msi z370 pro a review

MSI Z370-A pro review

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MSI Z370-A Pro review: QUICK OVERVIEW

Review of: MSI Z370-A Pro

Category: Motherboards

Features

Chipset

Affordability

Warranty

What We Like

  • The number of fan headers
  • The type of connectors for various types of displays
  • X-Boost
  • Brown board contrasts the white, black, and silver parts of the motherboard
  • 4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A and 2 USB 2.0 ports on the IO Panel
  • 256 GB across four memory slots
  • Works with the latest and most up-to-date current 8th generation processors
  • Utilizes DDR4 RAM technology
  • Plus Circle
    Award-winning BIOS

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn'y have 10 Gbps capabilities through the chipset
  • It's weighs and size
  • Does not have WiFi built in
  • Not always backward compatible with older generation CPUs

There’s nothing more exciting than seeing the mail-truck pull up and drop off a package full of new computer components. Building a computer is a very rewarding experience and is significantly cheaper than buying a pre-built.

There are many parts to choose from, but the motherboard is one of the most important components. Choosing the right motherboard can be a challenge, but this MSI Z370-A Pro review can make that choice easy.

MSI Z370-A Pro

MSI PRO Series Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 D-Sub DVI DP USB 3.0 Gigabit LAN CFX ATX Motherboard (Z370-A PRO)

MSI has long been one of the most popular names in the gaming motherboard industry and has been behind some truly impressive motherboards since opening its doors. The brand has developed a series of impressive motherboards since opening its doors, but few have been more heartily embraced than its Z370-A Pro.

Key Features

Just like any other product on the market, there are some crucial features that are worth highlighting. In the case of the MSI Z370-A Pro motherboard, some of the key features to look at include the heat sinks, fan headers, display, storage, and so on.

According to MSI’s website, the heat sinks are heavy plated for the most amount of cooling possible. This works in conjunction with the number of fan headers, which come to a total of six, to ensure the computer will not overheat.

The motherboard supports the “latest display connectors for new technologies” and allows for 4K display on compatible devices.

The storage aspect of this particular motherboard is different from the older technologies by the use of a tool called X-Boost. This tool is designed to help boost the process of accessing storage and other storage performance tasks, allowing for faster transfers of data.

These are some of the many key features of this particular motherboard that are worth looking at in greater detail, as they stand apart from other motherboards, especially of the older and outdated variety.

MSI Z370-A Pro Review

Sale
MSI PRO Series Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 D-Sub DVI DP USB 3.0 Gigabit LAN CFX ATX Motherboard (Z370-A PRO)
  • Supports 8th Generation Intel Core, Pentium, and Celeron Processors for Socket LGA 1151
  • Intel Z370 Express Chipset. Dual channel memory architecture. Supports non-ECC, un-buffered memory. Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
  • Form Factor: ATX. Turbo M.2: Delivering Speeds Up to 32Gb/s
  • 4 x DDR4 memory slots supporting up 64GB
  • Supports 2-Way NVIDIA SLI. CPU (Max Support):i7

The Usage

The MSI Z370-A Pro runs smoothly due to its compatibility with the latest technologies and its storage capacity. The model is designed to work incredibly well with the 8th generation processors, making compatibility easy. Due to this, the motherboard will work well for a majority of people from developers, gamers, and artists alike.

The storage capacity is large enough that accessing different bits of data is simple and not troublesome, especially in tandem with the X-Boost to speed the process along. This is a great feature to have in a motherboard because nobody on Earth likes a slow computer.

In addition, the BIOS menu is highly praised for its user-friendly interface. This makes it excellent for who are new to overclocking and other BIOS based tricks. Being able to manage the motherboard settings is essential for any computer owner. Luckily, the settings in the BIOS menu are easy to navigate and set-up.

Another notable aspect is that the MSI Z370-A Pro is optimized for cryptocurrency mining. It has a specially designed power system and BIOS to maximize mining efficiency and generate more coins than its competitors. Moreover, it has more PCI expansion slots than most motherboards. They are also placed in such a way that allow easy installation of multiple graphics cards.

The Quality

As mentioned previously, this motherboard is made with Military Class 5 and Military Class 6 components. These types of components are durable and strong enough to protect against a variety of life’s unexpected twists.

MSI designed this model to have built-in humidity, temperature, circuit, ESD, and EMI protection. These protections are necessary because many other motherboards have been known to suffer damages from humidity and temperature.

MSI claims their Z370-A Pro is “stronger than steel.” Surprisingly, this is not an exaggeration. The motherboard has heavy plated heat sinks and even actual steel armor to protect VGA cards from bending and electromagnetic interference. 

The Protection

This motherboard can take a lot of stress before it finally fails. This is due to the many fail-safes it has onboard. Damages from humidity and temperature are common among motherboards, having protection against that is a major plus. Furthermore, the ESD protections are great for anyone who enjoys tinkering or replaces/upgrades parts frequently.

Power grids anywhere in the world are not 100% perfect. There will be power surges no matter where you live, even if they are very rare. A motherboard can be fried by a bad power surge. This one, on the other hand, has protection against that. So even in the unlikely scenario that a surge occurs, the motherboard will be safe. 

The Compatibility

As mentioned before, it is designed to work well with 8th generation processors. It has a LGA1151 socket. These socket types are compatible with older CPUs, but the generation and chipset compatibility are different. This means that, for the most part, it can only work with 8th generation processors. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the 8th generation processors are very good, it could affect the decision to purchase this depending on the build.

Additionally, a PS/2 port is also included. This port will work with any older mice and keyboards that don’t have USB connectors. It’s not a modern port, but they can be useful in certain situations.

It should also be noted that there is only a Display Port and zero HDMI. In order for a device requiring HDMI to be compatible with this, an adapter will be needed. Of course, if the GPU used with the build has HDMI, the adapters will not be necessary. 

Specification

MSI Z370 A Pro Review

General

MSI Z370-a pro

Chipset Type

Intel Z370

Compatible Processors

Pentium, Celeron, Core i5, Core i3, Core i7 (supports 8th Generation Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 / Pentium / Celeron)

Processor Socket

LGA1151 Socket

Form Factor

ATX

Supported RAM

  • DDR4 SDRAM
  • non-ECC
  • unbuffered
  • 4 DIMM slots
  • Dual channel memory architecture, Intel Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP)
  • Max size: 64 GB
  • Intel Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP), dual channel memory architecture

Bus Clock

2133 MHz, 2400 MHz, 3733 MHz (O.C.), 3866 MHz (O.C.), 4000 MHz (O.C.), 2667 MHz, 3000 MHz (O.C.), 3200 MHz (O.C.), 3300 MHz (O.C.), 3333 MHz (O.C.), 3400 MHz (O.C.), 3466 MHz (O.C.), 3600 MHz (O.C.)

Max Processors

1

BIOS Features

MSI ClickBIOS 5

Hardware Features

AMD CrossFireX technology support, Debug LED, Double ESD Protection, Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) support, Intel Optane Memory Ready, MSI Audio Boost, MSI Guard-Pro, MSI Military Class V, MSI Steel Armor

Software included

MSI Command Center, MSI Live Update 6, MSI X-BOOST, RAMdisk, drivers & utilities

D x W

9.6 x 12

Brand

MSI

Expansion / Connectivity

Expansion Slots

  • 1 x CPU
  • 4 x DIMM 288-pin
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4 mode)
  • 4 x PCIe 3.0 x1

Storage Interfaces

  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
  • 1 x M.2 slot (Key M)
  • Support up to PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA 6Gb/s
  • Supports 2242/ 2260 /2280/ 22110 storage devices
  • M2_1 slot supports 2242/ 2260 /2280/ 22110 storage devices
  • Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready2
  • Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology for Intel Core™ processors

Internal Interfaces

  • 4 x USB 2.0 - header
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 - header
  • 1 x serial - header
  • 1 x parallel - header
  • 1 x audio - header

Interface

  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x LAN (Gigabit Ethernet)
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard / mouse
  • 1 x DVI-D
  • 1 x audio line-out - mini-jack
  • 1 x microphone - mini-jack
  • 1 x audio line-in - mini-jack
  • 1 x audio line-out (rear) - mini-jack
  • 1 x audio line-out (side surround) - mini-jack
  • 1 x audio line-out (center/subwoofer) - mini-jack
  • 1 x VGA

Power Connectors

24-pin main power connector, 8-pin ATX12V connector

Interface Provided

Quantity

1, 2, 4

Type

DVI-D, DisplayPort, audio line-out (rear), audio line-out (side surround), microphone, LAN (Gigabit Ethernet), PS/2 keyboard / mouse, USB 2.0, USB 3.1 Gen 1, VGA, audio line-in, audio line-out, audio line-out (center/subwoofer)

Connector Type

mini-jack

Audio/Video

Compliant Standards

High Definition Audio

Type

sound card

Audio Codec

Realtek ALC892

Video Output

graphics adapter (CPU required)

Networking

Data Link Protocol

Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet

Network controller

Realtek RTL8111H

Network interface

Gigabit Ethernet

Tutorial

The MSI Z370-A Pro does not come cheap, so you surely don't want to risk damaging it through the setup procedure. Before trying to fit this particular motherboard, we propose watching the under tutorial to make certain you understand just what you're doing.

Alternatives

Depending on what the build is for, the MSI Z370-A Pro can either work better or worse than competitors. For example, if the build is going to be an AMD-based build, the MSI Z370-A Pro simply will not work. Something along the lines of an ASUS ROG STRIX B450-F will be better. In fact, the MSI Z370-A Pro is not even compatible with AMD CPUs at all.

MSI PRO Series Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 D-Sub DVI DP USB 3.0 Gigabit LAN CFX ATX Motherboard (Z370-A PRO)
GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (Intel LGA1151/ Z370/ ATX/ 3xM.2/ Onboard AC WIFI /Front USB 3.1/ RGB Fusion/ Fan Stop / SLI / Motherboard)
MSI Performance GAMING Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 HDMI DP USB 3.1 Gigabit LAN WiFi Mini-ITX Motherboard (Z370I GAMING PRO CARBON AC)
MSI PRO Series Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 D-Sub DVI DP USB 3.0 Gigabit LAN CFX ATX Motherboard (Z370-A PRO)
GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (Intel LGA1151/ Z370/ ATX/ 3xM.2/ Onboard AC WIFI /Front USB 3.1/ RGB Fusion/ Fan Stop / SLI / Motherboard)
MSI Performance GAMING Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 HDMI DP USB 3.1 Gigabit LAN WiFi Mini-ITX Motherboard (Z370I GAMING PRO CARBON AC)
$94.99
from $99.99
$151.00
MSI PRO Series Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 D-Sub DVI DP USB 3.0 Gigabit LAN CFX ATX Motherboard (Z370-A PRO)
MSI PRO Series Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 D-Sub DVI DP USB 3.0 Gigabit LAN CFX ATX Motherboard (Z370-A PRO)
$94.99
-
GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (Intel LGA1151/ Z370/ ATX/ 3xM.2/ Onboard AC WIFI /Front USB 3.1/ RGB Fusion/ Fan Stop / SLI / Motherboard)
GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (Intel LGA1151/ Z370/ ATX/ 3xM.2/ Onboard AC WIFI /Front USB 3.1/ RGB Fusion/ Fan Stop / SLI / Motherboard)
from $99.99
MSI Performance GAMING Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 HDMI DP USB 3.1 Gigabit LAN WiFi Mini-ITX Motherboard (Z370I GAMING PRO CARBON AC)
MSI Performance GAMING Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 HDMI DP USB 3.1 Gigabit LAN WiFi Mini-ITX Motherboard (Z370I GAMING PRO CARBON AC)
$151.00
-

If compared to a Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 motherboard, there are also some noticeable differences. For cryptocurrency mining in particular, the MSI Z370-A Pro will be better as it is built with cryptocurrency mining in mind.

GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (Intel LGA1151/ Z370/ ATX/ 3xM.2/ Onboard AC WIFI /Front USB 3.1/ RGB Fusion/ Fan Stop / SLI / Motherboard)

A final thought to keep in mind is that the MSI Z370-A Pro is an ATX sized board. This will only fit in cases designed to fit the biggest cards. If a smaller case is part of the build a MSI Z370I PRO CARBON AC could be better considering its smaller size is Mini-ITX.

MSI Performance GAMING Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 HDMI DP USB 3.1 Gigabit LAN WiFi Mini-ITX Motherboard (Z370I GAMING PRO CARBON AC)

Conclusion

While lacking features such as built-in WiFi or Bluetooth that a higher-end motherboard might have, it is still an excellent piece of technology.

The fact that it’s optimized for cryptocurrency mining is a big bonus for those looking to build a specifically for that. It’s not common to see motherboards designed for that.

It’s new enough that it can handle the 8th gen CPUs and it definitely won’t break a budget. Because of its protection features, compatibility, cryptocurrency mining capability, and solid build quality, the MSI Z370-A Pro is not only a great motherboard for people who are just beginning to delve into the world of computer building but also just as great for more experienced users.

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