MSI Z170A GAMING PRO CARBON (LGA1151) Motherboard Review

by - 5 years ago


Software Overview

MSI’s software suite includes a fantastic selection of useful utilities to help monitor system temperatures, and optimize your hardware. The Command Center allows you to adjust the CPU’s core multiplier, system voltage, and BCLK. It’s also possible to tweak the CPU in a similar fashion to the BIOS and adjust each core’s multiplier. The program has the option to monitor fan speeds and automatically tune the system based on thermal loads.


Here we can see the DRAM tab which contains settings for memory voltage, IGP frequency and GT voltage.


MSI’s RAMDisk is incredibly useful to utilize spare memory and create an ultra-fast RAMDisk. This makes applications run very quickly, and ensures no aspect of your system is going to waste.


The Gaming App features three modes and adjusts the CPU’s frequency based on your selection. For example, the Gaming Mode sets the CPU to its maximum turbo frequency while the Silent Mode prioritizes low noise over a higher CPU clock. In this compact interface, there’s a number of applications to help customise the user experience.


The Gaming HotKey is employed to map specific commands to your keyboard at a hardware level. This means you can boot directly into the BIOS, apply a new overclock or power the system with just one key press.


Another intriguing utility is the Mouse Master which contains a number of settings to change the DPI range, and create custom macros.


The Eye Rest software modifies your monitor’s brightness settings to reduce eye fatigue or make the content more vivid during various forms of entertainment.


Here we can see the LED customization menu featuring a huge array of colour options, transitional effects and the ability to synchronize music to the motherboard’s colour LED path.


The Gaming LAN Manager is deployed to perform a network test and monitor traffic utilization in various programs.


For example, we can see the upload/download rate of essential applications and determine their bandwidth.


MSI’s Fast Boot is handy to launch Windows and ignore the traditional post initiation sequences. On another note, the Go2BIOS button reboots the PC and allows you to access the BIOS without having to frantically press the keyboard.



MSI’s Live Update 6 tool is brilliant and outlines the required driver updates without having to search on the motherboard’s website. This makes it incredibly easy to update to the latest version and ensure your system has the correct software installed.


The Nahimic suite is designed to enhance your audio equipment through various presets and customizable meters. As a result, you can change the audio mix to emphasize sudden gunshots during games, or adopt a more balanced tone for music playback.


Another comprehensive tool to set a major overclock is the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility. This contains options to manage your CPU’s core multiplier, voltage offset and choose between static or adaptive core voltage overclocking.


There’s also a section displaying various system statistics including the CPU ID, GPU, operating system and more!


Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. A Closer Look & Layout Analysis
  3. The Test System and Test Software
  4. BIOS and Overclocking
  5. Software Overview
  6. CPU Performance
  7. Memory Performance
  8. Storage Performance
  9. Networking Performance
  10. Audio Performance
  11. Power Consumption
  12. Final Thoughts
  13. View All

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