Review: Motherboard MSI Z370-A PRO

Motherboard MSI Z370-A PRO [7B48-001R] allow to use Intel 8th generation processors (Coffee Lake series). The boards have a larger number of PCI-e slots for connecting and using several video cards simultaneously, so with its rather low price, it is ideal for mining. Optimized power and advanced BIOS settings ensure a stable system for long cryptocurrency generation sessions with maximum efficiency.

It has Military Class 5 and Guard-Pro components, as well as reinforced openings for mounting the motherboard and one reinforced PCI-E slot. It has an impressive radiator’s size, stylish and professional look.

Intel 300 series motherboards do not have backward compatibility with 7th generation processors, so the owner of such processors would rather have to do a full upgrade of the system, including the purchase of a new processor.

You can buy MSI Z370-A PRO [7B48-001R] for the price 110,90 €. Don’t forget to use discount coupon FWNNROU (How to use it?).

Specifications

  • Form-Factor: ATX
  • Processor: Socket 1151 v2
  • Chipset: Intel Z370
  • RAM: 4x DDR4 up to 64 GB
  • PCIe Slots: 2x PCIe (x16), 4x PCIe (x1), CrossfireX
  • 6x SATA3, M.2 Slot, GB-LAN
  • USB: 8x USB 3.1 Gen1, 6x USB2.0
  • Video: DVI, VGA, 1x DisplayPort 1.2
  • Ethernet GB-LAN

Internal Connectiors

  • 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
  • 1 x 4-pin CPU fan connector
  • 1 x 4-pin water pump fan connector
  • 4 x 4-pin system fan connectors
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector
  • 2 x Front panel connectors
  • 1 x TPM module connector
  • 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
  • 1 x Serial port connector
  • 1 x Parallel port connector
  • 1 x Thunderbolt Add-on Card Connector
  • 1 x Clear CMOS jumper

Main Features

  • Supports 9th / 8th Gen Intel® Core™ / Pentium® Gold / Celeron® processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 4000+(OC) MHz
  • DDR4 Boost: Advanced technology provided by MSI OC lab to ensure maximum compatibility for overclocking performance.
  • AUDIO BOOST :Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive audio experience
  • MULTI-GPU: With Steel Armor PCI-E slots. Supports AMD 2-Way Crossfire
  • Heavy plated heatsinks:Leading heatsink design, for maximum cooling
  • EZ Debug LED: Easiest way to troubleshoot
  • Turbo M.2: Delivering Speeds Up to 32Gb/s, Intel Optane Memory Ready
  • PCI-E Steel Armor:Protecting VGA cards against bending and EMI
  • X-Boost: Great tool to boost your USB & Storage performance
  • Double ESD Protection: Double layer grounding motherboard mounting holes
  • Military Class 5, Guard-Pro: Latest evolution in high quality components for best protection and efficiency
  • Click BIOS 5: Award-winning BIOS with high resolution scalable font, favorites and search function
  • VR Ready: Best virtual reality game experience without latency, reduces motion sickness

Review of Motherboard MSI Z370-A PRO

Combining quality you can rely on with top performance and clever business solutions are key aspects of the MSI PRO SERIES motherboards. Engineered to gratify even the most demanding professional, these motherboards will fit in any PC. Making your life easier and supporting your business with super stable, reliable and long-lasting top performance.

  1. 4x USB 3.1 Gen1
  2. DVI / VGA
  3. Displayport
  4. Golden audio jacks
  5. Heavy plated heatsinks. Leading heatsink design, for maximum cooling
  6. DDR4 Boost. Optimized traces and isolated memory circuitry
  7. PCI-E Steel Armor. Protecting VGA cards against bending and EMI
  8. Turbo M.2. NVMe support, up to 32 Gb/s using PCI-Express Gen3 x4
  9. Audio Boost with amplifier. Optimized audio using the best components, 120 dB SNR 32-bit

BUILT FOR CONTENT CREATORS AND PROFESSIONALS

This motherboard is designed to fully utilize the Intel® Coffee Lake 6 core processors, ready to deliver world class performance when gaming.

GENERATE YOUR OWN MONEY

MSI PRO Series motherboards are optimized for crypto currency mining like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and more. These motherboards come with more PCI expansion slots, perfectly placed so you can install multiple graphics cards simultaneously with ease. Optimized Power Design and special BIOS options ensure a rock solid system for long mining sessions to maximize efficiency and coin generation.

STAY COOL

Cooling your PC is essential for reliable performance. We’ve made sure to include enough fan headers with full control to allow you to cool your system to the max.

FULLY CONTROLLABLE FAN HEADERS

MSI motherboards let you manage speeds and temperatures for all your system and CPU fans, giving you full control to set up a cool & silent system. The fan headers are conveniently placed with the most popular CPU coolers in mind.

DC OR PWM MODE WITH HYSTERESIS

MSI fan headers automatically detect fans running in DC or PWM mode for optimal tuning of fan speeds and silence. Hysteresis also makes your fans spin up fluently to make sure your system stays silent, no matter what.

TOTAL CONTROL IN BIOS AND SOFTWARE

Total Fan Control allows you to take control of your fans and check your primary system characteristics in a simplified graphical interface. You can also set up to 4 temperature targets for CPU and motherboard, which will adjust the fan speeds automatically.

ENJOY THE LATEST VIDEO STANDARDS

Supporting the latest display connectors for new technologies (OLED, HDR) and legacy connectors for beamers, MSI motherboards are designed to make life easier for any professional user.

WANT MORE PERFORMANCE? TRY MULTI GPU!

Gaming enthusiasts are always looking for more performance to get the ultimate experience. Using multiple graphics cards is a great way to find out just how good it gets. MSI motherboards fully support multi GPU technologies and have optimal PCI-E slot placement for the best thermal performance.

LEGACY DVI / VGA VIDEO SUPPORT

Professional monitors, TVs, beamers and other displays, are all supported by the VGA and DVI-D outputs on MSI motherboard. No matter what screen type you want to connect, using a dedicated graphics card or an onboard connector, MSI motherboards have you covered.

4K UHD

Enjoy awesome 4K UHD (2160p ultra-high definition) video playback with MSI motherboards.

Storage: BE THE FIRST TO BOOT UP IN MORNING

This MSI product supports all the latest storage standards. This allows you to connect any ultra-fast storage device, giving you noticeable benefits. Start programs faster, load data faster and increase productivity.

INTEL OPTANE™ READY

This new technological marvel brings game-changing performance to memory and storage devices. Allow Optane™ caching to boost your storage devices for an even faster system!

TURBO M.2

Enjoy a blazing fast system boot up and insanely quick loading of applications and data. Delivering speeds up to 32Gb/s per device using Gen3 x4, Turbo M.2 is over 5 times faster than a regular SATA III connection!

XBOOST YOUR STORAGE PERFORMANCE

This great little tool is very simple to use and automatically detects your storage devices connected to the system. When enabled, X-Boost optimizes your SSDs to keep your system fast and maximize storage performance, saving you a lot of time when loading or transferring data.

SATA MASS STORAGE

We made sure each MSI motherboard comes with enough SATA ports to connect loads of HDDs for long term storage of large files and system backups.

ULTRA-FAST PERFORMANCE, GREAT GAMING EXPERIENCE

All of the next gen storage connectors support NVMe, the fastest storage standard in the world. Simply

PROFESSIONAL SOUND QUALITY

Get the most immersive sound experience. MSI Audio Boost delivers the highest sound quality through the use of premium quality audio components. This lets you enjoy breathtaking, game-changing sound to create the most dynamic soundscapes.

AMPLIFY YOUR GAME WITH AUDIO BOOST

Built on years of experience in building motherboards dedicated to giving gamers true Hi-Fi sound. Audio Boost has developed into a high quality audio unit, offering a clear advantage over your opponents when gaming. Locate your enemies with your eyes closed using Audio Boost.

ISOLATED AUDIO DESIGN WITH LED BORDER

Audio Boost operates like a dedicated soundcard by being physically isolated from the rest of the motherboard circuitry to ensure the purest audio signal possible. A bright border illuminated by LEDs showcases and protects the Hi-Fi audio unit.

SEPARATED AUDIO LAYERS FOR CLEAN LEFT & RIGHT CHANNELS

Using separated layers in the PCB ensures equally pristine sound quality for both left and right audio channels.

DE-POP PROTECTION

Audio Boost protects your ears by eliminating those annoying loud popping sounds when you plug/unplug devices or turn your PC on/off.

DEDICATED HIGH DEFINITION AUDIO PROCESSOR

Audio Boost is powered by an EMI-shielded high quality HD audio processor, making sure you enjoy the purest sound quality in both stereo and surround sound.

CHEMI-CON AUDIO CAPACITORS FOR A WARMER SOUND

By dedicating golden audio capacitors to the front output, a high fidelity sound experience with exceptional acoustics and realism for studio level headphones is ensured. The Chemi-Con audio capacitors are widely considered to be one of the great choices for the best sound output.

PREMIUM CONNECTORS FOR OPTIMAL 7.1 SOUND QUALITY

With premium audio connectors you get the best possible signal output with the least chance of distortion. Using gold also prevents any corrosion or oxidation in the long run, which could impact signal quality.

IMMERSE YOURSELF INTO VIRTUAL WORLDS

Integrating the very best of cutting edge technologies on MSI hardware provides a smooth VR ride. Through joint efforts with major VR brands, combined with unique MSI features geared to VR, MSI brings gamers and VR professionals a vivid and realistic experience in which content truly comes alive.

OPTIMIZED FOR THE BEST VR BRANDS

Want the best VR experience without any compromise? By closely working with the industry’s leading VR vendors, we offer everything you need when exploring the possibilities of VR.

STRAIGHT INTO THE ACTION WITH ONE CLICK TO VR

Both hard- and software need to be in tune for a smooth VR experience. One Click to VR makes it very fast and easy to get primed for VR. A single click sets all your key components to their highest performance and makes sure other software applications won’t impact your virtual adventure.

UNMATCHED MEMORY PERFORMANCE

MSI motherboards are crammed with features to fuel your system’s memory with more speed, higher overclockability and increased stability.

ENHANCED STABILITY WITH OPTIMIZED MEMORY LAYOUT

Optimized traces and a fully isolated memory circuitry ensures perfect stability and performance, so you never have to worry about your system crashing.

MEMORY SPEED IMPACTS PERFORMANCE

The technical enhancements of DDR4 Boost allow for more stability at higher memory speeds compared to other brands. Enjoy the additional boost in operational performance or when working with large video and photography files.

EXTREME STABILITY & COMPATIBILITY TESTING

MSI conducts thorough memory testing with the most popular memory brands under extreme conditions to ensure your system runs stable no matter what. Our memory partners include brands like Corsair, Crucial, Kingston, G.Skill and many more to optimize memory modules, configurations and even improve overclocking.

DESIGNED FOR LIMITLESS TUNING

Founded on experience and with a long history of creating the best performing motherboards packed with smart features, you can count on this motherboard to deliver the best performance under the most extreme conditions. Countless system tuning and troubleshooting tools are at your disposal to push your system to new heights and satisfy even the most demanding tweaker.

OVERVOLTAGE PROTECTION

Prevents potential short-circuit damage to the CPU and other critical components.

EZ DEBUG LED

Run into trouble? Onboard LEDs for key components will indicate the source of the problem so you know exactly where to look to get up and running again.

MAXIMIZE YOUR USB DEVICE PERFORMANCE

Transfer lots of data, music and movies over USB faster than ever. MSI offers a wide variety of options to connect and boost your USB 3.1 devices, delivering lightning-fast transfer speeds!

X-BOOST YOUR USB PERFORMANCE

When enabled, X-Boost optimizes your devices for even better transfer speeds and can provide up to 30% increase in USB performance, saving a lot of time when transferring data. This handy tool is very easy to use and automatically detects & optimizes the USB devices connected to your system.

SUPER CHARGE YOUR PHONE & BATTERY-POWERED GEAR

MSI Super Charger USB ports charge any connected device faster. It delivers more power than regular USB ports to your smartphone, tablet, USB peripherals or other battery-powered gear.

FRONT SIDE USB FASTER THAN EVER WITH USB 3.1

Ready for next generation cases and perfect to use with the latest smartphones, the onboard front side USB connector now offers ultra-high speed through USB 3.1 with Type-A.

DOUBLE ESD PROTECTION

Never worry about damage caused by defective USB devices. The USB ports on MSI motherboards are shielded by a set of protective ICs to prevent damage caused by Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) from plugging/unplugging USB devices.

APPS TO GREATLY IMPROVE EFFICIENCY

With years of experience in creating performance enhancing tools that are easy to use, only the highest quality applications are at your disposal. Use these tools to get the most out of your motherboard and achieve victory when gaming.

X-BOOST YOUR STORAGE

This unique and exclusive software allows you to boost the performance of any storage or USB device connected to your system. Simply use X-BOOST’s Easy or Advanced mode to tune your system for up to 30% increased speeds, higher system responsiveness and faster loading of data.

TAKE COMMAND OF YOUR SYSTEM

MSI’s Command Center software is the perfect tool to get the most out of your motherboard. With an intuitive interface, Command Center allows you to tune settings to increase system stability, maximize performance and optimize your system’s cooling features.

ALWAYS UP-TO-DATE

Never miss out on important updates. MSI Live Update automatically downloads and installs the latest drivers, BIOS and software so you can focus on your game.

“…the best update package available on any motherboard.” – Anandtech

SSD NOT FAST ENOUGH? TRY MSI® RAMDISK

MSI motherboards include RAMDisk, allowing you to create a virtual drive from your system RAM memory. Instantly load your software, speed up your browser or your page file to significantly speed up your system!

  •  Speed up system performance, over 25x faster than a SATA SSD
  •  Speed up games, apps and browser
  •  Increase SSD lifespan

INSTANT SYSTEM STARTUP WITH MSI FAST BOOT & GO2BIOS

With the latest operating systems supporting UEFI fast booting methods, we have added a “Fast Boot” option to take full advantage of this. Simply enable “Fast Boot” either in the BIOS or with the convenient application for faster boot times.

Avoid having to mash your DEL/F2 button to get into the BIOS with the Go2BIOS button in the MSI Fast Boot application. Your PC will automatically go to the BIOS on the next reboot for quick. Some models even have an onboard Go2BIOS button.

CPU-Z MSI GAMING EDITION

MSI has worked closely with the CPUID team to develop a special edition of CPU-Z featuring the famous MSI GAMING dragon. Use CPU-Z to gather key information of your system’s key components, like CPU speed, Memory speed and timings, motherboard BIOS version and much more.

BUILT ON EVERLASTING QUALITY

Using only the finest quality components and integrating the latest technological innovations delivers the best possible professional experience. Rigorous quality testing under the most extreme conditions ensures a super reliable, long-lasting and high performance motherboard.

FORTIFY YOUR SYSTEM WITH PCI-E STEEL ARMOR

MSI PCI Express Steel Armor slots are armed with more solder points on the motherboard for a stronger hold, preventing any damage due to heavy-weight graphics cards. Steel Armor also protects PCI Express signals against electromagnetic interference to provide a pure and reliable signal for the best performance, even when turning it up a notch.

ULTIMATE MOTHERBOARD PROTECTION

We’ve made sure you can enjoy your system endlessly. MSI motherboards feature Double ESD protection with double layer grounding around the motherboard mounting holes, preventing Electrostatic discharge (ESD) surges from damaging the motherboard.

SUPER STABLE WITH THE HIGHEST QUALITY COMPONENTS

MSI uses Military Class 5 components, which is the latest evolution of the industries’ highest quality standard. These high quality components are shielded by the best protection to make sure your system runs smoothly under the most extreme conditions.

TITANIUM CHOKE

Ti chokes run much cooler and deliver a 30% improvement in power efficiency, allowing for better overclocking and stability.

SOLID CAP

With their aluminum core design and Japanese made quality, Solid CAPs are made for high-end design motherboard. Not only do Solid CAPs could provide lower Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR), but also work firmly for over-10-year.

DARK CHOKE

A special core design allows the Dark Choke to run at a lower temperature offering better power efficiency and stability.

WINDOWS 10 CERTIFIED

With MSI you benefit from great compatibility and a worry-free user experience when using Microsoft Windows 10. With a true dedication to performance, our R&D team has made sure everything works as intended when using the latest version of Microsoft Windows on any MSI product.

A USER-FRIENDLY BIOS

We made sure our BIOS contains all the latest options and is easy to use for everyone. The extensive features found in CLICK BIOS 5 let you fine-tune your system to deliver reliable maximum performance.

EASY MODE FOR QUICK TWEAKS

When you just want to get back to work, EZ-mode presents you with basic BIOS settings and functions for some quick adjustments. If you feel like spending more time fine-tuning options to boost your system’s performance, the Advanced mode is the way to go.

EASY SEARCH & FAVORITES

Can’t find a specific BIOS setting? Don’t worry, a permanent search option in the top right corner can be used to find what you need. Want quick access to important settings? My Favorites gives easy access to selected Favorite settings, supporting up to 5 groups of Favorites.

UEFI & LEGACY BIOS SUPPORT

MSI motherboard support both Legacy (MBR) and UEFI (GPT) boot. In the legacy mode, the UEFI firmware functions as a standard BIOS instead of UEFI firmware. This can help improve the compatibility with older operating systems that weren’t designed with UEFI in mind — Windows 7, for example.

HOTKEY FOR FLASH BIOS

Updating your motherboard BIOS will not be a nightmare anymore. MSI motherboards are easily for entering Flash BIOS menu, just press CTRL+F5 and one click for updating your motherboard BIOS.

HARDWARE MONITOR WITH FAN CONTROL

Hardware monitor lets you take control of your system and check your primary system vitals in a simplified graphical interface. You can also set up to 4 temperature targets for CPU and motherboard, which will adjust the fan speeds automatically.

MAKE YOUR SSD AS FAST AS NEW WITH SECURE ERASE+

When using an SSD, its performance will slowly decrease over time as more and more data is written onto it. This will slow down Read/Write speeds and increase access times of your SSD, making your system feel sluggish. Using an optimized formatting algorithm, Secure Erase+ lets you enjoy your SSD at maximum speed, making your system feel brand new!

INSTANTLY OPTIMIZE AND BOOST YOUR PERFORMANCE

CLICK BIOS 5 provides easy access to XMP memory profiles to optimize your system’s memory timings and speeds for maximum stability and performance. Safely overclock your CPU with a single button for more performance using MSI OC Genie.

Customer Reviews

Buyers in their reviews expressed their satisfaction with the price of a motherboard of this level, the presence of a large number of connectors for all occasions (8 x USB 3, 6 x USB 2.0, 6 SATA, M.2 slot, you can connect up to 6 video cards, 4 memory slots), plenty of BIOS settings, the ability to connect old monitors. Buyers were also satisfied with white LED backlighting, good 5.1 sound quality. Radiators on power circuits are another argument in favor of buying this motherboard.

Users noted in the reviews the shortcomings of the motherboard. For example, one of the buyers on Yandex.Market claims that the south bridge is heated by the board during operations, the finger cannot be held for more than 3-4 seconds. As a result, user returned the product under warranty. Buyers also complained about the flimsy external connectors and the small number of USB ports on the back side. One user found out that coolers with a round pad are not suitable for installation in MSI Z370-A PRO [7B48-001R] due cubic components interfere.

Easily overclocked an 8600k to 4.9GHz @ 1.32v. VRM’s run extremely cool for that much voltage. All around rock solid stable. Previous board was also an MSI that has been running 24/7 for the past 6 years with only a few restarts(literally).

Just beware, DO A BIOS UPDATE BEFORE INSTALLING WINDOWS! In my case it messed up my windows install or it could have been a coincidence(most likely not). The Bios update seems to affect windows and makes it unbootable requiring a complete reinstall which I had to do. But apart from that this board is incredible.

Customer review from Amazon

I was so excited to use this motherboard. It was well-reviewed on Tom’s Hardware, had all the I/O I needed (with room for expansion), and even had RGB lighting! Unfortunately, when I put everything together, the computer wouldn’t boot. The motherboard does not have a POST speaker built into it, so I had no beeps to troubleshoot. I tried breadboarding, using different RAM (as the Corsair sticks I bought weren’t listed on the official manufacturer compatibility site), booting with only the processor and RAM attached, removing and reattaching the CPU heatsink in case it was shorting something, and even buying a new power supply (thinking maybe my original 550w from 2007 wasn’t pushing enough power to start this arguably more efficient machine). No boot. I went to our local computer parts store and bought a POST speaker because I knew I was at the point that I needed those beeps for troubleshooting. Imagine my shock when powering on the system yielded no sound! I knew I was seriously out of practice, having last worked professionally in computer repair all the way back in 2010, but was I so out of practice that I had broken something during assembly?!

No. The answer is so much simpler (and more irritating) than that. See, everything you read about this motherboard says that it “supports” the new 9th generation Intel chips with a BIOS update. Nowhere does it tell you that the computer will not boot, AT ALL, without this BIOS update. It will not even POST! If you’re upgrading your mobo in an existing system with an 8th core processor, you’ll love this board. If you’re updating your mobo and processor but you still have a working 8th gen on hand, you’ll be perfectly fine once you run the BIOS update. But if you’re like me and you’re doing a new build with the latest processor (technically mine is an upgrade from a Core2Duo system, so it’s functionally a brand-new build as everything had to be replaced), this board WILL NOT WORK. You will have to borrow an 8th gen processor from a friend and run the BIOS update, or buy a Z390 motherboard. Those are your only choices if you’re set on building with a new 9th generation chip.

In summary, if this is for a new build or rebuild with an 8th generation Intel processor, enjoy. If you’re buying this for your first build and/or multi-generation update with the new 9th generation processors, FIND ANOTHER BOARD. THE Z370s ARE NOT SHIPPING WITH THE BIOS UPDATE IN PLACE. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. PCpartspicker will tell you it’s compatible, and it is — ONLY after the update. If this review saves even just one other person from going through the hair-pulling frustration I went through when every Google search told me this board was “compatible” but the stupid thing wouldn’t boot, then my work here is done.

(Review note: I’m not taking off any stars for the fact that I had to return this board. It’s not the manufacturer’s fault that English is a screwy language and “compatible” can mean both “works instantly” and “can be made to work”. The -1 star is from the positioning of the SATA connections, which are in line with the PCIe x16 slot. If you’re using any real gaming card, like my GTX 1060 6gb, the SATA connections end up behind the card. I have tiny little girl hands and a spacious computer case and I still found it difficult to plug in more drives once the video card was installed.)

Customer motherboard review from Amazon

Conclusion

It is one of the cheapest motherboards for Intel Coffee Lake (Z chipset for 1151v2 socket) with ATX format with good quality and functionality. It is an excellent choice for mining, both in its functionality and reliable base of electrical components.

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