MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming 'Coffee Lake' Motherboard Review

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Since this is the first Z370 motherboard in our review series, we’re including the data for one motherboard that hasn’t yet been reviewed, along with the data for two of the Core i7-8700K’s predecessors: The four-core Core i7-7700K that it replaces, and the six-core Core i7-7800X that features additional PCIe lanes and DDR4 channels at a similar price.

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SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 382.53

Back during the X299 launch, I upgraded my test bed to handle the tremendous heat produced by the Core i9-7900X. Our award-winning Fractal Design S24 liquid cooler system sample serves the same purpose for the newer, lower heat Core i7-8700K. Cooler Master’s HAF-XB provides an optimal layout to blow the Celsius S24’s fans sufficiently over each motherboard’s voltage regulator.

Benchmark Settings

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Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4k Random Read, 4k Random Write128k Sequential Read, 128k Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMOOpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4
BlenderVersion 2.68aBMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0. 20160603.r.88 x64PCMark driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build x64PCMark driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark driven routine
Game Tests and Settings
Ashes of SingularityVersion 1.31.21360High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 1920x1090, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, RainMedium Preset, No AFxUltra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64High Quality, 1920x1080, High Tesselation, 16x AFVery High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AFUltra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • karma77police
    Nice board!
  • John Philips
    If AMD really wanted to bury Intel, they should release a mainstream cpu with at least 24 PCIE lanes and higher clock .
  • Embra
    Looks to be $500.
  • michaelhinchey
    Why are the hdmi specs never included with these reviews?
  • wirelessmikey
    whats with the video, never works!!!
  • berezini.2013
    Not even going to read this article. All msi products are garbage.
  • berezini.2013
    Ever since the all-msi build I have done; (Half the motherboard caught on fire with default settings, melted speaker cables near the case, and all caps poped like popcorn in the popcorn popper, I've never looked at another msi product and never had any dangerous issues again) Im way better off. BTW Msi motherboard and MSI graphics cards together are not compatible. Don't even try.
  • BugariaM
    What about VRM design?
    Again a handful of cheap 2c mosfets from NIKOS?

    Well, purely my opinion - instead of the three useless Killer E2500 PCIe, it's better to have one Intel-based NIC

    Pretty superficial review ...
    Where is tech p0rn?
  • mablt
    Well, tech issues aside - IMHO it is the best named board ever - "Godlike Gaming with a Coffee Lake processor" - the imagery is stupendous! ;^)
  • Crashman
    20245330 said:
    Why are the hdmi specs never included with these reviews?
    The specs table drops down to reveal this:

    Video Ports

    I hope that answers your question :D