Date Joined: 12/07/12
Pros: Excellent for new Z170 motherboards. I installed this on my Corsair 750D case and it fits very good for a big case and its modular. It performs good and the fan is extremely quiet.
(10/25/16): Thank you Seasonic for an excellent customer service.
Cons: - After almost 7 months of purchase, my HTPC began to randomly shutdown or reboot, starting to show that the ASUS motherboard activated the power surge protection. I found out that the 12V rail of the PSU was giving between 13.6V - 14.3V, and when the computer goes through stress it shutdowns. Im currently doing the RMA procedures to send it.....
It was the motherboard and not the PSU!! When I got the PSU back from RMA, the ASUS motherboard readings were at 20V-22V and still activating the anti-surge protection. Definitely something else was off. Took a voltmeter and measured the 12V side of the sata, atx and PCIe power cables. Everything was giving flat 12.00V. The ASUS Z170A motherboard gives you the option to turn off the anti-surge protection. I turned it off, and everything was working fine.
Lesson learned: As a good practice, always have a voltmeter to diagnose PSU problems and never trust fully monitor readings from a motherboard.
Pros: Good CPU and graphics performance for the price. Windows 8 native compatible. Ultra fast UEFI boot when a solid state is present (Im using a EVO 840 SSD)
Cons: Since I bought this motherboard, it been having problems detecting the PCI-e cards including video cards. This intermittent problem is really a headache and I had to troubleshoot the computer until it detects again. Firmware and drivers has been updated to the latest, checked ALL the power supply voltages and swap the pci e cards to other slots. CMOS has been cleared. The problem still persisted.
I sent the board to RMA service, and after a few weeks the problem started again. I had it, I'm done =(
Sorry MSi, I wont buy a motherboard from you again, until you resolve these issues.
I cannot complain with the customer support from MSi, they really responded on time my emails and RMA service was fast and good. But with this motherboard design, what happened to you MSI?
Pros: I've been a Sound Blaster happy customer for 20+ years since I had the Sound Blaster AWE32, Live!, Live! 24-Bit, Audigy 2, Auzentech X-Fi Prelude and now the Sound Blaster Z.
The Sound Blaster Z has a great quality and excellent OpenAL hardware acceleration on games, I see the Sound Core3D processor does a good job. SBX Pro Studio is excellent for a home theater PC, the crystalizer and the SBX surround gives life to your speakers, comparing to the internal Realtek sound card from the motherboard. Plus it has Dolby Digital Live and DTS Neo.
Cons: Creative, what happened to you in these last years?
There is a known issue with the Sound Blaster Z and MSI motherboards when you use UEFI boot. I read on forums that happens as well on ASUS motherboards. The card sometimes isnt detected at every boot, even on legacy mode. I have to reseat the card everytime this happens. I tried to contact Creative customer support. No answer, awful service recently.
I would go back to my X-Fi card, but its PCI and I dont have any PCI slot on my new motherboard. Please check with your UEFI motherboard brand first if there is known issues with the Sound Blaster Z before buying it.