MSI Z270 Krait Gaming
The second offering from MSI this month comes in the form of the more consumer-friendly mainstream Krait series motherboard. Over last year’s Z170 variant, this ATX mobo features an updated aesthetic design, rear I/O cover, and further improvements to onboard connectivity. As PCIe storage becomes increasingly popular due to its vastly superior sequential read and write speeds in contrast to the bottlenecked SATA 6GB/s hard drives of yesteryear, Intel has pushed the number of PCIe lanes available to the chipset from 20 to 24. What this means is you can now have multiple M.2 drives without sacrificing any graphical performance when running dual-card setups.
As such, MSI’s latest Krait features two M.2 slots over its Z170 predecessor, on top of improved memory support, two onboard USB 3.0 headers, and has finally dropped the SATA Express connection standard. Consistency in terms of performance was solid, and I still managed to achieve a comfortable 5.0GHz on our Intel Core i7-7700K with little to no worry.