MSI Z270 Gaming M7 LGA 1151 Motherboard Review @ [H]


Just Plain Mean
Staff member
May 18, 1997
MSI Z270 Gaming M7 LGA 1151 Motherboard Review - MSI’s Z270 Gaming M7 is based on the somewhat uninteresting Z270 Express chipset but never fear, MSI’s latest generation of motherboards brings a few new features to the table, building on the stability, quality, and innovation the brand is known for. Great sound configuration, plenty of M.2 SSD support, and overclocking should draw you in.
Had my mind set on this board for my new build then Amazon had the x99 godlike on sale for 330 bucks and got a new 5820k for 300. Came out about he same as this with a 7700k. Can't see paying much over 200 for a z270 motherboard no matter how pretty it is..
I have a M3 and 7700k on the way, crossing my fingers for a 5.0GHz overclock. I have been very impressed with MSI hardware. My Z87-GD65 has been rock solid for over 3 years and both Twin Frozr cards I've owned have been cool and quiet. Keep up the good work MSI!
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Issue I have, is that for nearly the same price, the Gigabyte gaming 7 you reviewed has tb3, a soundblaster audio chip, and intel lan.
Another issue for me is the single 2A header. Apparently MSI's idea of a 'gamer' is someone who never uses more than 1 pump.
having used both, is there a reason you would choose one over the other?

The points raised were good ones. They are both good motherboards and which is better would come down to what features you find more compelling. The GIGABYTE motherboard does offer more for similar money. You do get Thunderbolt 3, the Soundblaster Recon 3Di, and an Intel NIC. That said, the MSI felt like a much more mature product. If you get a bad overclock, the MSI will always POST in my experience where as the GIGABYTE won't. Out of the aforementioned features, the SoundBlaster Recon3Di is the only one I consider enticing enough to make me go for the GIGABYTE instead of the MSI. I'm a big fan of Intel NICs, but the Killer E2500 got the job done. With Windows 10 I haven't had any issues with the Killer NICs. While I prefer the Intel controllers its hard to base my purchase decision off that if all other factors are equal or favor another motherboard.

In MSI's favor, the overclocking experience was much better. I never had failures to POST, never had to go back and reset everything. I never had hard lockups or crashes while tuning either. The only thing the MSI ever did was show stopped workers in Prime95 or things like that. The GIGABYTE was a drama queen in the overclocking arena. In part, I feel like that would have gone a little better if I had done that review toady, knowing the Z270 platform better or if GIGABYTE updates the UEFI.

To put it another way:

Feature Advantage: GIGABYTE
Overclocking Advantage: MSI

I'm going to also have to give the MSI a nod for stability. As I said I never got a BSOD or lockup while overclocking. I changed my water block during this article and forgot to remove the protective film off the bottom of the block before mounting it. It was fine until I started overclocking with it. That's where it started throttling but never crashed or anything like that. I was really quite surprised. When you have issues with heat dissipation, temps run away faster than the throttling occurs in some cases. That's where you get your hard lockups in some scenarios. The MSI never did that. I never put the GIGABYTE through that exact test, but as I said I got lockups and BSOD's anytime things in the UEFI weren't just right beyond stock settings.
Will a skylake 6700k work on the z270 mobos ?
I knew that kaby lake cpus worked in z170 boards but I wasnt sure about skylake cpus in z270 mobos.

Cheers for teh infos dan and makeroflostsouls.
That random failure to resume from sleep concerns me as I've had similar issues with 2 MSI Z170A SLi PLus. Googling seems to suggest it is related to to the (MSI) Fast Start options.
Board looks very nice.

The only thing that stood out is 4 memory slots and up to 64 GB of RAM capacity......

I'm way behind, I didn't know there were 16 GB sticks out
They've been available for awhile. Z170 supported the same amount of RAM.