CPU Cooler Fit and Included Accessories

CPU Cooler Fit

To test the amount of space surrounding the CPU socket, we mounted the Noctua NH-D15 cooler to the CPU socket. This behemoth CPU air cooler sports a dual fan construction cooling two huge vertical radiator towers.

The cooler mounts to the board with adequate room provided by the board design along all sides of the cooler, except for the left. The primary PCIe x16 slot is placed relatively close to the CPU socket, causing the cooler to impinge on the use of the card in the slot as shown in the picture from the back of the board.

The close-up views of the cooler mounting illustrates how well the VMM heat sink is designed, avoiding the coolers heat pipes with room to spare.

The Noctua hold down mechanism is large enough to quickly determine exactly how much space is available around the CPU socket. The Noctua mount fits to the socket area without issue.

The cooler's backplate rests on the socket backplate, minimizing the risk of direct board contact. Further, there is no risk of any back plate to board component contact even with a cooler back plate that extends further out than the Noctua plate.

Included Accessories

MSI includes in everything you need to get the board up and running with accessories for supporting the board's more esoteric features.

MSI bundles in several guides in with the Z170A-XPower Gaming Ti board, including the user guide detailing out motherboard setup and features, a quick setup guide, and a foldout detailing board features. Additionally, MSI includes all driver discs required for software installation, ATA cable labels, and a Gaming series case badge. The motherboard manuals contain more than enough information to get the board up and running with details on board features.

The rear panel shield has a flat black base with port identifying text and icons colored red to match the board's color scheme. The red text and icons are very clear and easy to read on the black background.

MSI included a total of six 6Gb/s rated SATA cables for use with the integrated port. The cables have integrated port locks and a mix of straight and 90 degree connectors.

For multi-GPU use, MSI includes a single multi-length two-way NVIDIA SLI cable.

The MSI OC Dashboard can be connected the OC Dashboard port on the board (just under the DIMM slots) for external control of various overclocking-related board features. The panel can be attached to the port directly or using the included cable with the back of the PCB protected by foam rubber strips. The OC Dashboard device integrates power, reset, power discharge, base clock up/down, ratio up/down, and fast boot buttons, as well as a Slow Mode boot switch for use with LN2 based overclocking. The power discharge button instantly discharges the board's capacitors and remnant power when pressed. It is recommended to only use this button with the PSU powered off via the PSU power switch or after the PSU power cables have been removed from the board. The Slow Mode Booting switch is used in conjunction with LN2-based cooling to force the board to boot at a slower and more stable CPU speed for testing.

The included V-Check cables plug into the ports in the V-Check Point assembly to give easy access for measuring board voltages directly. Instead of having to stick multi-meter leads directly into the assembly block, you attach them to these extension cables.

MSI included a CPU installation tool with the motherboard to ensure easy and proper CPU installation into the board's socket. You simply snap the plastic guide over top of the CPU and place the CPU in the socket. The plastic guide remains in place when you lock the CPU into the socket.

MSI also includes an Gaming series-themed door knob hanger in with the board.

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