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MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review. The 3rd iteration of the Xpower Titanium series has arrived, now sporting the Z270 chipset. Visually a perfect mix of the X99 and Z170 models we loved, with some subtle changes and a refreshed feature set.

Namely, DDR4 up to 4133+, triple M.2 slots with Intel optane support,  Dual LAN, OC panel, 4x PCI-E lanes and so much more. A product of this caliber, and a stunning design does come at a higher cost (naturally!), with a price tag in the UK of about £339.99

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Features

For more than a decade, Republic of Gamers has delivered exemplary design and performance to thrill the world’s best players and PC enthusiasts. Our journey is a road without end. Now, it’s time for competitors to be warned and for gamers and enthusiasts to push the limits: The packed and pumped ROG Maximus IX Code motherboard is ready to defeat all challengers.

  • Supports 7th / 6th Gen Intel® Core™ / Pentium® / Celeron® processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4-4133+(OC) Memory
  • DDR4 Boost with Steel Armor: Give your DDR4 memory a performance boost
  • VR Ready and VR Boost: Best virtual reality game experience without latency, reduces motion sickness
  • OC DASHBOARD: The ultimate overclocking tool to experience easier on-the-fly overclocking
  • USB Xpander: For more controllable devices and flexible usage with USB 2.0 in-chassis connectors
  • Mystic Light Sync: Synchronize other RGB solutions with your gaming rig and control all LEDs in one click
  • Triple Turbo M.2, Steel Armor, M.2 Shield. Intel Optane Memory Ready, Turbo U.2, Lightning USB 3.1 Gen2
  • Audio Boost 4 with Nahimic 2: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience
  • Dual GAMING LAN with LAN Protect, powered by Intel® : The best online gaming experience with lowest latency and bandwidth management
  • BIOS Flashback+: Easy BIOS recovery without the need of a CPU, memory and VGA card
  • Military Class 5, Guard-Pro: Latest evolution in high quality components for best protection and efficiency
  • MULTI-GPU: With Steel Armor PCI-E slots. Supports NVIDIA SLI™ & AMD Crossfire™
  • In-Game Weapons: Game Boost, GAMING Hotkey, X-Boost, Xsplit Gamecaster
  • EZ Debug LED: Easiest way to troubleshoot
  • Click BIOS 5: Award-winning BIOS with high resolution scalable font, favorites and search function
  • GAMING CERTIFIED: 24-hour on- and offline game and motherboard testing by eSports players
Read Full Specs?
Socket 1151
CPU (Max Support) i7
Chipset Intel® Z270 Chipset
DDR4 Memory 4133(OC)- 2133 MHz
Memory Channel Dual
DIMM Slots 4
Max Memory (GB) 64
PCI-Ex16 4
PCI-E Gen Gen3
PCI-Ex1 2
SATAIII 8
M.2 Slot 3
U.2 1
RAID 0/1/5/10
TPM (header) 1
LAN 10/100/1000*2
USB 3.1 ports (Front) 4(Gen1, Type A)
USB 3.1 ports (Rear) 1(Gen2, Type A),1 (Gen2, Type C), 4(Gen1, Type A)
USB 2.0 ports (Front) 4
USB 2.0 ports (Rear) 3
Audio ports (Rear) Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
DisplayPort 1
HDMI 1
DirectX 12
Form Factor
ATX
SLI Y
CrossFire Y

Courtesy of MSI

Curious about the lineup? Take peek at this video from MSI, which outlines the differences and features of each

Packaging & Accessories

MSI house the board in a sleek box, from the front side it’s a simplistic design that gives very little away regarding specs. Around the rear, they’ve done a great of outlaying the features without overwhelming you, and cramming the box with jargon.

Being a premium product, the box has some extra eye candy. I appreciate the little things like this with a higher end product

Taking a look at the bundle now in no particular order, you’ll find the following:

  • I/O Shield
  • 6x SATA Cables (silver)
  • Sticker Label Kit for cables
  • User manuals/Quick start
  • SLI bridge
  • OC Dashboard
  • OC Dashboard cable extension
  • LED strip extension
  • Voltage Check Cables

For the price point, this is a decent bundle. The only thing lacking is WI-FI/Bluetooth but… given that this is an overclocker’s paradise, designed to smash world records we understand why it was omitted.

First Look

We start our tour with a complete top down view, to absorb what’s on offer. If you take a closer look at the X99 version, and then the  Z170 model. Imagine you merged the two together; this is essentially the result. Sporting the same unique silver/metal/shiny PCB and matching heatsink. It’s truly one of a kind product that you’ll either love or hate.

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

The color is an interesting one, and lighting affects the overall tones. In certain lights, the older models had a white tint, but for the most part, now, it looks like it’s made from Titanium…which is the idea right?

The I/O shrouding and VRM heatsink has been loaned from the X99 model and slightly revised.

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

Under the hood we now have a whopping 16 phase power delivery system, to push your CPU further.

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

The silver/titanium tones are used in conjunction with subtle black sections to produce a super clean board, but still, has that wow factor.

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

It is a ingenious design from MSI, despite the mass amount of features crammed on, the overall looks are still minimalistic and stylish.

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

MSI has been smart with the location of all these extra headers, power connectors and placement for add-ons. Credit to the design team.

[PCI-E Setup]

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

The 4x PCIe 3.0 slots, offer you the option to run the most demanding multi-card setups, and being OC orientated, you can manually turn on/off the lanes with a flick of a switch.

MSI has implemented steel Armor on all 4x slots. Granting additional strength to avoid potential damage with heavy cards over time, and adding some eye candy too.

• 4 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (support x16/x0/x0/x4, x8/x0/x8/x4, x8/x4/x4/x4 modes)
• 2 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots

• Supports 4-Way AMD® CrossFire™ Technology
• Supports 2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology

[Audio]

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

• Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
– 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio
– Supports S/PDIF output

[Storage Options]

With SATA express now dead in the water, the Xpower has everything you’d expect and more in its arsenal, with a U.2 Port

– 1 x U.2 port
– Supports PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe storage

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

The Titanium offers 8x SATA III 6gbps ports.

ASMedia® ASM1061 Chipset
– 2 x SATA 6Gb/s ports*
Intel® Z270 Chipset
– 6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports

While I’m not normally a fan of vertical SATA ports, the location does render them useful. Being able to add or disconnect a drive without worry about the GPU obstructing you

 MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

[M.2 / U.2]

M.2 is now the go-to choice for most, and Z270 allows for some interesting options. Namely, additional m.2 ports and the new Intel optane tech. (which requires a 7th gen CPU).

With the Xpower you can install 3x such devices! MSI bundle a stylish M.2 shield for tame the heat and avoid throttling. A real shame to see they only included one cover, for over 300 pounds I expect 3…

  • – 3 x M.2 slots (Key M)
  • – Support up to PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA 6Gb/s
  • – M2_1 slot supports 2242/ 2260 /2280/ 22110 storage devices
  • – M2_2 & M2_3 slots support 2242/ 2260 /2280 storage devices
  • – Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready for all M.2 slots
  •  Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology for Intel Core™ processors

[Fan Locations]

Tons of headers here for the most extreme demands

  • – 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • – 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • – 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • – 1 x 6-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • – 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • – 2 x USB 2.0 connectors (support additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
  • – 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 connectors (support additional 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 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 4-pin RGB LED connector
  • – 1 x 2-pin Slow mode connector
  • – 1 x 2-pin OC retry connector
  • – 1 x TPM module connector
  • – 1 x Front panel audio connector
  • – 2 x System panel connectors
  • – 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector

The OC Panel returns, to allow one-touch control of power, reset, Frequency +/- and to enable slow mode. A simple addon, but a real benefit to extreme overclockers and tweakers!

Finishing up our tour of the board, looking at the I/O which consists of:

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

  • – 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse combo port
  • – 1 x Clear CMOS button
  • – 3 x USB 2.0 Type-A ports
  • – 2 x LAN (RJ45) ports
  • – 4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports
  • – 1 x DisplayPort
  • – 1 x HDMI™ port
  • – 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port
  • – 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port
  • – 5 x OFC audio jacks
  • – 1 x Optical S/PDIF OUT connector

A great set of numbers, barely anything between this and the CODE from ASUS, for the Inter math test.

The MSI board is actually… the better overall with higher scores in the other sub tests.

The Kabylake architecture brings better performance from the exact same kit of ram we used on Skylake.

Reliable results from MSI

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

This is echoed again in Performance Test 8

[GAMING]

Armed with a Nvidia GTX 1080, how do the Z270/kaby processors affect FPS? and does a higher end board really deliver more?

• 1 x Intel® I219-V Gigabit LAN controller
• 1 x Intel® I211AT Gigabit LAN controller

MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review
Bottom Line
If you want to push your kit the to edge, all on a unique and feature packed board, look no further than the MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM
Positive
Unique One Of A kind Design
Overclockers Paradise
Storage Options
Fair Price
Negative
Single M.2 shield is disappointing, 3x would have been better
No Bluetooth/Wi-Fi
9.5
EPIC
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