I have looked at X370 motherboards from all vendors except MSI, and today I finally have the chance to see what MSI has up their sleeve when it comes to AMD's latest Ryzen platform. The X370 Krait is meant to be an affordable motherboard targeting gamers and enthusiasts alike. Its color theme is black and white, with both the heat sinks and PCB silkscreen playing a role in the overall appeal of the product.
The MSI X370 Krait Gaming finally hits the test bench, and we're ready to relive the glory days of the MSI 990FXA Gaming. We’ve had a pretty good track record with MSI and AMD products ever since the Kaveri APU. We're even rocking a donated Nvidia GT 730 GPU in one of our small form factor boxes.
The motherboard greets us as we open the box and beneath it are manuals, installation media, IO back plate, two SATA cables, stickers, and a standard flexible SLI bridge. Although the contents aren’t exactly on par with those for the X370 boards we've reviewed to this point, the reduced clutter is a welcome deviation.
The mystical Krait apparently dipped its claws into white paint and slashed this board at a bias, giving this product battle scars that look a bit like inverted zebra stripes. Again, the horrid text covers the IO shield for the back plate and just looks out of place. This board misses the plastic audio coverings for the bottom left of the board, but it is still illuminated and isolated from the rest of the circuitry.
Of course, looks will only get you so far. The X370 Krait Gaming boasts an 8+2 VRM design and has four DIMM slots supporting up to 64GB of DDR4 memory at 3,200MHz or higher (via overclocking).
On the PCI-Express front, it has two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8), a PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, and three PCIe 2.0 x1 slots.
For storage duties, users have access to six SATA 6Gbps ports with RAID 0/1/10 support. There is also an M.2 slot for installing one of those gum stick-sized SSDs.
Users also get a variety of external connectivity options, including DVI-D and HDMI output, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, four USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port, a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port, and a Gigabit LAN port, plus audio connectors.
The top half of the planar hosts four dual-latched DDR4 DIMM slots that give that reassuring click when successfully engaging both latches. Beneath these honkin’ heaps of alloy, an 8+2 phase design powers various power rails on the board (8 Vcore and 2 VSoC). Connectivity options for PCIe are standard for the MSI X370 Krait Gaming, where the top two PCIe slots support Gen3 x16/x0 or x8/x8 configurations, and the bottom slot drives a Gen2 x4 connection, which is shared with the various x1 ports. This board also employs VR Boost, which aims to increase the signal integrity of attached VR devices to improve data transmission.
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