MSI Z370 Gaming Plus Motherboard Review
Hello everyone. Will here and today, I am bringing you the MSI Z370 Gaming Plus LGA 1151 motherboard. This is one of MSI’s “budget” Z370 motherboards but with quite a few options at a really good price. I have always been a fan of the MSI motherboards and this board does not change my mind. So, let’s do this.
The MSI Z370 Gaming Plus motherboard is a standard ATX motherboard that has the LGA1151 socket that supports Intel’s 8th generation Coffee Lake processors. However, even with this being an LGA1151 socket, the Z370 series boards are not backwards compatible with the earlier Intel processors like Kaby Lake or Skylake processors. The MSI Z370 has 4 memory slots that support up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 2133MHz to 4000MHz and supports dual channel configuration. There are 2 PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots and 4 PCI-E x1 slots. Included on this board are 6 SATAIII ports and 1 M.2 slot which supports 2242, 2260, 2280, 22110 storage devices and is Intel Optane memory ready. The onboard audio chipset is the Realtek ALC892 with 7.1 channels. The rear panel ports consist of 1 PS/2 keyboard/mouse port for peripheral input. The video ports included on the rear panel are 1 VGA port, 1 DVI-D port, and 1 DisplayPort. There is an RJ45 port along with 4 USB 3.1 ports and 2 USB 2.0 ports. The onboard ports are as follows;
- 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports)
- 2 x USB 2.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
- 1 x 4-pin CPU fan connector
- 1 x 4-pin water pump fan connector
- 4 x 4-pin system fan connectors
- 1 x Front panel audio connector
- 2 x Front panel connectors
- 1 x RGB LED connector
- 1 x TPM module connector
- 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
- 1 x Parallel port connector
- 1 x Serial port connector
- 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
The MSI Z70 Gaming Plus board is a standard ATX motherboard and offers RGB lighting. There is a single 24-pin ATX main power connector and a single 8-pin ATX 12V power connector. There is an “EZ Debug LED” onboard that is really straightforward and easy to use for fixing errors such as CPU failure and RAM failure; know exactly where to look for a fix with just one tiny LED. For the overclockers out there, you get MSI’s Click BIOS 5 which is an award-winning BIOS with high resolution scalable font, favorites, and search button; another aspect that is easy to use with this board.
Now that we have all of the technical aspects out of the way, what exactly are you getting with this board? Well, it is a motherboard. For $120 you get one heck of a motherboard that actually has a lot to offer for a budget-friendly price. The board was easy to install on a test bench and every component was easily installed. The board posted on the first attempted and booted into the BIOS/UEFI without issue. Once inside the BIOS, The boot drive was easily set to the Corsair MP500 120GB drive which by default disabled the SATA1 port. The BIOS recognized the Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM at its purchased speed of 2400MHz. The Core i7-8700K was recognized at stock speed as well. Using the Click BIOS 5, I was able to overclock the processor to 5.0GHz easily and overclock the RAM to 3000Mhz. After saving the overclock settings, the computer booted into Windows 10 without a hitch. The board handled everything with little effort and without any error. With all of the fan connectors on the board, cooling would have been quite easy to achieve given the CPU fan, water pump fan, and 4 4-pin fan connectors.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
In conclusion, this board is a budget motherboard with the Z370 chipset. However, as I said before, this board, like most of MSI’s other budget boards does not feel “budget” at all. There are plenty of options on this board for peripherals, components, and cooling that if you didn’t know the price was $120, you’d probably never guess the cost would be that little and instead, think it was $160 or so. This motherboard is a must have for those who want to overclock but are on a bit of a budget. So, again, as with other MSI motherboards, I will highly recommend this product to anyone looking to build a new PC whether on a budget, building a middle of the road gaming PC, or even those looking to build a top end build. I absolutely recommend this board.