MSI Cooking Up A Baker's Dozen Z370 Motherboards

Intel is days away from launching the Coffee Lake series of CPUs and accompanying chipsets, and MSI is ready to go with no less than 13 Z370-based motherboards that support the platform. The company revealed a handful of motherboards in each of four segments, including the Enthusiast Gaming, Performance Gaming, Arsenal Gaming, and a new Pro Series lineup.

MSI’s new flagship motherboard is the Enthusiast Gaming series Z370 Godlike Gaming, and it's packed to the brim with goodies. It features an 18-phase DrMOS PWM design and military-class components, as well as multiple heavy heatsinks to keep the components cool.

The Z370 Godlike Gaming motherboard includes “dual dedicated ALC1220 Hi-Fi audio processors, an ESS AUDIO DAC with dedicated ESS amplifier, and WIMA audio capacitors,” which are isolated from the rest of the motherboard components. There's also 3x Killer E2500 LAN connectors and a Killer 1535 Wi-Fi AC adapter so you can use a Wi-Fi extender for your other devices.

One of the most impressive features of MSI’s Z370 is the fact that it supports up to five NVME SSD drives. You’ll find three slots on the surface of the motherboard, and MSI includes a PCI-E M.2 Xpander-Z add-in card with the board that features two additional M.2 slots. Each slot features MSI’s M.2 Shield V.2 to help dissipate heat and protect your SSD from physical damage.  

The MSI Z370 Gaming M5 occupies the Enthusiast Gaming lineup alongside MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming, but we don’t know the details about that board yet.

MSI’s Performance Gaming lineup features six boards, including the ATX Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon and Carbon AC, the mITX Z370i Gaming Pro Carbon AC, and the m-ATX Z370M Gaming Pro AC. The performance series also includes Z370 Krait Gaming and Z370 Gaming Plus boards.

MSI didn’t reveal many details about most of the Performance Gaming lineup, but we know that the top-of-the-line Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC board offers MSI Mystic Light RGB lighting with 17 customizable LED effects. The board features lighting zones on the heatsink, IO shroud, on the surface of the board, and on the rear. It also includes headers that support RGB and Rainbow pattern light strips so you can expand the lighting in your case. MSI Mystic Light is also compatible with a variety of third-party components so you can synchronize the lights inside your computer with the lights in your peripherals.

MSI’s Arsenal Gaming Lineup offers two motherboards, the full-size Z370 Tomahawk and the m-ATX Z370M Mortar. We don’t yet know the details about the Z370M Mortar, but MSI’s Z370 Tomahawk is a gaming motherboard for those who want a robust, customizable board that doesn’t break the bank. The Tomahawk board features a military-themed design and military-grade components. It also packs two M.2 slots that support MSI Twin Turbo M.2 (32Gb/s, Gen3 x4), one of which includes MSI’s M.2 Shield V.2, and one of which supports Intel’s Optane memory.

MSI hasn’t yet released details about the new Pro Series lineup, which includes the Z370 SLI Plus, Z370-A Pro, and the Z370 PC Pro. The company said that the Pro Series motherboards offer top level stability and performance.

MSI didn’t announce pricing or availability for any of the Z370-based motherboards, but we expect that at least a portion of them will be available on October 5 alongside Intel’s Coffee Lake CPUs.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • AnimeMania
    Instead of making so many different Z370 motherboards, they should have been trying to make the Z370 motherboards backwards compatible with the Z270 and Z170 motherboards. That would get them more sales.
  • Lucky_SLS
    Just read that they have different pin configurations.
  • jasonelmore
    Both Intel and Motherboard manufacturers depend on yearly profits. They can't do that if they make motherboards backwards compatible for 3 or even 2 years. HEDT usually does 2 CPU's but in the consumer products (like coffee lake) your gonna get a new board everytime. Greedy corporations dude. They are even charging for NVME RAID support on x299. That's not going so well for them tho, their skylake x parts aren't selling well.
  • SteveRNG
    What enthusiasts fail to recognized is that the vast majority if computers are NOT rebuilt; ever. So you can complain that companies are being greedy when in fact they are being cost effective and almost the entirety of our world doesn't care because it doesn't affect them.

    I would estimate that 99% of all PCs and Laptops are never upgraded, but replaced (think Corporations, Universities, your slack-jawed relatives who still want to you to "install the internet"). The people who actually build their own computers make up about 1% of that (again, Wild-ass guess). And of those, they are not swapping in new CPUs every year or two. I used to upgrade my CPU(and Mobo and RAM) every three years. Now, I've waited over five years because they are actually good enough for that long. So when I get around to upgrading my Core i5-3570K, I won't care that Intel has changed architecture 3-5 times. Next year (I hope) I will use the wonderful resources at websites likes this to choose a Z270 and matching CPU or a Z370 based on my needs and finances. And I won't care if Intel flips things in another year because a) it is unlikely that something will die in that time and b) if it does, I can replace it with the same component because they are still available.

    Of course, I realize this is an enthusiast website and we love our computers and upgrading them. But us complaining about what Intel is doing is like yacht owners complaining that their 1 year old Yacht doesn't have room for the 88" in TV; only an 85" TV. It's a valid complaint, it's not cost effective to give a... fig.