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38 MSI Z270 Gaming M5

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 Motherboard Review

  1. Intro: MSI Z270 Gaming M5!
  2. Motherboard Overview
  3. Sub-Component Overview and CPU/VGA Compatibility
  4. UEFI Overview
  5. Test System and Testing Metholody
  6. CPU Overclocking and Memory Profile benchmark
  7. SATA Performance Testing
  8. USB 3.1 Gen 1 Transfer Test
  9. Boot Load Timings
  10. Conclusion
  11. Online Purchase Links
  12. View All

Long story made longer…

The motherboard is newbie-friendly in every way- from its manual to setting up the system from scratch. While motherboards are practically plug-and-play hassle-less setup, my experience with Super Micro X99-OCE made me rethink. I feel that in a 1080p display, the BIOS looks a little bit cluttered, similar to one of the three modes Gigabyte UEFI had on the older motherboards (now reduced to two- the easy access interface and the classic). Maybe it won’t be the case with a larger resolution??

About the M-Shield’s usefulness…

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 has an M.2 shield- a strip of metal with a thermal pad underneath. While it shouldn’t really help in good dissipation, it should allow to draw the heat and maybe spread the heat evenly on the surface?  In any case, there wasn’t any significant difference as you can see above with the ADATA SP900. The main benefit is just covering the green PCB. When that’s the case, why not for the longer 110mm M.2?  Maybe providing a similar strip for M.2 drive’s underside may provide a better heat dissipation? Who knows.

But apart from that, MSI Z270 Gaming M5 is a very good motherboard with no redundant buttons or fancy knobs and switches for the people whose setups are closed case units. It helps to keep the cost down so that the already expensive enthusiast chipset boards can be a little bit easier to access. Most of that can be controlled by its UEFI anyways. The layout is clean and it doesn’t have an obnoxious design.

India US UK
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I haven’t look at other motherboards yet. But the MSI Z270 Gaming M5 made a very good impression to be a future ready solution. Within these three months, I looked at three motherboards (two of which were reviewed) from MSI and the layout was pretty good for its class. That’s very important seeing that Kaby Lake doesn’t exactly give a significant boost in performance compared to its previous two counterparts, making it difficult for motherboard manufacturers to sell mid-end and enthusiast-class motherboards. While the prices are not known for the US and the UK, Indian retail prices are expected to be around Rs. 19,000/- to Rs. 20,000/-, translating it to US $279 (actual retail might be cheap, but nonetheless).

There are a couple of minor quirks, but providing more USB ports for the rear I/O is essential. MSI could have provided two more without any price increase. Again, Kaby Lake’s performance compared to its previous generation is meh! So that’s all the more reason the brands should provide more while keeping the cost down.

  • 110mm M.2 port
  • Best ATX Layout yet
  • Best Instruction manual
  • Ample space between PCIe x16 slots
  • USB ports dedicated for VR headsets

  • No M-Connector
  • M.2 Shield for top port
  • More USB 3.0 for the rear I/O.

You have to wonder if MSI would be able to make a similar motherboard with the H270 platform. Even with a single M2 slot, that’s going to be a good option to look at.  But if you’re shopping for Z270 chipset motherboards, you can shortlist this.

MSI Z270 Gaming M5 Motherboard Review from hardware

6 comments

  1. Hello. Nice review.
    Can you tell me if only CPU and PUMP headers are capable of PWM and DC mode fan control or the system fan headers can do that also???
    For example my Z87 G65 gaming can only do PWM control at CPU headers while system headers are DC only.
    Much appreciated.

  2. All headers have that option in this motherboard, including CPU_FAN header! You can also set custom fan profiles for all the headers as well.

  3. Recently bought this motherboard with M.2 Samsung 960 Evo.
    Not recognising the M.2 Drive, which I thought would be natively recognised. Could you advise?

  4. It is plug and play so it should be natively detected. Did you try using the second M.2 slot? Before that try flashing the motherboard with the latest BIOS.

  5. I just sent back the second Z270 M5 board to Newegg. The first one wouldn’t take more than one memory chip for some reason. I would get code 55 when I installed more than one chip. The second one ended up being a dead board. No power what-so-ever. I switched out the power supply and the board still didn’t respond. I’m in the process of calling MSI and letting them know what I think of their M5 board.

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