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MSI unleashes their harbinger of AM4 performance alongside Ryzen CPUs. But it definitely ain’t cheap.

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When we reviewed the lineup launch of AMD Ryzen 7 CPUs, I was fortunate enough to get the MSI X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard as part of my evaluation kit. Not that I’m bragging but it’s an overlooked privilege in order to get a favorable impression of AM4-compatible products. This is the materialistic phenomenon of press kits and an inviting PR grin at your fabled trade show, and a nonchalant part of my job.

Knowing this, only the financially unobstructed PC builders may need apply throughout this review. This is one of the best choices right now if you want to go all-out with newly minted Ryzen investment, and at $300, you will definitely feel confident that you’re getting exactly what you paid for.

The X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM is a full-size ATX motherboard that unabashedly proclaims it’s a gaming workhorse (if the name didn’t tip you off), with The PCB done up in silver with black accents that resonates with decadent flair. Featuring three large silver heat sinks each for the Southbridge, MOSFETs, and of course, one for the I/O.

Expansion slots are aplenty with three PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0 x 1 slots, just one PCIe 2.0 x16 slot (supports x4 mode) and two PCIeX 3.0 x16 slots made of steel armor coating. Multi-GPU functionality comes standard (because it damn well better) and supports both NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire technology—however, Radeon owners can take it even farther and link a trio of graphic cards as an added perk.

This is also the few AM4 motherboards out of the gate to sport two available M.2 ports, with MSI even including their gun metallic shield to cover those green M.2 PCBs if aesthetically unpleasing to the eye. Otherwise, the X370 XPOWER TITANIUM comes equally loaded with a plethora of six SATA3 6Gb/s ports, turbo U.2 ports, and two USB 3.0 front headers for individuals with a ton of options on an extended chassis.

Here is some more stuff on the rear I/O: 4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port, HDMI 2.0, Clear CMOS button, and a BIOS Flashback+ button to point out most of it. Of course, it would be a lot easier just to refer to the image below.

The X370 XPOWER TITANIUM is hardcore, with BIOS that gives you plenty to adjust. On the flipside, you also get a whole of information to look over and very helpful to search for specific settings or permanently add them via My Favorites in up to five groups.

Go beyond that to take complete control of your system health and optimize fan temperature targets with the hardware monitor, or regain the maximum cache speed of your SSD through Secure Erase+, you can even reflash your BIOS to the previous version within minutes if something goes catastrophic.  Granted, only experienced users may only need apply here, but few will say this motherboard is lacking.

In our benchmark rundown, I paired the GA-AB350M similar to how most people would realistically build their rigs (or at least to the best of my abilities). For this we’re using a Ryzen 7 1700X CPU, GeIL EVO RGB 16GB DDR4-3200 memory, Kingston SSDNow UV400 480GB SSD, and a NVIDIA OEM GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Graphics Card.

Benchmark results put this on top of the current crop because the competition is quite limited at the time of this writing. Sticking with software like Handbrake, Cinebench, and AIDA64 Engineer Edition, we did a crash-course comparison with a Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming K7 and the ASUS X370 CROSSHAIR HERO with all of them being almost equal in test figures.

To be honest, there were only marginal differences between them with no clear winner to be crowned. All three performed fantastically, and consequently puts them in identical classes.

It is also no coincidence that the X370 XPOWER TITANIUM is a direct counterpart to the Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM, except it’s an Intel version utilizing their current Skylake/Kaby Lake LGA-1155 socket architecture. The similarities far outweigh the differences, but you get the option to crank up the memory clocks to DDR4-4133+(OC).

Clearly, the MSI X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM is a premier AM4 motherboard that the Ryzen chip deserves. Its performance-happy profile makes this an uncomplicated package geared towards benchmark enthusiasts and overclocking fiends, but you are definitely paying upfront. Then there is the matter of competition, in which all of them have equally vigorous offerings unless features and brand reputation are major determining factors.

Regardless, we don’t think this will bother high-tier users—an astute builder who’s willing to go all in, but are still adamant about saving some dough, which is probably why they opted for AMD anyway. A worthy choice when blunt supremacy and straightforwardness are requirements in a gaming rig.

About the Author: Herman Exum