MSI Z270 Gaming Plus Review

The lava-inspired red and black MSI Z270 Gaming Plus motherboard is MSI’s solution to the Intel Z270 chipset. It seems tempting at first, but can it hold up against other popular options, such as the MSI Z270 SLI motherboard?

MSI Z270 Gaming Plus Review

In this review, we determine if the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus is all bluster, or is there a burning heart of fire hidden in this low-budget price motherboard?

MSI Arsenal Gaming Intel Kaby Lake Z270M DDR4 HDMI USB 3 Crossfire ATX...
  • Supports 7th/6th Gen Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4-3866+(OC) Memory. Intel Optane Memory Ready. Supports 2-Way AMD Crossfire technology
  • Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience.Supports 7th/6th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors, and Intel Pentium and Celeron processors for Socket LGA1151
  • The best online gaming experience with lowest latency and bandwidth management
  • Military Class 5, Guard-Pro: Latest evolution in high quality components for best protection and efficiency

MSI Z270 Gaming Plus (Our Review)

Overall Assessment 

MSI is no stranger to building good gaming motherboards. We saw what they could do in the exceptional MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi board.

The MSI Z270 Gaming Plus is a solid gaming motherboard, and it’s a bit cheaper than most Z270 chipsets. It comes adequately packed with performance and personalization tools. We expected these options from MSI, and we’re happy they didn’t disappoint us.

This board even comes with military-grade components that will ensure your rig keeps on running and performing at its best, protecting it against environmental damage.

Supported Processors

The MSI Z270 Gaming Plus is built for Intel’s 6th and 7th generation processors. This board can comfortably run any Core i3, i5, and i7 CPU compatible with the onboard LGA 1151 socket.

Budget-gamers will enjoy the support for Pentium and Celeron processors. You do need to make sure that your processor is socket 1151 compatible, though.

MSI included Turbo Boost 2.0. This works automatically to provide the processor with enough power to handle peak data packages at optimal speeds comfortably.

RAM

The fantastic Z270 chipset means we can use 4x DDR4 DIMM slots for 64Gb of maximum system memory. Most gamers will be hard-pressed to max it out, but even at half capacity, it’s more than enough to run the most intensive programs. 

We were surprised to find that the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus has a higher RAM capacity than the MSI B450M Gaming Plus motherboard. No doubt that this added RAM makes for a good gaming board.

Peripherals

Don’t let its entry-level price fool you. The MSI Z270 Gaming Plus comes with a variety of expansion options. This makes it a solid foundation for your gaming rig, as you can hook up many peripheral components to suit your needs.

MSI gives us 6x SATA ports and one M.2 port for our storage devices. The ports aren’t anything special, but considering the price, it’s still worth mentioning.

2x PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots and 4x PCIe 3.0 x 1 slot give ample options to expand the features of the sturdy Z270 chipset. You can use the PCIe slots to install a Wi-Fi card or even run multiple GPUs.

Our first complaint is the lackluster number of USB ports found on the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus. There are only 8x USB 3.1 ports and 6x USB 2.0 ports. You can always expand on the USBs, but we wanted to see more.

MSI Arsenal Gaming Intel Kaby Lake Z270M DDR4 HDMI USB 3 Crossfire ATX...
  • Supports 7th/6th Gen Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4-3866+(OC) Memory. Intel Optane Memory Ready. Supports 2-Way AMD Crossfire technology
  • Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience.Supports 7th/6th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors, and Intel Pentium and Celeron processors for Socket LGA1151
  • The best online gaming experience with lowest latency and bandwidth management
  • Military Class 5, Guard-Pro: Latest evolution in high quality components for best protection and efficiency

Graphics

The MSI Z270 Gaming Plus only supports AMD CrossFire, like the older MSI B250 PC Mate. The MSI Z270 Gaming plus transforms into an absolute beast with multiple graphics cards installed.

The PCIe slots on this motherboard are reinforced with steel. Steel slots ensure a snug fit for those bulky graphics cards, which have a habit of bending the board. The slots are also good for reducing any coupling noise, which gets better performance from the board by increasing the clock rate.

Some budget-conscious users will most likely use their processor’s integrated graphics. If this is the case, MSI included a DisplayPort, a legacy VGA port, and one DVI-D port to connect your monitor.

If you aren’t a fan of CrossFire, check out the MSI Z270 SLI motherboard. It supports NVidia SLI technology.

Aesthetics

The RAM and PCIe slots are deep red. There are four LEDs, also red, on the corners, which complements the black board and heatsinks. 

While the black and red theme may not be for all gamers, we think it gives this motherboard an impressive, almost intimidating look.

Sadly, the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus doesn’t have any RGB headers. A feature sorely missed as it would improve on an already attractive board.

Conclusion

The MSI Z270 Gaming Plus motherboard is fit for gaming. Budget-gamers will appreciate the affordable price, while DIY tweakers will have fun with the expansion options.

The MSI Z270 Gaming Plus is one of the better Z270 chipset motherboards on the market. Despite having no RGB headers, the intimidating red and black theme goes a long way to convey that this is a serious gaming board.

Pros

  • Intimidating design
  • Military-grade components
  • Supports AMD CrossFire
  • Average price
MSI Arsenal Gaming Intel Kaby Lake Z270M DDR4 HDMI USB 3 Crossfire ATX...
  • Supports 7th/6th Gen Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4-3866+(OC) Memory. Intel Optane Memory Ready. Supports 2-Way AMD Crossfire technology
  • Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience.Supports 7th/6th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors, and Intel Pentium and Celeron processors for Socket LGA1151
  • The best online gaming experience with lowest latency and bandwidth management
  • Military Class 5, Guard-Pro: Latest evolution in high quality components for best protection and efficiency

Cons

  • No onboard connectivity
  • Only one M.2 port

Common questions about MSI Z270 Gaming Plus motherboard

Will the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus motherboard work with my AMD CPU?

The MSI Z270 Gaming Plus is only compatible with Intel processors. It uses the LGA 1151 socket, which is not compatible with AMD CPUs.

How many fan headers can be found on the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus?

There are 6 fan headers on the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus. 

What do the military class components mean on the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus?

MSI used military class 5 components on the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus motherboard. This class of components has been put through tests to ensure that they can handle abuse. 

Customer Reviews

“The MSI Z270 Gaming Plus is great. This motherboard lights up red, and the boot process is fast. The BIOS menu can also be controlled via the mouse. I love the various options to speed up my RAM or CPU.”

Kenan Yala

5/5 Stars

“The MSI Z270 Gaming Plus is a good motherboard. I do wish that MSI provided better instructions on how to overclock it, though.”

Seconda

4/5 Stars 

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If there’s anything on this board you don’t like, there are plenty of other options available to suit your needs: