Series Motherboards Shown Off
This week the inexorable Z170 motherboard tease continues as three more of MSI's upcoming motherboards are revealed. Members of the newly revamped GAMING M line, they're all linked by a red and black livery and aggressively styled heatsink designs.
MSI's Z170A GAMING M5 is the first of the three, featuring 10-phase CPU VRM, ten SATA/two SATA-Express storage ports, two 32Gb/s M.2 slots, AudioBoost III and Killer E2205 Gigabit Ethernet. The colour-scheme indicates support for 2-way SLI/Crossfire with compatibility for triple-slot coolers on the GPU. This moderate feature set indicates that it's far from a bog-standard board, and is likely well suited to casual overclocking and long-term upgrade-ability. As with most Z170-chipset motherboards USB 3.1/Type-C is standard.
Z170A GAMING M7 goes a step further. It adds four CPU VRM phases for a total of 14, integrates onboard OC switches, and now features the GAME BOOST pre-set overclock dial (insert Spinal Tap joke here). Obviously intended for more serious overclockers, it's nonetheless fully kitted out in gaming features.
The cream of the crop is MSI's Z170A GAMING M9 ACK. Its name is taken from the on-board Killer ACK WLAN (for which it also has back-panel antenna connectors), but goes all out in adding more elaborate cooling and aesthetic options. VRM heatsinks are watercooling ready thanks to a built-in inlet and outlet port, whilst the motherboard as a while is supported by a backplate covering the entire rear of the PCB (baring the socket mount points).
You may have noticed that these motherboards have adopted slightly new branding. Now known as MSI 'GAMING M-series', they're better differentiated from competitor products which also took on a 'Gaming' suffix in their series name. Not only that, the 'M' is also reminiscent of BMW's performance-led M-series branding; that's unlikely to be a coincidence.
MSI Z170 motherboards are due for release alongside Intel's next generation CPUs in the near future.