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Review: MSI Z170A Gaming M7

by Ryan Martin on 5 August 2015, 16:15

Tags: MSI

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Testing methodology

Comparison Motherboard Configurations

ASUS Z97 Pro Gamer
ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming
MSI Z170A Gaming M7
Chipset Revision
Intel Z97 Express
Intel Z170 Express
Intel Core i7-4790K
Intel Core i7-6700K
Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB DDR3 (2 x 8GB)
G.Skill RipJaws V 8GB DDR4 (2 x 4GB)
Memory Timings
9-10-9-27-2T @ 1,866MHz
15-15-15-36-2T @ 2,133MHz
Discrete Graphics
EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti (347.09 drivers)
EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti (353.62 drivers)
System Drive
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 SSD (240GB)
Corsair Force LX (512GB)
Test Drives
Corsair Neutron GTX (240GB) and Plextor M6E M.2 (256GB)
Lian Li PC-T60 test bench
Power Supply
Corsair AX760i
Operating System
Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
Windows 10 (64-bit)

CPU Benchmarks

HEXUS PiFast Our number-crunching benchmark stresses a single core by calculating Pi to 10m places
Cinebench Using Cinebench's multi-CPU render, this cross-platform benchmark stresses all cores
Handbrake Free-to-use video encoder that stresses all CPU cores (64-bit), 4K clip to 720p MP4.

Gaming Benchmarks

3DMark Firestrike, 1,920x1,080
Bioshock Infinite DX11, 1,920x1,080, ultra preset
Total War: Rome II DX11, 1,920x1,080, extreme preset

Memory Benchmarks

AIDA64 Engineer A comprehensive test of memory copy, latency, read and write performance

Storage Benchmarks

CrystalDiskMark Three runs of the sequential read and write preset on M.2, SATA and USB drives.

Audio Benchmarks

LatencyMon A Windows 8.x and 10 compatible DPC latency tester
Rightmark Audio Analyser Audio software that analyses a line-in line-out loop

Miscellaneous Benchmarks

Power Consumption Desktop idle and total system load using AIDA64 stress test


The Corsair Neutron GTX is used to test SATA and USB performance, and for USB performance the drive is placed within a USB 3.0 docking station. The Plextor M6E is used to test M.2 performance if a motherboard has an M.2 port.