Date Joined: 07/15/04
Pros: Top quality board with great feature set. In addition to elegant,clean design (no LED bling), has very good horizontal and vertical clearance around the CPU for cooling solutions. First Z490 board I tried was too tight for my AIO. This board had extra room. And even better, it has an excellent feature set and cooling. No compromises for me. Really like that the chipset fan pulls external air. really like the location of cpu and case fan headers along top edge of board.
Cons: None really. If I had to look for something, it would just be the location of the front panel header near the back of the board just above the pciex-16 slot.
Overall Review: Nearly flawless board for my desires.
My Build: Core I7-10700K, Silverstone PF120 AIO, G.Skill Trident-Z Royal F4-3200-16D-32TRS, Corsair SF600 PSU, EVGA RTX 2060 S SC Black Gaming, (2) HP EX950 2TB M.2, NCase M1.
Aside from wanting to give a thumbs up for this great board: This review is for the MSI Review Rebate Program
Pros: - Booted first try. Perfectly smooth build. As others say, best to create a bootable USB with the F6 BIOS and all latest drivers from Gigabyte site. Built the board on my desk. On-board power and reset buttons are awesome! Installed into my case in less than an hour.
- BIOS is great. maybe not as pretty as some, but oh, the options. Can flashed the BIOS from option in the BIOS itself and USB! Safer than the windows utility.Check manual for how. Gigabyte is headed in the right direction with this BIOS.
- Board has good layout, connectivity, and extras.
- The variable color LEDs on the board are great for "color scheme compatibility"
Cons: - Front panel headphone connectors have high level of noise (buzz) for me. Not a big problem as I use USB headphones.
- If fast or ultrafast boot is enabled in bios, there is no hardware way to boot back into bios. Only a Gigabyte windows app to *re*boot into BIOS. Kinda a pain.
Overall Review: My Build:
- Core I5-6600K
- G.SKILL TridentZ 16GB (F4-2800C15D-16GTZB)
- Noctua NH-D15S
- SAMSUNG 850 EVO 500GB (MZ-75E500B/AM)
- MSI GTX-970 Gaming 4G
- Bought due to low reported defect rate on this board for a Z170 compared to many others. Paid off for me.
- The NH-D15s is huge but worth it. Really close to top PCIEx16 slot, so I added a trimmed piece of (old HDD) ant-static bag between. BUT memory has good room. See my review of the NH-D15s for temp info.
Pros: - Well built
- Design is great The "S" model acommodates taller memory perfectly
Cons: None. Really. Big cooler always means big hunk of metal. But this is a precision-built hunk of metal.
Be careful about case size.
Overall Review: Case: CoolerMaster HAF EVO XB
Motherboard: Gigabyte G1 GA-Z170x-Gaming 7
Memory: G.SKILL TridentZ 16GB (F4-2800C15D-16GTZB)
Just narrow enough, just short enough...I was *barely* able to get my Gfx card in the top slot of my motherboard where it needs to go to get x16 lanes. Ended up adding a piece of (odl HDD) anti-static bag to back of card to rule out electrical shorts. The heatsink height fits the case by 1.5cm-2cm.
Temps are fantastic and included fan is very, very quiet. Running Core i5-6600K at stock speeds. Ambient temp is 20c. CPU cores (i5-6600K) hover around 22c to 24c on idle. Under Prime 95, they only hit 46c/48c/47c/50c (package hit 52c).
Measure carefully, but worth it if you've got the space! Fan can be shifted down to make more room at the top. Goos mounting system, but I'd be pretty careful with moving if I put this in a tower case. But my HAF XB has a horizontal MB Tray, so no worries for me.
Pros: Fast, pretty cooler, stable, and high quality components. And all the positive stuff other have said.
Overall Review: Before I had done it I suspected I was being a bit crazy, but I replaced the the well-engineered cooler on my new card with an Accelero Extreme Plus II. Yes, I paid for adn then replaced a non-stock cooler, but I wanted MSI's great engineering with a silent card.
My card (at stock) full load only hits 58c and is next to silent. New cooler fan speed about 55%. And by next to silent I mean I can barely hear it moving air with the lightest hint of a hum if I'm listening and w/in 2 feet of the card.
Oh, and yes, *with* the AE+II cooler the thing is huge (3-slots: 12.3 inches/31.3cm long). But it's simple physics: more surface area=better cooling.
Pros: Looks great. Solid build quality. External SATA on top is great for backups to/from a bare SSD. Mesh case with solid sides makes for good airflow if side fan turned off. Perfect size for working in. Tool-less HDD mounts make life simple.
Cons: As others said, soft grommets can come out. Only 1 for me, and a few more tried. They go back in OK w/ a little patience. A bit more space above MB would have been nice for connector access. A bit tight behind tray for main power cable.
Overall Review: I did a lot of shopping and this is a very good case with a few minor flaws. And for the price it's great. Yes, there are slightly better cases out there, but they cost more for a few small improvements.