MSI Z170A GAMING M5 (LGA1151) Motherboard Review

CPU & GPU Performance


At stock values, the motherboard reports a highly impressive Multi CPU score, although the Single result could be improved slightly. Saying that, the difference is within a margin of error.

Once overclocked, the CPU performance remains pretty competitive and isn’t too far away from moving up the rankings.


The motherboard achieves a good compute time but there’s a noticeable margin to the SuperMicro C7Z170-SQ and above.

Unfortunately, the overclocked performance is a considerable amount off the higher end results. On the other hand, a slight increase on another benchmark run could move the motherboard up to a mid-table standing.

SiSoft Sandra

In SiSoft Sandra, the Z170A GAMING M5 managed to attain a good Whestone Aggregate score and defeated many rival offerings. However, it did fall behind during the Dhrystone benchmark.

When it comes to overclocking performance, the motherboard scored passable results. As you can see, there’s room for improvement and I was surprised by the deficit compared to the GAMING M7. However, it’s not a cause for concern and shouldn’t impair on the average user’s experience.


On a more positive note, the motherboard’s 3DMark scores are impressive and showcases its gaming credentials.

Tomb Raider

The motherboard once paired with a GTX 980Ti offers astonishing numbers during gaming scenarios and surpasses many competing models. Granted, a large proportion of the performance variation relies on driver enhancements from NVIDIA.

Bioshock Infinite

Rather surprising, the frame-rate wasn’t as competitive in Bioshock Infinite at a 2560×1440 resolution. Despite this, it’s still better than various competitors and provides a stellar gaming experience.