An affordable solution. Good Looks.
Packing has no bearing on performance, but MSI has made this an experience in itself. This may not be a high end motherboard, but the packaging makes it feel that way.
Inside the box we have the usual accessories.
What about this motherboard is so great? The red and black color scheme. I’ve always rocked high end Intel systems. I’ve always had a windowed case. This board looks as good as any I’ve ever seen. Primarily the black with the prominent MSI logo in the bottom left.
Spec wise the 970 Gaming uses the AM3+ socket with up to 8 core processors available. Some think that AMD CPUs suck at performance. While the AM3+ socket doesn’t have 6950X performance it’s 8 core is priced at $150 and has i5 level output. The key is that for the price you get great performance. I wouldn’t be afraid to do Blender and video work with a decent graphics card combo.
PCIe has been the standard for a while. This board has 2 Gen 2 x16 slots. That’s gen two. A little disappointing there are still gen 2 slots out there, but it’s good enough for GPU bandwidth. Kind of fun, but silly that the board has old school PCI slots…
Connectivity has the must have USB 3.0 ports.
Build quality. ?!?!?! Well. Not sure. MSI claims to use a military grade standard for construction. Everything seems solid except for one thing. Notice that the capacitors aren’t flush with the board. When I pulled it out of the board I noticed a few bent. Although this isn’t a big negative, it lacks that refined component connection that you see with other manufacturers.
In all I’m somewhat attached to this board. I don’t really have any use for this board as we have all X99 motherboards in the office. BUT, honestly I could see this being put into a new hire’s rig with an RX 480 for some gaming and editing projects. The box says to just game, but I think you can find a lot of productive uses for this affordable board.