MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC AMD Ryzen Motherboard Review @ [H]

Discussion in 'AMD MoBos' started by Kyle_Bennett, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett Editor-in-Chief HardOCP Staff Member

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    MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC AMD Ryzen Motherboard Review

    MSI’s X470 Gaming M7 AC has a lot going for it with Precision Boost 2. It’s gaming and overclocking focus makes for a compelling option in a competitive sea of motherboard options for AMD’s new Ryzen processors. It has performance and looks as well, and a bit of subtle RGB if that is a checkbox you require.

    If you like our content, please support HardOCP on Patreon.
     
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  2. trick_m0nkey

    trick_m0nkey I jump for cash, bitch!

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    Nice review. "Frag Harder Disco Lights" needs to be a thing.
     
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  3. McClintoc

    McClintoc [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This board is currently sitting in my Amazon shopping cart. I'm just not sure if I want to pull the trigger on a whole new system just yet but I'm glad this review came along.
     
  4. pgaster

    pgaster [H]ard|Gawd

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    Nice review.

    I picked up one of these as an open box at my local Micro Center. So far all I did was update the bios and test some 3600 RAM I got from ebay. It's this ram: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820232696
    After I enabled XMP it rebooted and got back into the bios just fine. That's not much of a test of stability but it's a good sign so far. That was with a 2700X cpu.
    I tested the RAM in one other system with Windows installed and according to Thaiphoon burner it's Hynix CFR, not even Samsung B die, and it has loose 19-19-19-39 timings.
    In that other system it would only do 3333, but that was with a cheap B350 board and a 2200G apu. I think it's the better IMC on the 2700X that really makes the difference in RAM speeds.

    For VRM it's easy to count the 14 chokes, but it's not 14 phases. From what I've read on other sites it's really 6+1 phase, and each phase has doubled components.
    Of the 6 phases for the cores, 4 are to the left of the socket (8 high side mosfets, 8 low side mosfets, 8 chokes, because of the doubling).
    The other 2 phases for cores and the doubled SOC phase components are up above the socket.
    The Wraith Prism from the 2700X will only blow air to the left and right, not up, so the components above the socket get no direct cooling that way.
    For this board it would be good to have a case with a fan mount above the socket. Then have a fan mounted as intake to cool that upper mosfet heatsink. Most people use those mounts for fans mounted as exhaust, but I've seen reviews on various sites saying that intake is better. More cool air brought into the case helps.


    edit: In case people wonder where I get my info:

    VRM pics and 6+1 explanation: https://www.hw-journal.de/testberichte/mainboards/3417-msi-x470-gaming-m7-ac-test?showall=&start=3

    Corsair 400C does better with top intake vs top exhaust: https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwrevie...ve-corsair-400c-benchmark-review-specs/Page-2
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
  5. 1_rick

    1_rick Limp Gawd

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    Just out of curiosity why do you prefer the single-sided DIMM sockets? I have limited experience with them but I've found them to be slightly finickier to get memory out of, as the stick seems to want to come out a bit slanted and not perpendicular to the motherboard, so the passive side tends to bind up. I guess practice might make it easier but I don't have a reason to be putting them in and taking them out on a regular basis.
     
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  6. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett Editor-in-Chief HardOCP Staff Member

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    Either or, does not matter to me. The one-sided locks are generally more convenient to me, but having to get a screwdriver to push down the lock on the GPU side is not that big of a deal.
     
  7. Motley

    Motley 2[H]4U

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    Great review once again Kyle. Next week I am buying a whole new Ryzen system. I was originally going to buy the 2700 & Asus CHVII. But after seeing this review I'm now getting the MSI Gaming M7.
     
  8. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett Editor-in-Chief HardOCP Staff Member

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    It is a really good value for sure. AMD has gotten a lot of its AM4 woes worked fully out this time it seems.
     
  9. Kelvarr

    Kelvarr [H]ardness Supreme

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    You might want to jump on the 2700X for $246 from eBay today if you are buying that soon.
     
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  10. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett Editor-in-Chief HardOCP Staff Member

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  11. Motley

    Motley 2[H]4U

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    Actually I found a combo deal at my local MC for the 2700X & MSI Gaming M7 for $479. Cheaper than ebay and newegg.

    Would you guys recommend I get the DDR4 3600 ram with it?

    The Corsair Vengeance RGB kit is lookin sexy.
     
  12. 1_rick

    1_rick Limp Gawd

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    I think the general consensus is "get the fastest RAM your motherboard will support" on Ryzen because the Infinity Fabric runs at RAM speed.
     
  13. Motley

    Motley 2[H]4U

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    Ok cool I will go ahead and get the 3600 RAM kit.
     
  14. Gigantopithecus

    Gigantopithecus [H]ardOCP Case Reviewer

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    Paired a 2700X with this board in my latest build and had zero issues with drives. Samsung 970 EVO NVMe and two spinners worked well.

    WHEW this was much less painful than the 1700X + MSI B350 Tomahawk system I put together at release. That one was finicky with RAM and the first six months of BIOSes were rough. But that was widespread amongst AM4 boards and I was so impressed by MSI's regular and steadily improving BIOSes that I went with this M7 AC.
     
  15. Motley

    Motley 2[H]4U

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    Thats good to hear that MSI keeps up with regular BIOS updates. I've never owned an MSI mobo before, so looking forward to having one finally. I've had mostly Asus, EVGA, and Gigabyte boards in the past.
     
  16. Chebsy

    Chebsy Gawd

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    Great review of a very tempting board. Just one observation, when you are comparing gaming benchmarks, two of the Ryzen boards are shown running memory speeds of 3200 and two are 3400. That would be enough to show a small difference between the different boards wouldn't it ?
     
  17. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett Editor-in-Chief HardOCP Staff Member

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    All of the X470 boards have been run at 3400.
     
  18. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Typo on my part.
     
  19. CannibalTrout

    CannibalTrout Gawd

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    What's with PS/2 ports making a comeback? does anyone actually still use PS/2 devices??
     
  20. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ Little Bitch

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  21. Motley

    Motley 2[H]4U

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    I finally picked this board up, along with a 2700X, 16GB Corsair 3600, 1080 ti. Just got all my parts for the new build delivered this week. Man I'm I am so excited to have a gaming PC (long story been 5 months) again, i'm about to piss my pants. lulz.
     
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  22. TheHig

    TheHig Limp Gawd

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    Seriously considering getting this board myself after this review. Checks all the boxes. Looks great and seems to be ready take future Zen CPU’s.
     
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  23. Motley

    Motley 2[H]4U

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    Get it man, this is one badass board. The only complaint I have so far, is overclocking recovery. If your OC is unstable it will not try to recover with safe settings (can do this with Asus). And you have to reset the BIOS to defaults. Kind of annoying.

    But I got my 2700X finally stable at 4.25GHz and ram at 3566mhz. It took like 3 days of OC tweaking but its solid as rock now.
     
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  24. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    This has been my experience as well. X470 is in a totally different league than X370 in terms of memory clocks and compatibility.
     
  25. McClintoc

    McClintoc [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I have this board in my new build and am having a problem I haven't seen before.

    It powered up first time and the bios recognizes all my drives and all the RAM but my keyboard doesn't work once Windows starts to load.

    I've tried all the USB ports. They have power during post but once Windows starts to load (booting off a DVD) the USB ports lose power and I can't navigate the windows install promps.

    I've also tried 2 different keyboards. Any ideas?
     
  26. TheHig

    TheHig Limp Gawd

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    That’s weird.

    This is during the windows install off the dvd ? Or once you are in the desktop that you lose the keyboard?

    Can you post into the bios without the windows installation media and navagate bios using the keyboard?

    If it’s windows 10 try the usb creation tool and install the latest build off that maybe.
     
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  27. McClintoc

    McClintoc [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yes, it windows install from DVD.

    And, yes, I can use my mouse and keyboard to navigate in bios. It's when windows starts to load that the m/kb stops working.

    It's a windows 7 disc.
     
  28. TheHig

    TheHig Limp Gawd

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    K. Top of my head stuff is pretty obvious I know.

    Here’s some more! I suppose you could toss any other OS on there to see if for whatever reason win7 isn’t playing nice.

    Try a ps2 kB?

    Good luck and hopefully you get it sorted. I’m on the fence between een this board the Taichi and the Asus X470 strix.
     
  29. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    When you get to the desktop you should be able to unplug your USB devices and plug them back in. That should be a viable work around until you can solve the problem. I would try all the USB ports and see which ones work in both the BIOS and Windows. Not all the USB controllers come from the same controller. You have the one integrated into the CPU, the chipset, and the ASMedia 1143 controllers. Sometimes there are additional HUB's that multiplex some controllers and add complexity etc. Make sure you get the latest UEFI BIOS so you get the most updated AGESA code. Some keyboards and mice may need additional firmware updates. If it's a Corsair or Razer keyboard, this is crucial as their firmware is a cluster fuck.
     
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  30. McClintoc

    McClintoc [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I just read an article that says AMD does not include support for Windows 7 on Ryzen systems which is why the USB ports don't work at Windows 7 install. I either need a newer OS or a PS/2 keyboard, neither of which I have.
     
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  31. McClintoc

    McClintoc [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I found my mom's old Logitech wireless ps2 keyboard. It's working!

    Who would of thought a new computer built in 2018 would need 15yo tech to get working?
     
  32. 1_rick

    1_rick Limp Gawd

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    The company that doesn't want you running a 10yo OS? (I'm not addressing the merits of W7 vs W10 here, just pointing out AMD doesn't want you running W7 on Ryzen.)
     
  33. McClintoc

    McClintoc [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Well, I'm certainly learning a lot during this build. Basically, nothing on the mobo was working after installing Win7. Now, like you suggested, I am having to make a bootable Win10 ISO thumb drive. I've never messed with ISOs before so this is new territory for me but I am using the USB creation tools and it seems to be working so far.
     
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  34. McClintoc

    McClintoc [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Ok, I am finally all up and running now. And just to clarify, since I hijacked this thread, my issues weren't with the MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC board specifically. My issues were the missing compatibility between really new hardware and Windows 7. Once I got the bootable USB drive with the Windows 10 ISO, everything went smooth.
     
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  35. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Windows 7 is over 10 years old now. It isn't reasonable for any company to support a non-commercial operating system for that long.
     
  36. McClintoc

    McClintoc [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Certainly true but USB ports are quite old as well. It just seemed odd to me that they would not work when trying to load an OS. I could understand if they didn't work if I was trying to install XP. But I would think USB ports working would be a pretty basic function for Win7 and beyond.
     
  37. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    All of the USB controllers are all far newer than Windows 7, and therefore, Windows 7 won't know what to do with those devices without drivers. In theory, native USB 2.0 ports should work but often times manufacturers only make these available by header rather than on the I/O panel.
     
  38. Nobu

    Nobu 2[H]4U

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    USB 1/2 may have worked with a 10yo OS, but USB3 requires drivers to function correctly (unless you enable legacy mode, which limits you to the slower USB1/2 speeds and may even make some usb3 ports nonfunctional).
     
  39. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett Editor-in-Chief HardOCP Staff Member

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    Guess they are really liking us on India!

    39947204_1846167838769752_6038498854515507200_o.jpg

    I am not sure what they hell they are saying we are saying, so I guess we will have to take their word for it. :)
     
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  40. McClintoc

    McClintoc [H]ardForum Junkie

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    A third of the world's population lives in India. Surely at least one of them is [H]ard.
     
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