MSI Z170A Gaming M9 ACK Layout & Features
The MSI Z170A Gaming M9 ACK saunters in with dapper good looks and a striking color scheme, rife with red accents and deeper blacks than what you get with the similarly colored ASUS Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Extreme motherboard. Although it could do with a couple more internal USB headers, from top to bottom this full-sized ATX board is well laid out with suitable spacing between components and clear labeling on all headers and connectors.
DDR4 DIMM slots, a LED post code error reporter, a single USB 3.1 Gen 1 header, and the 24-pin ATX power connector.
OC knob, Reset, and Power buttons. The OC knob handles hardware-based overclocking right on the board and can be set from 0 to 11. Higher numbers equate to more significant CPU clocks. This section is ajacent to the the front panel connections, an internal USB 2.0 header, another system fan connector, a TPM connector and a front panel audio connector.
Killer Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module. The Killer Double-Shot Pro feature we mentioned earlier can leverage this WiFi adapter and the on-board wired Killer network controller simultaneously, to better utilize all available network bandwidth. Non-prioritized apps, for example, will be moved to the WiFi network connection, while games and other high-priority apps stay on the wired connection. Double-Shot Pro does not load balance between the connections, but rather puts the highest-priority packets on the fastest connection, which is almost always the wired network connection.
NVMe storage solutions, like the hot new Samsung 960 series, for example.
Finally, the board is peppered throughout with aluminum core Dark capped capacitors, which we’ve seen in other enthusiast and premium motherboards from competing brands as well.