The Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC model from MSI has already visited our laboratory, and after working with it, the emotions remained positive. Today we’re going to take a look at another mainboard from this company’s mid-price category in an attempt to find out how much they differ from each other. Our guest is rooted in models that literally became the starting point at the base of the “gaming” boards segment, but today the understanding of the subject has already noticeably transformed. At that time, a status device was necessarily equipped with a Killer network adapter, the sound system had to differ from others by the presence of an operational amplifier, all this was flavored with backlight penetrating through the etched area of the textolite. This entire set is presented here, and the role of the bonus controller went to the chip from ASMedia with support for USB 3.1 Gen2 outputs.
You can also recall the outgoing beginning of those boards from a series of overclocking products. From the latter, here you can find a controller for POST codes and points for measuring operating voltages. We will tell you more about the possibilities below, but for starters, you can look at the table with the main characteristics.
|Model||MSI Z370 Gaming M5 (MS-7B58 VER:1.0)|
|Official product page on the Web||msi.com|
|Processor socket||Socket 1151|
|Processors||Core i7, Core i5, Core i3 (Coffee Lake-S)|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2667/2800*/3000*/3200*/3300*/3333*/3400*/3466*/3600*/3733*/3866*/4000+*(OC), 64 GB maximum|
|PCI slots||2 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.2||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA 6Gb/s (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA 6Gb/s (Key M, 2242/2260/2280)
|Integrated video core (in the processor)||Intel UHD 630|
|Video connectors||DisplayPort, HDMI|
|Number of connected fans||6x 4pin|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||2 x 3.1 Gen2 (2 connectors on the rear panel (A and C), ASM3142)
6 x 3.1 Gen1 (2 connectors on the rear panel, Z370)
7 x 2.0 (3 connectors on the rear panel, Z370)
|Serial ATA||6 x SATA 6Gb/s (Z370)|
|RAID||0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z370), 0, 1 (M.2 PCI-E, Z370)|
|Built-in sound||Audio Boost 4:
Codec — Realtek ALC1220 (7.1, HDA)
Op Amp — Texas Instruments OPA1652
|Networking||Rivet Networks Killer E2500 (Gigabit Ethernet)|
|Dimensions, mm||305 x 244|
|Additional features||POST indicator, voltage measurement pins, EZ Debug LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, BOOT LED), RGB LED strip connector (+12V, 5050), Flash BIOS Button, M.2 Shield, AMD 3- support Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI|
|Retail price, $||225|
Packaging and equipment
The starry sky and the Enthusiast Gaming logo will welcome the future owner of the device. Immediately on the front of the box, you can quite accurately see the idea of organizing the backlight for this model, against the background of other modern products, it can be described as very restrained.
On the reverse side, there is a diagram of I / O ports and a table with the main characteristics. Emphasis is placed primarily on the hardware component, but software bonuses are also indicated.
The delivery set is as follows:
- user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
- multilingual quick installation guide;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- buyer registration card;
- set of twelve labels for labeling SATA cables;
- four SATA 6Gb / s cables, two of which have an L-shaped connector on one of the ends;
- double hard bridge for organizing SLI;
- MSI Gaming Series logo sticker;
- extension cord for connecting LED strip;
- plug for the body, complete with a black sticker with the symbolic designation of all sockets. The back part is pasted over with noise-absorbing material.
You can beat around the bush for a long time, but in fact we have a simplified model of the previous generation — MSI Z270 Gaming M5. Namely, they got rid of ports like U.2 and COM, while not compensating for their absence in any way. Otherwise, these are twin boards. There are nine holes for mounting in the case, the dimensions correspond to the ATX standard.
Unless, the LEDs soldered on the back side are now multi-colored.
The cooler of the hub has not changed, a decorative overlay is mounted on a thick base, from under which light will ooze out.
The upper seat for M.2 format devices allows installation of the most overall models.
Equipped with a branded cooler, the lower nest has a length limit of up to 8 cm.
There are no questions about the area of \u200b\u200bthe thermo-sticky tape.
All six SATA outputs are side-to-side, as is one adjacent Generation 3 male header for a chassis USB cable.
There is another one of the same version, but already transverse, two outputs for cables of the second USB revision are also soldered. The symmetrical design type, which is increasingly in demand in modern cases, is not here.
For those who like to conduct experiments, the Flash BIOS Button technology may come in handy, for its needs there is a separate button soldered at the top of the board. Four red LEDs are prepared above the memory slots; they inform about the mounted modules. Closer to the main power socket there is the same indicator, lit when the XMP status is active, four more LEDs form the EZ Debug LED diagnostic complex. Near them there are areas for measuring the operating voltages.
The two-segment POST code indicator also glows red; in system operation mode, it displays the processor temperature.
As before, the numbers on the plastic cover are not illuminated; on the contrary, all long PCI-E slots are equipped with a personal indicator that informs you about the current speed on each of the sockets in the color of your work. Sixteen PCI-E lanes can be evenly distributed among the shielded ones, and the rest, black, are connected to the PCH.
The organization of the site with the multicontroller, network adapter and sound codec has not changed at all. Here we used ALC1220 from Realtek without any shielding structures. There is also one auxiliary op-amp, which will work if only the sockets on the front of the case are used.
The design of the decorative overlay has changed slightly, and new chokes have also appeared in the structure of the voltage stabilizer.
The stabilizer itself is made without significant changes, the circuit is the same — 8 + 2 “phases”, a uPI Semiconductor uP9508 PWM controller and five external uP1961 doubler drivers. The transistors are not the same as before, they are the same as in another modern model. The pairs are built from ON Semiconductor products — NTMFS4C029N and NTMFS4C024N. For the voltage of the integrated GPU, two pieces of NTMFS4C024N and one NTMFS4C029N are used in each channel.
There are no questions about the quality of the clamp and the area of the thermal pads.
The layout of the rear panel has also not changed a bit compared to the representative of the previous generation; compared with a slightly more expensive and modern one, it turned out to be one less USB output. The CMOS reset button will be illuminated in blue, and the network output rack will be illuminated in red. Given the segmentation of the product by the manufacturer, there are no comments to make here, the set as a whole is sufficient.