Mastering your gaming side requires you to have the best at all times. This means that your investment should be focused on the best components you can get your hands on at Lowyat Plaza, and assemble it into your PC and optimise it to your gaming tune. Every system starts off with a motherboard, and the MSI Z170 Gaming M9 ACK is as good as it gets today (at the point of this being printed that is).
Spoiled For Choice
As a full-size ATX motherboard, the Gaming M9 ACK features a wealth of connectivity and ports that you will ever need, plus some that you may need in the future. It features an LGA115 socket, which is designed for Intel processors, especially the 6th Generation Skylake processors. This is paired with four banks of DDR4 slots, which can accept two pairs of dual-channel RAM and can have the clock speed boosted thanks to MSI’s DDR4 Boost technology.
It also comes with multiple ports for you to plug in your peripherals into. This includes HDMI and DisplayPort, combo mouse/keyboard PS/2, USB 2.0, USB 3.1, Gigabit Ethernet, and the new USB Type C connector. You even get on-board headers for USB 2.0 for your case USB ports. With these different options, you will not be running out of ports anytime soon.
Killer Wireless Connectivity
Apart from the ports, the Gaming M9 ACK also comes with Killer’s Wireless LAN module that lives in an optional module which can be installed upon the needs of the user. Just plug in the module, set up the antennas, and you will have a MIMO wireless setup for your gaming machine.
Expansions comes in the form of three PCIe x16 and three PCIe x1 slots, plus two M2.Sata slots for on-board storage. This motherboard supports up to three graphic cards, for Triple SLI or Crossfire setup. You also get 6 SATA3 ports for your optical storage. Imagine how much hard drive storage you can set-up with that many SATA ports.
Going Above Expectations
To see how the motherboard performs, we set it up with an Intel Core i7 6700K processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and ran our benchmark software. PCMark 8 is a suite of tests that gives any system a realistic real-world set of tasks which includes image editing, word processing, video transcoding and even web browsing. The Gaming M9 ACK scored a healthy 3898 points for the conventional test, and 3788 points for the creative-oriented test.
As a gaming motherboard, the MSI Z170 Gaming M9 ACK is certainly the best motherboard you can own and play with, especially with its range of connectivity options that will give you a degree of future proofing as time goes on.
PCMark8 – Conventional: 3898
PCMark8 – Creative: 3788
Verdict: A gaming motherboard that should be in your shopping list
Total Score: 9/10