MSI Z270 Gam­ing Pro Car­bon £160

PC GAMER (UK) - - Hardware -

Amus­ingly, the epony­mous car­bon fi­bre flour­ishes are the least ap­peal­ing thing about this board’s de­sign. Oth­er­wise it’s a de­cent mid-range op­tion with great per­for­mance. As the price in­di­cates, some of the more pre­mium touches are miss­ing.

6You get plas­tic IO shroud­ing, chunky colour co­or­di­nated heatsinks, a matt black PCB and some RGB light­ing. The CPU mount is plain metal, there are no heat­pipes to as­sist cool­ing, no cover for the au­dio sec­tion and you miss out on a power but­ton.

But back to that car­bon. MSI has man­aged to take the edge off what would’ve been quite a nice sim­ple, se­date de­sign by plas­ter­ing all the plas­tic sec­tions with faux car­bon fi­bre. It’s not my thing.

Oth­er­wise there’s a lot to like. You’ve got plenty of con­nec­tiv­ity on the back­plate, a neat metal cover for your M.2 drives and qual­ity au­dio. All told, it’s a well bal­anced se­lec­tion.

What’s more, this board had no is­sues with in­stal­la­tion or con­fig­u­ra­tion. Nearly ev­ery other one had a mo­ment where a re­set was needed or a set­ting-change failed. Here, it just worked.

The same was true when it came to over­clock­ing. I di­aled in 5GHz and 1.34V and away it went, and the re­sult­ing per­for­mance was class-lead­ing.

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