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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

Sub Components Overview

The metal sink for the VRMs is the part of the plastic overlay that also covers the sink for the MOSFETs. The other sink covers only the chipset. As you’ll notice, the chipset heatsink has a wire connection for the LEDs on it.

Most of the sub-components are covered by the plastic overlay over the I/O and for the PCIe slots.

VGA/CPU Cooler Compatibility

The Noctua NH-U14S gives a good idea about the best possible compatibility with larger coolers. Typically, we’ve seen motherboards that have no space between large 140mm CPU air coolers and the first slot with the GPU. At times the fan clips touch either the PCB or the backplate of the graphic card. That is unlikely going to be the case with the Z270 Gaming M5.

To show the potential of this layout, two graphic cards are installed- the Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti and the MSI GTX 1050. The M.2 drives SP900 and SP500 are installed as shown above. The second and the fourth DIMM slots are the first slots to be used or it might get the system identify as a single channel installation. The markings for the DIMM slots are on the motherboard. You can see that the LGA socket is placed in a way that it provides ample space for 140mm CPU air coolers, yet it would not overlap the upper PCB section. There’s really nothing to complain about.

LED Illumination

Out of the box, the LED lights on the chipset and the audio section illuminates. The EZ debug LEDs turn itself off after POST, with the exception of the DIMM slot and XMP profile indicator. Unexpectedly, you’ll also find a red-lit LED for the gigabit LAN. The illumination is good enough if you want to plug in the ethernet at a pitch dark room.


  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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