Playing computer games is fun. It’s entertaining and exciting especially if you’ve felt victorious with it. But nonetheless, computer ain’t fun if the computer that being used is weak, dysfunctions, and affects your gaming performance. That is why it is essential that you have to buy the finest computer parts to suited your gaming setup. Motherboards sometime alternatively known as main board, system board, baseboard or logic board. In this product review, we will examine the differences and similarities of two MSI’s motherboard. These are MSI Z170A Gaming M5 and MSI Z270A Gaming M7.
Specs and Features
Durability and Appearance
As to its weight and size, the M7 is heavier with 4 pounds compared to the M5 with only 3.45 pounds. The M5 is enclosed into an aluminum braced plated with a heat sink design to ensure prolonged hours utilization. Whereas, the M7 is protected with a steel armor to prevent physical damage and over current for smooth gaming experience.
Before purchasing a motherboard, it is essential that you know what type of socket you need. The CPU socket determines the compatibility of your motherboard to the CPU you have. Thus, both of these motherboards support the same CPU socket, LGA 1151. This CPU socket is fitting to most Intel’s i5 to i7 series.
Chipset refers to the term describe on the group of motherboard chips and components that resides on the interface of the motherboard. Nevertheless, it is important that the chipset is compatible with the CPU you will also purchase. These two motherboards reviewed here have different chipsets. The M5 chipset is Intel Z170 Express whereas the M7 incorporates Intel Z270.
Form Factor or Size
The size of the motherboard determines the capacity that it handles for computer operation. Nevertheless, both devices support 4x DDR4 memory type being able to manage frequencies up to 3600 MHz as needed. Aside from that, both devices handle similar RAM catering a maximum of 64 GB.
The PCI-e slots depend on the form factor. Thus, having the DDR4 memory type means that you’ll be having 3 PCI-e 3.0 slots available. Consequently, the configuration of the PCI should be determined. Both motherboards handle a maximum of x16 bandwidth speed. Nevertheless, it is expected that both motherboards support multiple cards you wanted to install.
Consequently, there are motherboards who had built-in audio and sound cards. Luckily, both devices have these audio ports and soundcards intuitively. The M5 boasts on audio boost 3, empowered by the Nahimic sound technology. Whereas, the M7 incorporates an upgrade to the Realtek ALC1150 audio system. Nevertheless, both devices have prettily basic audio drivers and do not support even DDL or DTS, the only stereo. There are few users who have also troubles with audio. Thus, its best to purchase audio cards and not rely on the built-in ones.
The M7 has more available slots to cater different utilization as compared to M5. It has similar 6x SATA ports as needed. The only difference though is that the M7 accommodates triple M.2 slots as compared to the latter being able to handle two only. Aside from that, the M7 has 7 available USB ports as compared to M5 which only has 2 USB ports. Thus, let’s just give this a point to M7 again.
Buttons and Add-ons
The M7 has incorporated add-ons that is quite friendly for gamers out there. Nevertheless, the M7 has additional buttons for the operation. Respectively, it has a game boost button, a power and reset button, a BIOS flashback button, and a hotkey switch. The M7 also brags on the Mystic Light Sync that controls on the RGB lighting into your computer system as needed.
Both have overclocking features. Though, the M7 has more boosting capability than the M5 motherboard. There are users who are disappointed with the overclocking ability of M5, seems lacking and insufficient. The M7 does it well yet improving as the other one. This point goes to M7.
Looking at its price, you’ll be surprised with the $100 difference between the two motherboards. The internal software and hardware are prettily similar for both devices. The $100 perhaps is catered to the additional buttons, slots, and add-ons that M7 incorporates as needed. A big point certainly for M5.
Which One Should I Buy?
This is a entirely question that could be answered depending on what particular purpose you’re implying with. The M5 introduced in 2015 has quite similar internal features concerning memory, PCI-e slots, and even GPU as the M7. Considerably, the M5 is suited to be bought for those practical users who wanted to buy an efficient motherboard without the added buttons and slots.
The M7, successor of the M5 is integrated with upgraded features including its overclocking and audio features. Though, few users felt like it still weren’t enough to match it with other competitors. The add-ons are intuitive and very helpful to gamers who want to ace out into the activity itself.
Overall, if you just wanted for a well-made and good performing motherboards, then it’s ideal to purchase the M5. It’s cost-efficient given that you have everything excluding the buttons, ports, and the RGB lighting that the M7 incorporated. The $100 seems to be a bit exaggerated for all the incorporation, but if you wanted to maximize your gaming performance, then it’s best to buy the M7 one as needed.