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.
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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:
I know we’ve seen it on a few
I know we’ve seen it on a few super high end boards, but when do you think 10GbE will supplant the tried and true Gigabit. And do you think we’ll go right to 10GbE or have most boards go to 2.5 or 5 before wide adoption of 10?
You know, I’m not really
You know, I'm not really sure. I have seem more 10 GbE ports creeping into consumer switches than I have seen the 2.5 GbE and 5 GbE ports. Maybe the half measures will take too long to come out and we'll all just go to 10 GbE as the common consumer interface as that tech continues to get cheaper.
OK 4 NICs on a “Gaming”
OK 4 NICs on a “Gaming” consumer board. Que?
And 4 out of 4 are Killer NICs… What THE?!
Looking at lunacy like this, Threadripper 1950x core gaming rig with just 2 NICs doesn’t look so crazy anymore.
I give up, don’t even try to understand.
Where do you see 4 NICS? I
Where do you see 4 NICS? I only count 3. Even so, that is more than needed, I agree.
I think one of the wired NICs
I think one of the wired NICs is so that you can use the Killer Wi-Fi as a Wi-Fi Extender (Killer xTend), but yeah that is a lot of GbE!
NIC Teaming is the process of
NIC Teaming is the process of combining multiple network cards together for performance and redundancy reasons. Microsoft refers to this as NIC teaming, however other vendors may refer to this as bonding, balancing or aggregation. The process is the same regardless which solution is used or what it is called