Review: MSI Z170A Mpower Gaming Titanium motherboard

Black and red is so 2015. This season’s mothertboard colours are lighter, and perhaps, like this one, metallic. There’s no doubt that MSI’s new Z170A Mpower Gaming Titanium looks the bomb. Every part of it is coated with a silvery white metallic substance, and that look is enhanced with metal reinforcement of the PCI and DIMM slots, and a full-sized slab of metal that covers the back of the motherboard.

The Z170A Mpower Gaming Titanium sits just below MSI’s similarly-styled and specced Z170A Xpower board, with the main feature difference being a loss of the Xpower’s included SATA-Express ports, but seeing as that standard is effectively a dead duck there’s no real loss, and for the saving of around $50 we consider it a double win.

I chose this board to build a new PC to use as my daily work machine and occasional reviews testbed. Part of the appeal is its 11-phase CPU VRM, as I’m using a K-series CPU and every bit of OC capability is welcome.

This board’s strong point is connectivity. For SSDs, you get a pair of M.2 interfaces as well as another U.2 port, plus six standard SATA ports. That’s all the future-proofing I need for adding in next-gen SSDs over time, and testing them for PC&TA. Seven USB 3.0 ports and a pair of USB 3.1 ports (one Type-A and one Type-C) are included too, so it’s especially generous for high speed connectivity.

At around $420 it sits against the Asus ROG line and the higher end of Gigabyte’s Gaming range. Most importantly, it’s cheaper than the aforementioned MSI Xpower, yet has all the important features of that high-end product but with the same appealing aesthetics. For a new Skylake build that looks a bit different and doesn’t compromise of ports and storage connectivity it’s one very nice board to base a new system on.

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