MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon Review: Page 5 of 9

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Posted by Heath Coop on Monday, February 13, 2017 - 8:13am

System Configuration, BIOS, and Software

Testing Hardware

  • MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon
  • Intel Core i7 7700K Processor
  • Kingston HyperX Fury 2666MHz DRR4 Memory
  • PowerColor Radeon R9 285 TurboDuo Graphics Card
  • Crucial M550 256GB Solid State Drive
  • Spotswood Small Tech Station
  • XFX PRO850W XXX Edition 850w Silver Power Supply

Drivers

  • Radeon Crimson 16.4.1

CPU Cooling:

  • Swiftech H320 X2 Prestige AIO

Testing Operating System:

  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home

General System Benchmarks:

  • PCMark 8
  • Super Pi

CPU Benchmarks:

  • Fritz Chess
  • Handbrake
  • Cinebench R15
  • 7-Zip

Memory Benchmarks:

  • AIDA64 Engineer
  • Passmark Performance Test 8.0
  • SiSoft Sandra

Storage Benchmarks:

  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • CrystalDiskMark 3.0
  • AS SSD
  • Passmark Performance Test 8.0

Game Benchmarks:

  • 3Dmark
  • Bioshock: Infinite
  • Metro: Last Light
  • Thief
  • Tomb Raider

BIOS

The Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon BIOS is similar to the previous generation of MSI motherboards. The sheer number of screens and settings are far too numerous to display here, so we will just take a look at the basics. The screens are fairly self-explanatory. There are two modes, basic and advanced.

Basic

Advanced

Click BIOS 5 is where all the overclocking action really happens. Every imaginable setting for clock speed or voltage is available, for both the CPU and the memory. Recent settings can be recalled and multiple profiles can be saved.

I found the BIOS pleasurable to use, with it flexible and easy to read. I did not have any difficulty finding the settings that I wanted to change and everything seemed to be logically laid out.

Software

MSI packages the Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon with a robust software suite. Up first is Fast Boot. Fast Boost allows the OS to be cached in memory to decrease boot time. There is also an option to go directly to BIOS upon restarting the system.

Up next is MSI Command Center MSI Command Center. This is utility used for overclocking and tweaking inside the Windows environment.

The first tab is the CPU tab and allows for CPU overclocking and fan adjustments.

The DRAM tab allows control over the system’s memory.

The IGP tab has settings for Intel’s integrated graphics processor.

The OC Genie 4 tab is allows for preset CPU overclocking. The i5 6600K gets clocked to 4.1 GHz while the i7 6700K gets clocked to 4.4 GHz.

Dragon Eye is a video streaming utility.

Nahimic is a feature rich audio control utility.

Live Update 6 checks for software updates and keeps track of changes made.

The X-Boost software allows you to boost the performance of any storage or USB device connected to you system.

Gaming App allows for quick adjustments of many of the system setting aimed at gaming performance and board cosmetics.

RAMDisk is a utility that can be used to create a system drive using the system memory. System memory is far faster than regular drives and can increase system performance.

Gaming LAN Manager is used for network adjustments.

DPC Latency Tuner is a tool that helps to optimize your PC settings to get a smooth audio/video playback experience and faster system response.

A MSI themed edition of CPU-Z is also packaged with the Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon.

MSI also packages Intel Extreme Tuning Utility, Norton Internet Security, Google Chrome, Google Toolbar, and Google Drive with the Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon.

 

Now onto Performance Testing.

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