MSI’s Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon is the company’s take on a mid-range motherboard with features that will appeal to gamers. Noteworthy inclusions are a comprehensive set of RGB LEDs spread across the board, a design which caters for dual-GPU gamers, and the company’s smart M.2 Shield cooling plate.
Intel's Z270 chipset has some interesting CPUs to go along with it, and it seems many have the potential to reach 5 GHz for daily use, something many enthusiasts have only dreamed of until now. Of course, you do need that capable board to match that overly capable CPU, and MSI's Z270 GAMING PRO CARBON is fortunately more than just one of those boards.
- upports 7th / 6th Gen Intel® Core™ / Pentium® / Celeron® processors for LGA 1151 socket
- Supports DDR4-3866+(OC) Memory
- DDR4 Boost with Steel Armor: Give your DDR4 memory a performance boost
- VR Ready and VR Boost: Best virtual reality game experience without latency, reduces motion sickness
- Mystic Light and Mystic Light Sync: 16.8 milliom colors /17 effects controlled in one click with GAMING APP or mobile devices.
- Lightning Fast Game experience: Twin Turbo M.2, Steel Armor, M.2 Shield. Intel Optane Memory Ready, Lightning USB 3.1 Gen2
- Audio Boost 4 with Nahimic 2: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience
- GAMING LAN with LAN Protect, powered by Intel® : The best online gaming experience with lowest latency and bandwidth management
- Military Class 5, Guard-Pro: Latest evolution in high quality components for best protection and efficiency
- MULTI-GPU: With Steel Armor PCI-E slots. Supports NVIDIA SLI™ & AMD Crossfire™
- In-Game Weapons: Game Boost, GAMING Hotkey, X-Boost, Xsplit Gamecaster
- EZ Debug LED: Easiest way to troubleshoot
- Click BIOS 5: Award-winning BIOS with high resolution scalable font, favorites and search function
- GAMING CERTIFIED: 24-hour on- and offline game and motherboard testing by eSports players
The Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon’s feature list should tick the box for most gaming enthusiasts. There’s support for 2-card SLI and 3-card CrossFire, dual M.2 PCIe NVMe or SATA SSDs, and 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 is present in both Type-A and Type-C form. MSI has an additional trick which is the board’s ability to RAID together a trio of PCIe storage devices (two through M.2 and one through the PCIe slot, for example) in order to enhance transfer rates.
MSI is outing the MSI Z270 GAMING Pro Carbon as an aesthetically pleasing product, nice dark looks with metal elements. Not too much LED bling aside for the logo and a LED strip (configurable) under the motherboard.
As a world leading gaming brand, MSI's goal is to become the most trusted name in gaming and e-sport. We've dedicated countless hours and committed numerous resources to the eSports community to support the world's most aspiring and best gamers and use their knowledge and expertise in our products in return. The insistence on 100% in-house design and manufacturing gives MSI the solid capability to implement innovative ideas and optimized design in our products.
The MSI Gaming Pro Carbon is a seriously affordable take on the Z270 formula, but without cutting out any of the big features. Indeed it is one of the great boons about this latest iteration of the Intel chipset that so very much of the featureset is built into the chipset that manufacturers are free to pare it to the bone to make it affordable to the masses without compromises the end user experience.
The Carbon has plenty of things to excite the gamers in the audience. Besides its obvious affordability it looks fantastic with the all black PCB and heatsink design, utilising mock carbon fibre which actually suits it well, rather than the Halfords car accessory style you got off an Aunt for xmas. In addition to this MSI have really pushed the boat out with the lighting on the Carbon. More than perhaps any other motherboard we have seen there are loads are sections of the Carbon which light up, in any colour you like and any combination of your choosing. It's fantastic, and if you want a motherboard that looks spectacular when it is on and really brings excitement to your internals then we think this is the one to have.
There's better audio and overclocking potential plus support for Intel's Optane technology, which all Z270 boards support. Specifically with the MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon, it's a good overclocker, has an excellent EFI and solid software pack, and decent lighting that's not overdone too. The M.2 Shield should keep your M.2 SSD cool as well and may even provide a little boost in speed if you're frequently pushing it to the max.
The Z270 GAMING PRO CARBON supports the spectacular Mystic Light technology which can transform the motherboard’s appearance. Not only that, the product has a 12V pin header to attach an RGB strip, 6 fully controllable PWM/DC fan headers and USB 3.1 connectivity. There’s also an M.2 shield which reduces thermal throttling on NVMe devices and Audio Boost 4 with an isolated RGB circuit path. Unfortunately, the motherboard doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3, but this is to be expected given the affordable price point. Overall, the Z270 GAMING PRO CARBON looks promising and I’m expecting it to live up to the legacy of the previous model.
If you are looking for a good quality motherboard with a solid RGB lighting implementation, support for two graphics cards alongside three PCIe SSDs, and plenty of software tools to aid your daily workload, MSI’s Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon is a solid contender for your money.
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