MSI Z270 SLI PLUS Motherboard Overview
For their Pro Series MSI has gone with a black and silver design, so you have an all black PCB and then silver accents on the heatsinks and rear I/O cover. The designs on the heatsinks look pretty cool, overall I think the board has a really good look to it.
Starting at the CPU socket we have Intel’s LGA1151 socket, which is flanked by power delivery components. The board makes use of a 10-phase power delivery system, which makes use of MSI’s Military Class 5 components. Two large heatsinks cover most of the power delivery components. At the top left of the board you’ll find your 8-pin EPS connector. The 4-pin CPU fan connector is located to the top right of the CPU socket.
If we move over to the side of the board we can see our four DDR4 DIMM slots. These slots make use of MSI’s Steel Armor, which not only looks cool it better protects your memory as well. Moving to the far edge of the board you’ll find a 4-pin pump header, 4-pin fan headers, a row of debug LEDs, 24-pin ATX power connector, and two USB 3.0 headers. One header is at a 90 degree angle, while the other is at its normal orientation. Often overlooked the debug LEDs are great to have when troubleshooting your system.
If we move down the board we come to our storage connections which include six SATA 6 GB/s ports. Interestingly enough four are at the normal 90 degree angle that we are used to and the other two face straight up. We can also see that 90 degree USB 3.0 header and another 4-pin fan header.
At the bottom of the board you’ll find the rest of your headers. From left to right you have your HD audio header, 4-pin fan header, RGB LED header, serial port header, parallel port header, TPM header, two USB 2.0 headers, and your front panel headers.
At the far end of the motherboard you’ll find the audio solution which is MSI’s Audio Boost 4, it has complete PCB isolation from the rest of the motherboard. Audio Boost 4 is a 120dB SNR / 32-bit rated EMI-shielded ALC 1220 High Definition audio processor with a built-in DAC. We can also see the Chemicon audio capacitors.
Moving on to expansion slots you’ll find three PCI-Express x16 slots (x16/x0/0x, x8/x8/0x, x8/x8/x4) and three PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots. This board supports both AMD Crossfire (3-way) and NVIDIA SLI (2-way). The top two PCI-Express x16 slots feature MSI’s steel armor, which will help with larger graphics cards sagging, and again just looks cool! Above the top PCI-Express slot and between the second and third slots you’ll find the Turbo M.2 slots. These also have reinforced steel armor. These are both 32 Gb/s PCI-Express M.2 slots.
Finally we move to the rear I/O. From left to right we have a combination PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 ports, DVI, two USB 3.1 ports (1x type-A, 1x type-C), four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet (Intel 1219-V), and audio connections.