A Closer Look
The Z270 SLI Plus is part of MSI’s Pro Series motherboards, which focus on clean cosmetics and budget friendly designs, without giving up reliability or the features that make a true enthusiast product.
The black with silver highlight cosmetic design does seem very understated compared to some of the last couple of generation’s flashy designs. Flashy hardware isn’t everyone cup of tea however and many a builder like a cleaner look.
There are two USB 2.0 ports and three USB Type-A 3.1 Gen1 ports. MSI has are included two “Lightening” USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, consisting of a Type-A and Type-C design. USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports offer twice the bandwidth of USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports. A PS/2 keyboard/mouse port allows for legacy input device connectivity. The RJ-45 port is driven the I219-V Intel chipset. Five audio out jacks and a microphone in jack provide option for audio connections. There are also HDMI and DVI video connections.
The lower rear of the motherboard contains most of the front panel audio connections. Ther is also a system fan connetor and a RGB LED connector. Audio on the Z270 SLI Plus is provided by MSI’s Audio Boost 4 which is powered by Realtek’s latest ALC1220 chipset. There are two M.2 ports. The first M.2 port resides below the CPU socket and the second resides towards the bottom of the motherboard just above the third PCI-E X16 slot. Both M.2 connectors supports all common standards, including NVMe and are capable of up to 32 Gb/s via PCI-E 3.0 X4. They also support the all-new Intel Optane technology.
The lower front of the motherboard contains most of the rest of front panel connections.
The upper front of the motherboard contains 4 SATA 6.0 connectors, as well as dual USB 3.0 front panel connectors.
The lower front of the motherboard has the 24 pin power connector and two fan connectors.
Things are a bit snug around the CPU socket, which is not uncommon with modern motherboards.
MSI has included a User Guide, a Registration Card, and a driver disk.
There is also a Quick Installation Guide and a Media Sample Performance Qualification card.
Two SATA cables and the rear I/O shield are the final included accessories.
System Configuration, BIOS, and Software are up next.