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MSI Z270I Gaming Pro Carbon AC Review

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bawjaws 7th February 2017, 10:56 Quote
Oh, this is timely as I'm in the market for an mITX board. That said, it's a bit expensive for my tastes. I'm a bit surprised that Asus don't have an equivalent to their Z170i Pro Gaming, as that was the best Z170 mITX board imo, and I don't want to pay £200 for the equivalent the Maximus VIII impact.

Any chance you guys might be reviewing some of the Z270 mITX alternatives soon? :)
Omnislip 7th February 2017, 11:33 Quote
I just hope that bit-tech jump on the earliest Ryzen ITX boards that get released - most sites are bound to focus on the crazy expensive ATX ones.
bawjaws 7th February 2017, 11:42 Quote
Yeah, I'm particularly interested in what AMD can bring to the ITX scene.
Combatus 7th February 2017, 12:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bawjaws
Oh, this is timely as I'm in the market for an mITX board. That said, it's a bit expensive for my tastes. I'm a bit surprised that Asus don't have an equivalent to their Z170i Pro Gaming, as that was the best Z170 mITX board imo, and I don't want to pay £200 for the equivalent the Maximus VIII impact.

Any chance you guys might be reviewing some of the Z270 mITX alternatives soon? :)

Asus didn't rule out an Impact appearing at some point so whether or not the ROG Strix Z270I Gaming is its replacement is still open to debate, especially as Gigabyte will be releasing a more high end ITX board soon a while after the Kaby Lake NDA last month... However, yes we will be looking at more ITX boards :)
bawjaws 7th February 2017, 13:10 Quote
It'll be pretty disappointing if the Z270I is the replacement for the Z170I given that the latter costs £140 and the former is £200, but I guess the naming convention makes sense. Presumably that means that an Impact would be £250-ish which is madness imo.

I'd also be interested in a review of some non-Z270 mITX kit - although it's obviously good to have a 7600K and overclock the nuts off it, I'd be keen to see how a non-K i5 plus cheaper board (B250 or similar) would fare in your benchmarks and in terms of bang-per-buck.
ChaosDefinesOrder 7th February 2017, 13:20 Quote
Something worth mentioning/stressing about this board is that it has internal headers for BOTH USB 2.0 and 3.0 vs. Asus Z270i Strix with only USB 3.0 (and a 3.1 header with no cables available on the market - only Lian Li have a header-to-C cable and it's not available to buy yet!)

This is important for AIO Hydro coolers where they use a USB 2.0 header for control (e.g. Corsair H80i Link thingy) so you cannot plug this into the Asus Z270i as well as USB 3.0 front panel without a ridiculous adapter mess, but you can with this MSI board!
edzieba 7th February 2017, 13:59 Quote
It's a fairly bog-standard ITX board. Of the Z270 ITX boards announced so far, the only two real standouts are the Asus RoG Strix Z270I, which has dual m.2 slots with one on the front with a heatsink and one on the back, and the ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac, which is the only Z270 ITX board to have Thunderbolt (and unlike the Asus has a useful number of USB3 ports).
23RO_UK 7th February 2017, 17:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by edzieba
It's a fairly bog-standard ITX board. Of the Z270 ITX boards announced so far, the only two real standouts are the Asus RoG Strix Z270I, which has dual m.2 slots with one on the front with a heatsink and one on the back, and the ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac, which is the only Z270 ITX board to have Thunderbolt (and unlike the Asus has a useful number of USB3 ports).

Spot on +1

The AsRock Fatal1ty or the RoG Strix are the picks of the litter just now - Don't get me wrong, the styling and features of some of the other MSI boards are brilliant; that one however is merely average in light of the competition.
Combatus 7th February 2017, 22:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
Something worth mentioning/stressing about this board is that it has internal headers for BOTH USB 2.0 and 3.0 vs. Asus Z270i Strix with only USB 3.0 (and a 3.1 header with no cables available on the market - only Lian Li have a header-to-C cable and it's not available to buy yet!)

This is important for AIO Hydro coolers where they use a USB 2.0 header for control (e.g. Corsair H80i Link thingy) so you cannot plug this into the Asus Z270i as well as USB 3.0 front panel without a ridiculous adapter mess, but you can with this MSI board!

Thanks for the heads up on that ChaosDefinesOrder - we'll certainly mention it when we look at the board.
Maki role 7th February 2017, 23:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
Something worth mentioning/stressing about this board is that it has internal headers for BOTH USB 2.0 and 3.0 vs. Asus Z270i Strix with only USB 3.0 (and a 3.1 header with no cables available on the market - only Lian Li have a header-to-C cable and it's not available to buy yet!)

This is important for AIO Hydro coolers where they use a USB 2.0 header for control (e.g. Corsair H80i Link thingy) so you cannot plug this into the Asus Z270i as well as USB 3.0 front panel without a ridiculous adapter mess, but you can with this MSI board!

The lack of USB2 headers on so many motherboards nowadays is really quite annoying. They're really handy for connecting up modern "smart" components. Coolers, PSUs, fans etc. all come with USB2 headers now. So it's very frustrating that now we have all the devices, yet the ports are disappearing. Sure you can just live without these features, but some are nice. Setting up custom fan profiles for PSUs, monitoring power usage, RGB-blah-blah you name it, when they all work these things are rather pleasant to have.
bawjaws 14th February 2017, 22:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki role
The lack of USB2 headers on so many motherboards nowadays is really quite annoying. They're really handy for connecting up modern "smart" components. Coolers, PSUs, fans etc. all come with USB2 headers now. So it's very frustrating that now we have all the devices, yet the ports are disappearing. Sure you can just live without these features, but some are nice. Setting up custom fan profiles for PSUs, monitoring power usage, RGB-blah-blah you name it, when they all work these things are rather pleasant to have.

I've been doing a fair bit of browsing Z270 mITX boards and I have to agree with the above. I'm planning on using a Grid+ fan controller but it requires a USB2.0 header, which is causing me no end of headaches as a lot of the boards I've looked at just don't have a 2.0 header.
TheMadDutchDude 15th February 2017, 04:09 Quote
USB 2.0 is so last year. :D
Vault-Tec 15th February 2017, 08:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadDutchDude
USB 2.0 is so last year. :D

Tell that to my mic, Xbone controller (mate has a wireless and it's always running out mid session ffs, USB KVM switch, Phone charging cable and plotter. Oh yeah, and my Aune DAC AMP.

I only have one USB 3 device in my house :D and that's an external HDD, where the speed boost comes in handy.
bawjaws 15th February 2017, 08:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadDutchDude
USB 2.0 is so last year. :D

To be honest, for the Grid+ USB2 is the best solution - USB 3 headers and cables are far too bulky and most boards only have one such header and it's needed for the front panel. No idea why people would be hating on USB 2 headers, as they still have their uses (not for everyone, sure).
Maki role 15th February 2017, 09:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadDutchDude
USB 2.0 is so last year. :D

Would be okay with this were USB 3 headers not so ungodly massive. Can you imagine a CPU cooler with a USB 3 connection coming out from it? Hahaha
To
The alternative would be for manufacturers to populate the PCB with type c connectors etc.
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