MSI Z170I Gam­ing Pro AC

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST - By Peter Chu

Cross­Fire GPU setup.

But if it's any con­so­la­tion, the Z170I Gam­ing Pro AC does come with its own In­tel Dual Band Wire­less-AC 8260 Wi-Fi mo­d­ule com­plete with two ex­ter­nal an­ten­nas, which would no doubt come in handy when con­nect­ing to the In­ter­net via LAN is out of the ques­tion.

As with most MSI prod­ucts, the Z170I Gam­ing Pro AC is loaded with a va­ri­ety of fancy fea­tures, in­clud­ing MSI LAN Pro­tect, a surge pro­tec­tor that's able to with­stand up to 15KV of cur­rent; Au­dio Boost 3 tech­nol­ogy, which com­prises high-qual­ity au­dio com­po­nents, such as an iso­lated au­dio PCB and an elec­tro­mag­net­i­callyshielded HD au­dio pro­ces­sor; and USB Au­dio Power Pro – a spe­cial gold USB port that has a con­stant 5V cur­rent to al­low for ‘cleaner' au­dio to be re­pro­duced on DACs and USBpow­ered head­phones.

Be­fore we pro­ceeded to bench­mark the per­for­mance of the Z170I Gam­ing Pro AC us­ing PCMark 8, we equipped it with a 4.00GHz In­tel Core i7-6700K pro­ces­sor, 16GB of HyperX Fury DDR4 2,666MHz RAM, and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti graph­ics card.

To­gether with the rest of the com­po­nents, the Z170I Gam­ing Pro AC man­aged to ob­tain a score of 4,345 for PCMark 8's Home bench­mark, and 6,946 for the Cre­ative bench­mark. Since the board comes re­plete with an au­to­mated over­clock­ing func­tion called Game Boost, we de­cided to ac­ti­vate it within the BIOS and run the bench­marks again, just to see whether it would ac­tu­ally im­prove its per­for­mance. This con­se­quently raised the Core i7-6700K's clock speed from 4.0GHz to 4.4GHz, and its core volt­age from 1.256V to 1.272V – all with a sim­ple press of a but­ton.

With the Game Boost mode en­gaged, the Z170I Gam­ing Pro AC man­aged to achieve a score of 5,007 and 7,847 for PCMark 8's Home and Cre­ative bench­marks re­spec­tively, which is quite a sub­stan­tial im­prove­ment, we must say. If you're not all that familiar with the in­tri­cate art of over­clock­ing, the Game Boost mode is no doubt a more straight­for­ward way for you to squeeze a lit­tle more juice out from your pro­ces­sor.

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