MSI Z270 SLI Review

The MSI Z270 SLI promises reliability, efficiency, and an outstanding balance of features, all at a low price. This is a high bar to pass, and we have to ask if MSI is up to the task. They’ve even included some surprising overclocking abilities to help this board stand out.

MSI Z270 SLI Review

But, at first glance, it seems as if the MSI Z270 SLI is just another run-of-the-mill Kaby Lake motherboard. Does it have all the features to make it a sly purchase? We look at the processors, graphics, and other features of this board to find out.

MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 DDR4 HDMI USB 3 SLI ATX Motherboard (Z270...
  • Supports 7th/6th Gen Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4-3800+(OC) Memory
  • VR Ready and VR Boost
  • Audio Boost 4
  • Twin Turbo M.2 with Steel Armor

MSI Z270 SLI (Our Review)

Overall Assessment 

We’ve previously written about the impressive Z270 chipset, especially when paired with a Kaby Lake processor. You might remember our MSI Z270 Gaming Plus review. Kaby Lake and the Z270 is a match made in heaven.

The Z270 SLI comes with the same amount of features and then some. Long demanded features, such as NVidia SLI and AMD CrossFire, will make power users and gamers happy. 

While the Z270 SLI doesn’t look as dramatic as the MSI B360 Gaming Plus, it comes with all the necessary features, wrapped up in a stylish black package.

In true MSI tradition, the Z270 SLI also comes with the trademark military-grade components. These components keep your rig performing at its best for much longer, keeping it safe from wear and tear and environmental damage.

Supported Processors

The Z270 chipset is an exquisite match for your 6th and 7th generation Intel processor. It uses an LGA 1151 socket to provide compatibility with any Core i3, i5, and i7 CPU.

If you’re on a budget, you can use the Z270 chipset to overclock even a Core i3 processor. This overclocking ability gives you reliable, if average, performance on the Z270 SLI.

The Z270 chipset also comes with Intel’s Turbo Boost 2.0. Turbo Boost automatically gives the processor enough power to work through heavy data-loads. This boost of temporary performance comes in handy when rendering large files or loading a triple-A game.

RAM

The Z270 SLI has a maximum RAM capacity of 64GB over 4x DDR4 DIMM slots. On paper 64GB may sound average, it’s far from it. Most users gamers will find it difficult to max out the system memory. You can still build a powerful machine using only half that amount.

In comparing specs, the MSI Z270 SLI has more RAM capacity than the AMD-based MSI B450M Gaming Plus motherboard

Peripherals

A lot of bad things have been written about entry-level motherboards. The same can’t be said about the Z270 SLI

MSI’s new baby offers users a variety of expansion options. That is key in finding a motherboard to form the foundation of your next build.

There are 6x SATA ports and 2x M.2 ports for storage devices. The inclusion of two M.2 ports allows you to hook up plenty of solid-state storage space with high transfer speeds. 

We get 9x USB 3.0 ports, 6x USB 2.0 ports, and one PS/2 connector for legacy devices. One of the highlights is the C-type USB 3.0 port to further expand our compatibility with newer devices.

MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 DDR4 HDMI USB 3 SLI ATX Motherboard (Z270...
  • Supports 7th/6th Gen Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4-3800+(OC) Memory
  • VR Ready and VR Boost
  • Audio Boost 4
  • Twin Turbo M.2 with Steel Armor

Graphics

The MSI Z270 SLI is a fantastic upgrade over the older MSI B250 PC Mate, especially when considering graphics capability. True to its name, the Z270 SLI offers us SLI and CrossFire support. 3x PCIe x 16 slots allow us to install multiple graphics cards for exceptional performance.

The multi-graphics environment is also appealing to crypto miners. The military-grade equipment and multiple graphics ports allow you to build a solid mining rig that can withstand the punishment it involves.

Audio

A Realtek ALC1220 codec supplies high-definition audio for 7.1 channels. MSI isolated the audio chip to protect it from picking up any noise from interference with the other components. The resulting audio quality is some of the best that we’ve seen on the Z270 chipset.

Aesthetics

While the MSI Z270 SLI isn’t as beautiful as the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi, it still looks sleek in its black attire. We miss the inclusion of RGB headers, though. It makes customizing your rig more difficult, and takes away from some of the aesthetics we’ve gotten used to with other boards. 

Conclusion

The MSI Z270 SLI motherboard is perfect for crypto mining or gaming. SLI and CrossFire support is something we don’t often find on inexpensive motherboards. Yet, its inclusion on the MSI Z270 SLI makes it one of the best Z270 chipset motherboards that we had the pleasure of reviewing.

Pros

  • Supports Intel’s Kaby Lake processors
  • Military-grade components
  • Supports AMD Crossfire and NVidia SLI
  • Energy efficient
MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 DDR4 HDMI USB 3 SLI ATX Motherboard (Z270...
  • Supports 7th/6th Gen Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4-3800+(OC) Memory
  • VR Ready and VR Boost
  • Audio Boost 4
  • Twin Turbo M.2 with Steel Armor

Cons

  • Bland design
  • No RGB headers

Common questions about MSI Z270 SLI motherboard

Does the MSI Z270 SLI motherboard have SATA 3 or SATA 4 ports?

The MSI Z270 SLI comes with 6x SATA 3 ports. SATA 3 runs at 6Gb/s and is backward compatible with both SAAT 2 and SATA 1.

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

There are 5 fan headers on the MSI Z270 SLI. There is also one header for a cooling pump to help keep your system running at lower temperatures.

Is SLI required for the MSI Z270 SLI to work?

Users don’t need to install multiple graphics cards to use this motherboard. Installing numerous graphics cards, however, will undoubtedly increase its performance.

Customer Reviews

“The MSI Z270 SLI is a great motherboard. I installed my Core i7 processor with a GTX 1080 graphics card, and everything worked flawlessly.”

Casey Whittington

5/5 Stars

“I use the MSI Z270 SLI in a 6x GPU mining rig. It was initially difficult to set up, but I got it working after updating the BIOS.”

Chris O

3/5 Stars 

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