MSI Ryzen X370 XPOWER Gaming Titanium Review

Conclusion

MSI X370 XPOWER Gaming Titanium Review

Conclusion

It is very difficult to review any of the AMD Zen architecture products without comparing them to their Intel equivalents, or to seem to praise them for things that should be taken as a given. Forgive us if we go down this path once more.

The previous, by which we mean AM2 and AM3 related products, were the last of the old school way of doing hardware, where there is a genuine noticeable difference between buying certain products over other ones. This is something that Intel eliminated around the time of the Z77 chipset, wherein you could choose which motherboard to buy based upon the colour scheme, design, extra features and/or pricing rather than its performance, because they all performed at approximately the same level. Naturally there are some that are exceptionally good, but there aren't any that were risible. AMD still, to some degree, had this issue, but the AM4 socket and X370/B350 chipsets look to have erased this performance difference and solidified their foundations. So, just like their Intel counterparts, you can buy based on personal preference rather than being stuck with a model that you don't like the looks of, just because it ticks the price/performance boxes.

The MSI Titanium unquestionably stands proud when it comes to looks. So many motherboards follow either the black and red colour scheme or - as is very much the case in the past 12 months or so - just black and some RGB lighting. With the Titanium MSI have gone all in on the silver looks, and we think that it looks spectacular. Not just because it is different to the usual crop of motherboards that pass through our offices, but because MSI have really made a great job of the colour and avoided the very real possibility of it looking grey. In fact the only thing we dislike is that MSI haven't fully committed to this colour scheme with the rest of their range. You want a silver GPU to go with this motherboard, and now they've stepped away from the black and yellow that used to be the spine of their MPOWER range we were hoping they'd use the unique colours of the Titanium to branch out from the rest of the market. Maybe their new Lightning will come in the silver shades, or maybe you're stuck using a Founders Edition nVidia card or some old Twin Frozr II equipped number.

Performance of the Titanium is very good, banging out consistent results in all of our benchmarks. Particularly worthy of note is the exceptional work MSI have put into the BIOS since we first looked at the Titanium. When the X370 arrived it was clear that the memory performance was the only slight fly in the ointment and barely a few weeks later MSI have solved all these issues by providing a BIOS which happily ran all of our 3200 MHz DDR4 kits without missing a beat. No faffing about adjusting voltages or tweaking timings, install, select speed, bosh.

Naturally there is a negative, and that has to be the price. You're getting an awful lot of premium motherboard with a monster array of features for your money, but it is wandering dangerously close to 'expensive'. However, it's the only issue we have at all with the Titanium and if you love the looks and want the combination of features and performance that it offers then there really is only one choice.

MSI X370 XPOWER Gaming Titanium Review  

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Most Recent Comments

24-04-2017, 11:51:28

xpnet
I have been waiting for this, I have been having nothing but problems with this board. I have a 1700 with some Corsair Platinum CMD16GX4M2B3000C15

I am getting 34 idle and 67 on load at stock settings. Had to reapply aftermarket paste because I was getting 42 and 72. Running Ryzen Power Balance Plan with X370 XPower Gaming Titanium (MS7A31) Bios : 1.40. Stock cooler no overclock.

Tried using the XMP profiles to overclock the ram but no post, also tried setting timings and voltage manual nothing over stock will post.

I haven't tried overclocking the processor because the temps I been getting at stock seems like what others are reporting with a overclock. Waiting for your overclock guide as I'd like to try and push my system a bit but currently don't have the experience to get anything working correctly.Quote

25-04-2017, 03:05:48

Hobby Gamer
TT, thanks for the review.
It definitely comes down to hardware features, UEFI features, and looks now. (And still somewhat to DDR4 compatibility with a few motherboards.)

P.S. You have MPOWER all over the place. Text and diagram images. It was really confusing at first, because I have XPOWER in my head and looking at results with only MPOWER.

EDIT: I'm still contemplating waiting for the rumoured 12-core and 16-core Ryzen CPUs and possibly a 16-core Naples. With 48 PCI-e 3.0 lanes to the CPU and X399 chipset and SP3r2 socket. Because just 16 PCI-e 3.0 lanes to the CPU for GPUs is currently the deal breaker for me. But all that depends on cost though (as always). My use is not gaming.Quote

25-04-2017, 04:28:12

NeverBackDown
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobby Gamer View Post
Because just 16 PCI-e 3.0 lanes to the CPU for GPUs is currently the deal breaker for me. But all that depends on cost though (as always). My use is not gaming.
Even if it isn't gaming, you will still be perfectly fine.Quote

28-04-2017, 08:57:11

Hobby Gamer
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverBackDown View Post
Even if it isn't gaming, you will still be perfectly fine.
No I'm not.

Ryzen has no built-in GPU. It has just 16 PCI-e 3.0 lanes across 2 PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots.

A minimum of 32 PCI-e 3.0 lanes across 4 PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots (4 times x8) would be what I need. Not even counting in NVM-e, M.2, etc.
EDIT: To be honest, even the x4 slot going to the X370 chipset would be plenty for the Android X86 virtual machine.

I need 4 graphics cards (3 if Ryzen had a built-in GPU) for hardware passthrough to virtual machines on Linux KVM + QEMU + IOMMU + VFIO + Synergy (by Symless). Each virtual machine gets its own dedicated graphics card (proper GPU drivers have to be installed in the virtual machine), its own dedicated memory, its own dedicated USB ports, etc.

Or in other words :
Running a web design and development testlab with Linux, Windows, OS X, and Android x86 hardware virtualised and simultaneously on one box. Multiple monitors with the 2 40" 4K monitors each displaying the output of two OS'es side-by-side in PBP mode. I make changes in my editor on the 25" 1440p monitor. When I save everything is automatically synced to all open browsers on all OS'es.
(And also to the test devices (smartphones and tablets) connected through Wi-Fi to the modem/access-point.)

To give you a idea, it's a setup similar to this : https://www.html5rocks.com/en/tutori...evice-testing/
Check the photo with this description below it : "Synchronized URL testing across 27+ devices".

I know exactly what I need.

I can't take photos of my current setup now because I'm redecorating at the moment. (Bought an old flat with lots of deferred maintenance. Also all woodwork has to be replaced.) And it's going much slower than the 6 months I anticipated. You can see the mess in the background of some of the pictures I posted here. Most of my gear is at Shurgard now. And I rented a shoe box office for the time being which is just too small for a compete setup. Plus I don't want to risk theft. : https://plus.google.com/u/0/10456804...ts/dEy8RwJDtCcQuote
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