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MSI Z170A GAMING PRO (Intel LGA 1151)

cadaveca

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#1
MSI listens to all you gamers out there who want Intel LAN instead of KIllerNIC, and who are tired of all the dragons. The MSI Z170A GAMING PRO is the board that rids itself of the things many users complain about, adding in a new twist instead. Pro gaming for the MSI Z170A GAMING PRO?

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#2
Looks like a great board. Nice review.

You are correct about issues with the Killer NIC, so the Intel I219-V controller should be a welcome replacement. What I have found through quite a bit of testing and using MSI boards is that 99% of the problems with the Killer NIC are caused by the associated software which downloads and installs automatically with the Killer NIC drivers. It is called Qualcomm Atheros Network Manager or Killer Network Manager, or the Killer Performance Suite. If you only install the straight vanilla drivers for the NIC and nothing else, I've found the Killer NIC to be trouble free and actually works great. The attached suite software is buggy and causes major issues for most folks.

Just check the MSI forums and you'll find tons of info on this topic, and links to the straight Killer NIC drivers.


https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=261995.0
 

cadaveca

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#3
I personally do not find any issues within my own home network, which is a mix of KillerNIC (3 machines) and Intel (3 machines).
 

W1zzard

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#4
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#5
I personally do not find any issues within my own home network, which is a mix of KillerNIC (3 machines) and Intel (3 machines).
I'm one of those people who had many MSI boards in the past and only had one since with KillerNic was introduced, and that was enough, so I did not bought any from them because of that. I'm not a fanboy, if KillerNic will be better I will want that. Right now, Intel is better and I want the best when I game, simple is that.
@W1zzard is right that the driver is the root of most of the problem, but it did not solve all of my troubles, I still had some minor issues with my VPN setup, and it's also a bit slower than Intel (only with a tiny amount tho, so that wouldn't be enough alone to complain). I'm happy for the change.
 

hat

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#6
Just how good is the audio these days? I've heard good things about the Realtek 1150. How would it compare to my X-Fi?
 
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#7
Just how good is the audio these days? I've heard good things about the Realtek 1150. How would it compare to my X-Fi?
It's worse! I don't care about the test results, even the Xonar DG beats any onboard audio anytime.
 
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#8
The LED lights that you mentioned under the heat sink panel cover thing, you know what I'm talking about, right? Do those change colors too? I plan on using this board for a Blue LED themed build, and I wouldn't want to spend a bunch of money to have a few red lights taking over!
 
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#9
The only thing I'd like to see more is, at least 5 or 6 fan connections. Where I live it's very hard to come by molex to 4 pin adapters.
 
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