In response to a few questions readers have brought up about the NICs on the MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming; this board to features the Killer xTend technology from Rivet Networks we saw at Computex. The three Killer Ethernet ports and Killer WiFi allow you to use your PC as both a network switch and a WiFi extender. Several of GIGABYTE's AORUS Gaming motherboards will also feature this technology.
*******************Now back to your regularly scheduled PR******************
MSI is entering the Z370 motherboard fray with two flagship boards the ATX MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC and the E-ATX Z370 Godlike Gaming. The latter board takes Z370 to the extreme with more power phases, cooling, expansion, and, of course, RGB LEDs!
The massive motherboard features a massive digital power delivery with solid aluminum heatsinks to keep them cool as well as show off RGB bling. MSI did not specify how it has divided up the phases or the number, but there’s as many as 18 power phases (in reality likely less). Power inputs include both an 8-pin and 4-pin EPS connections along with the standard ATX 12V 24-pin and a 6-pin connector to supply extra power to the PCI-E slots. There are four steel shielded DDR4 DIMM slots with dedicated digital PWM power delivery supporting up to 64 GB at 4133 MHz.
The Z370 Godlike Gaming further features four steel reinforced PCI-E x16 slots, a single PCI-E x1 slot, and three M.2 (key M) slots (using the included PCI-E riser card you can get two extra M.2 slots). On the traditional storage front, the motherboard has six SATA 6 Gbps and one U.2 port. RGB support comes in the form of MSI’s own “Mystic Light” technology that includes on board LEDs as well as a header for RGB strips (and MSI’s site shows the board comes with a Phanteks branded RGB strip) that can be controlled with software. As far as cooling there are headers for a CPU fan, water pump, and eight system fans.
MSI is using a Killer 1535 chip for 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2×2) as well as three Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet NICs. Audio is handled by “MSI Audio Boost” which is two Realtek ALC 1220 based EMI shielded audio processors along with an ESS DAC and amplifier with gold plated audio jacks (including a ¼” jack for high end headphones). MSI claims the LED bordered isolated power audio design includes separate PCB layers for the left and right audio channels and high end WIMA and Nichicon capacitors.
Around back the MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming includes:
- 2 x Wi-Fi antenna connections
- 1 x PS/2
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
- 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
- 3 x Gigabit Ethernet (Killer E2500)
- 7 x Audio
- 5 x 3.5mm
- 1 x 6.35mm
- 1 x S/PDIF
Users can get additional USB 3.1 ports using internal headers powered by ASMedia ASM3142 and ASM1074 chipsets (Gen 2 and Gen 1 respectively).
Retail versions of the motherboard should come with a PCI-E riser card with two M.2 slots, headphone adapter, custom sleeved SATA cables, three I/O backplates, three 2-pin temperature probes, a SLI bridge, and a 400mm LED strip.
I am interested in this board from an overclocking perspective as the beefy power phases and additional CPU power from the 8+4 pin connectors should allow for some extreme overclocking fun to be had and enable higher everyday stable overclocks as well. This board has just about everything you could want from a high-end motherboard (except Intel NICs, 10 GbE, and Thunderbolt but you can't have everything!), but it is sure to come at a hefty premium. MSI is not yet talking pricing or availability though unfortunately.
In other Z370 news: