Great board that does everything advertised. Awesome boosting abilities. The only issue I had as a first time builder was the manual. It is not very helpful. I would definately recommend this product, just use YouTube for the things you can't figure out using the manual.
Not the worlds greatest Motherboard but if its on sale its is worth it. UEFI isnt that great but works, stable overclocks, and lots of ports
It's worth repeating that this is a well built and slick looking board with a nice matte finish and a metal port shield (no cheap plastic cover here).
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Summary Great board that does everything advertised. Awesome boosting abilities. The only issue I had as a first time builder was the manual. It is not very helpful. I would definately recommend this product, just use YouTube for the things you can't figure out using the manual.
Cons Mail-in rebate--- brutal. Follow the rebate to the letter or you'll get jipped, which is the only reason (so far) that I would give it a "3 star." CS at MSI is not going to win any awards I'm afraid.
Summary Mail-in rebate kills the deal for me. I will in the future steer clear of these time consuming PITA's (pain in the a**).
Pros Does what you need a motherboard to do BIOS GUI makes changing settings more intuitive than older iterations on the feature
Cons Questionable design decisions make building a PC around this motherboard more tedious than necessary
Summary Long before a new motherboard can dazzle with its onboard features and pretty colors, it has to make its way out of the box, into the case, and then have all the other functional bits connected to it. That's where this product fell down for me.
- IO cluster shroud is held on with a pair of machine screws and nuts that occupy two of the holes in the motherboard used to anchor the board to the case standoffs. If you don't remove these screws (and the nuts left stuck to the underside of the motherboard) and try to secure a heat sink to your CPU, you'll probably crack the board. There was no mention of this in the manual that came with the motherboard. You either recognize the problem and correct it or you fail to recognize it and wreck your board.
- M.2 mounting solutions are still relatively new, but I would have hoped a company with the resources of MSI would have come up with a way to secure the drive to the standoff that doesn't require screws made by ants, for ants. I can assemble an entire PC with a ratcheting screwdriver holding a medium Phillips bit. Except the M.2 screws. This can and should be done better.
- The enclosed connector for the front side bus cables seems flimsy and likely to cause problems not far into the future. I'd have been just as happy with proper labeling on the motherboard connectors and bypassing the middleman.
My impression of this board was negatively skewed by problems that felt like they shouldn't have been allowed to be problems. At this point I have the board installed, it works, and that's as far as my enthusiasm for the product goes.
Pros very stable, great build quality, sexy black and red. very good compatibility, pretty decent price for a high end board.
Cons I almost think that this board has MORE to offer than the i7 6700k can deliver. also, this boards features are probably more than the average gamer needs. I personally think I should've bought the m5.
Summary lots of io, tons of pcie to work with, more features than you probably need. very good build quality but I honestly think it's bottlenecked by the 6700k, which is hilarious considering its brand new. you probably want the m5 model instead.
Pros Stable. Good looking, well built, clean built in audio output, BIOS a good match for unlocked Skylake CPUs.
Cons Pricey. BIOS interface not as well laid out as some other more traditional BIOS GUIs. M2 only works in SATA mode if both are being used.
Summary It's worth repeating that this is a well built and slick looking board with a nice matte finish and a metal port shield (no cheap plastic cover here).
Works as advertised, no stability issues. BIOS allows lots of granular control, but is a bit jumbled at times. Audio output is very good and clean for an on-board audio solution.
The board features a decent set of output ports. The internal SATA ports are front facing and for some cases with less depth the cable plugs themselves could pose a clearance issue.
As for pricing. The M7 is rather expensive for the feature set. If doesn't mind a standard looking and cheaper feeling board that doesn't have some of the bells and whistles but retains all of the main features and overclocking abilities there are better value Z170 boards out there.
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