MSI Z170A Krait Gaming 3X Motherboard Review: Page 7 of 8
Posted by Heath Coop on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 8:00am
Performance Continued and Overclocking
3DMark - Firestrike
"The new 3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your hardware. With three all new tests you can bench everything from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks and home PCs, to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming desktops. And it's not just for Windows. With 3DMark you can compare your scores with Android and iOS devices too. It's the most powerful and flexible 3DMark we've ever created.
Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today's high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today"
This score is very good. The Z170A Krait Gaming 3X with the i7 6700K edges out all the Z97 based motheroards and is only slightly behind the last MSI X99 motherboard we tested.
"Indebted to the wrong people, with his life on the line, veteran of the U.S. Cavalry and now hired gun, Booker DeWitt has only one opportunity to wipe his slate clean. He must rescue Elizabeth, a mysterious girl imprisoned since childhood and locked up in the flying city of Columbia."
Bioshock: Infinite, developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games, is the third iteration of the Bioshock franchise. It uses the extremely popular Unreal 3 game engine and is one of the best looking games of 2013.
Metro: Last Light
"It Is the Year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt a midst the poisoned skies above."
Developed by 4A games and published by Deepsilver, Metro: Last Light uses the 4A game engine. At it's highest settings, the 4A game engine is capable of bringing all but the most extreme gaming systems to their knees.
"Garrett, the Master Thief, steps out of the shadows into the City. In this treacherous place, where the Baron’s Watch spreads a rising tide of fear and oppression, his skills are the only things he can trust. Even the most cautious citizens and their best-guarded possessions are not safe from his reach."
Thief was developed by Eidos-Montréal and published by SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive. The newest game in our benchmark suite, Thief is also one of the most demanding and has the highest recommended system requirements. Those heavy requirements allow it to use the Unreal 3 game engine to great effect. It also features AMD's Mantle API, as well as Microsoft's common DirectX 11 API.
"Tomb Raider explores the intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a young woman to a hardened survivor. Armed only with raw instincts and the ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, Lara must fight to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold."
Tomb Raider was developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive. It features a modified version of the Crystal game engine and was the first game to integrate AMD's TressFX 2.0, which adds hair, fur and grass physics.
All of these games score show that the MSI Z170A Krait Gaming 3x is a quite capable motherboard. I found no issue with any of the games during testing. In fact the Krait Gaming 3X out-scored every Z170 motherboard we have tested so far. I have a feeling this is due to it having a more aggressive CPU Turbo setting than the other board we have tested. The results do speak for themselves though, the Z170A Krait Gaming 3x would make a great foundation for a gaming build.
I started out configuring the i7 6700K at its default settings.
Once the default settings were in, it was now time to see how high I could push the CPU with our water cooling system and have it still be 100% stable. All cores and hyperthreaded were still enabled. The memory settings were entered manually, but at the XMP Profile 1 defaults. All setting was done from inside the BIOS.
4.9 GHz is a great clock for a sub $200 motherboard. This was also done with a rather modest, for the clock speed, voltage of 1.5v. The system was completely stable and never showed a BSOD. The MSI Z170A Krait Gaming 3X is designed for gaming, but it is a quite capable overclocker as well.
Let us conclude this review on the next page.