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The MSI Z170A GAMING M3 ATX Motherboard features an LGA 1151 socket as well as four DIMM slots and two PCIe x16 slots, so you can build an AMD CrossFire gaming system with an Intel 6th-generation Skylake processor and up to 64GB of DDR4 of ECC RAM. This motherboard is also compatible with integrated Intel graphics chipsets, which output visuals via the motherboard's DVI-D and HDMI ports. Other than the PCIe x16 slots, two PCIe 3.0 x1 and three PCI slots allow you create a versatile Windows system with optional expansion cards. For storage and optical drive support, it comes with six SATA III and two SATA Express connectors along with an M.2 slot, which delivers bandwidths up to 32 Gb/s. Moreover, MSI provides Game Boost that enables Intel's Extreme Memory Profile to overclock the RAM modules.
This motherboard comes with Audio Boost 3 with Nahimic Sound technology to deliver clear sound and music through 8-channel HD audio jacks. MSI has equipped this motherboard with two USB 3.1 Type-A ports that transfer data at a rate of 10 Gb/s. It is also outfitted with four USB 2.0 and four USB 3.0 ports as well as a PS/2 combo port to connect with your peripherals such as a printer, external drive, and keyboard. To access the Internet, it includes a Killer Gigabit LAN controller that has been enhanced with Advanced Stream Detect 2.0, which maximizes the networking performance for your online games.
MSI introduces DDR4 Boost technology with optimized traces and fully isolated memory circuitry. This design ensures the memory signals stay pure for optimal performance and stability. Moreover, an added XMP LED highlights the active Extreme Memory profile.
Killer Ethernet E2400
The Killer E2400 Intelligent Networking platform features Stream Detect 2.0, which is built for maximizing networking performance for online games and high-quality streaming media. The Killer LAN automatically detects and accelerates game traffic ahead of other network traffic for smoother, stutter-free in-game performance. The MSI Gaming LAN manager lets you change the application's traffic priority and customize the bandwidth for each application. Featuring 15K V anti-surge protection, LAN Protect is a LAN connector designed to shield your network from lightning strikes and static electricity. It's highlighted with a red LED inside the RJ45 jack to show its functionality.
Audio Boost 3
With premium audio components and Nahimic Sound technology, this motherboard offers studio grade sound by delivering clear sound and music through 8-channel HD audio or high impendence headphones. This motherboard comes with golden audio jacks, Chemi-Con audio capacitors, and dual headphone amplifiers as well as an isolated audio PCB, an EMI-shielded HD audio processor, and a front dedicated headphone out connector.
You can overclock the system with one push of a button using Game Boost. It also lets you enable XMP with the XMP button in Click BIOS.
MSI offers you a Gaming Hotkey utility program that enables more functionality using your own keyboard. Simply assign functions or macros to any key and launch your favorite games, load overclocking profiles or perform real-time overclocking with the push of a single button. It provides MSI Smart keys so you can log in with one key press.
USB 3.1 enables 10 Gb/s speeds.
2x faster than USB 3.0
20x faster than USB 2.0
10 Gb/s data transfer bandwidth
Boost the transfer rate between your PC and peripherals
Two USB 3.0 Headers
This motherboard comes with a USB 3.0 header so you can connect your case's front USB 3.0 ports. These ports allow you to enjoy USB speeds without having to use the rear USB ports. The USB 3.0 header comes built with protective ICs that prevent damage caused by Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) from plugging or unplugging USB devices.
SATA Express offers a bandwidth of up to 10 Gb/s utilizing PCI Express. For faster data transfers, a Turbo M.2 slot delivers speeds up to 32 Gb/s, which is five times faster than a SATA III connection. With a PCI x4 M.2 SSD, the system will boot up nearly instantaneously and your applications will run faster. MSI has an optional U.2 host card adapter for the M.2 slot, so the motherboard can support 2.5" SSDs using the U.2 connector.
OC Essentials is a set of tools that help provide the best performance out of your motherboard. These features increase stability, assist in trouble shooting, and allow you to keep your complete system in check as well as simple management.
EZ Debug LED - comes with three LEDs that indicate the CPU, memory, and VGA operations every time you boot the system, allowing for easy diagnostics
Slow Mode - helps defeat booting issues when overclocking at extremely high CPU frequencies. A switch temporary decreases the CPU ratio below stock settings, letting you boot to Windows
This motherboard has built-in protection that prevents overcurrent and short-circuits of the CPU and other components. A red LED near the 24 pin CPU power connector let's you know that overcurrent protection is activated for easier troubleshooting.
Military Class 5 Components
This motherboard uses high quality components such as a Titanium Choke and a DrMOS mosfet along with Hi-c CAPs and Dark CAPs.
Titanium Choke - uses a Titanium core that has a better ability in thermal as well as higher temperature tolerances. This allows it to run at 428°F / 220°C, have a 40% higher current capacity, a 30% improvement in power efficiency, and better overclocking power stability
Dark Caps - feature an aluminum core design as well as provide lower Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) and over a 10-year lifespan
MSI has provided circuit protection for this motherboard by outfitting it with high quality materials, multiple PCB layers, and shielding. For key components, they have passed military testing to ensure stable operation in a harsh environment. MSI has also protected the I/O ports against Electro Static Discharge. In addition, the motherboard meets FCC regulations and produces less Electromagnetic Interference than other motherboards.
AMD CrossFire Support
Multiple PCIe x16 slots are available to support a CrossFire setup. Furthermore, the connection between these slots and the PCB has more reinforced solder points to provide strength and protect the signals against electromagnetic interference.
Click BIOS 5
MSI Click BIOS 5 is optimized for Windows 10. You can control your system in two modes: EZ mode provides frequently used settings and functions, while Advanced mode offers detailed settings and fine-tuning options to boost your system's performance. It's also easy-to-use and has high-resolution multi language scalable fonts as well as advanced overclocking options.
Gaming Port Features
The PS/2 and USB gaming device ports feature three times more gold than regular connectors and offer ten times longer lifespan when plugging and unplugging devices. They are also better equipped to prevent oxidation.
MSI Mouse Master software lets you customize your mouse's DPI to change the accuracy and program macro combinations. The MSI Gaming app allows simultaneous control of both your motherboard and graphics card's overclocking. It features a transparent overlay over your application to provide on-screen speeds and temperatures. You can monitor in real time the GPU core, DRAM frequency, GPU & CPU temperatures, and more. Another included app which is similar is CPU-Z, but offers greater details about your system. MSI also gives you RAMDisk so you can create a virtual drive from your system memory. This drive offers speeds up to twenty-five times faster than SSDs. It can also prolong the life of your SSD by reducing unnecessary read and write operations.
In the Box
MSI Z170A GAMING M3 ATX Motherboard
Drivers and Utilities Disc
Limited 3-Year Warranty
Table of Contents
Supports 6th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors along with Intel Pentium and Celeron processors for Socket LGA1151
Intel Z170 Chipset
4 x DDR4 memory slots support up to 64 GB Supports DDR4 3600(OC)/3200(OC)/3000(OC)/2800(OC)/2600(OC)/2400/2133 MHz Dual channel memory architecture Supports ECC, un-buffered memory Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots 2 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots 3 x PCI slots
1 x HDMI port, supports a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz, 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz 1 x DVI-D port, supports a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz Supports 2-Way AMD CrossFire technology
Intel Z170 Express Chipset 6 x SATA 6 Gb/s ports 1 x M.2 slot, support PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA III standards 1.7", 2.4", 3.1" (42.0 mm, 60.0 mm, 80.0 mm) length M.2 SSD cards Supports PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe Mini-SAS SSD with optional Turbo U.2 Host Card 2 x SATA Express ports Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10 Supports Intel Smart Response Technology for Intel Core processors
Intel Z170 Chipset 2 x USB 3.1 (SuperSpeed USB 10 Gb/s) 6 x USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed USB) (4 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB connector) 4 x USB 2.0 (High-speed USB) (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB connectors)
Realtek ALC1150 Codec 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio Supports S/PDIF output
1 x Killer E2400 Gigabit LAN controller
Internal I/O Connectors
1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector 1 x 8-pin ATX 12 V power connector 6 x SATA 6 Gb/s connectors 2 x SATA Express connectors 1 x USB 2.0 connector (support additional 2 USB 2.0 ports) 1 x USB 3.0 connector (supports additional 2 USB 3.0 ports) 2 x 4-pin CPU fan connectors 3 x 4-pin system fan connectors 1 x Front panel audio connector 2 x Front panel connectors 1 x TPM module connector 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector 1 x Clear CMOS jumper 1 x Serial port connector 1 x Parallel port connector 1 x Slow mode switch
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse port 2 x USB 2.0 ports 1 x DVI-D port 1 x HDMI port 2 x USB 3.1 ports 4 x USB 3.0 ports 1 x LAN (RJ45) port 1 x Optical S/PDIF OUT connector 5 x OFC audio jacks
The motherboard BIOS provides "Plug & Play" BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically. The motherboard provides a Desktop Management Interface (DMI) function that records your motherboard specifications.