Subscribe For Free Updates!

We'll not spam mate! We promise.

Monday, 24 October 2016

ADATA Premier SP550 120GB M.2 SSD Review

ADATA is a name that any PC enthusiast must be familiar with due to their wide range of storage and memory devices that strike an impeccable balance between price and performance. We've been reviewing their products for a while now and rarely have we felt the need to complain about anything so our words are from experience and not just a pass on advertisement.
Today we have with us the ADATA Premier SP550 M.2 120GB SSD. Yes you guessed it right that its the M.2 version of their very own SP550 2.5' SSD!

The sole purpose of this SSD is to bring the advantages of a M.2 form factor SSD to a majority of population as its priced really strategically with the 120GB version that we have today priced merely at Rs 3500 in India! Rest the drive is based on the same technology that its 2.5' cousin is based upon ranging from the TLC NAND to the Silicon Motion controller.

Packing and Contents 

With the SP550 M.2 ADATA has brought in a welcome change to their packing style and shifted to a glossy multi-color packaging from the plain white one. The front clearly specifies the drive capacity, the brand logo and a big product image along with the product name at the bottom left corner.
On the back nothing much is printed except for the product name and vital details such as the various contact details to the ADATA customer care service.

Open the box and you'll find just the SSD securely packed in a plastic retainer. No manual or installation guide is provide along which is acceptable since no one needs it now.
Overall the packing is clean, simple and informative with nothing to complain about.
Closer Look

Looking at the Premier SP550 you'll notice that its small, I mean like very very small! It complies with the 2280 form factor & hence, measures at just 22mm x 80mm x 3.5mm. Its a good thing since most motherboards only support M.2 drives of upto 80mm in length making the ADATA SP550 M.2 quite a universally compatible drive.

Flip the drive and you find two 16nm 128Gbit TLC NAND memory chips manufactured by Sk Hynix. These chips are 30GB each and are four in number, two at the bottom and two on the top of the PCB, giving the drive its totla 120GB memory capacity.

Since ADATA bins and stress tests these chips on their own for their products they bear the name of ADATA instead of Sk Hynix!

The controller is a Silicon Motion SM2256KAB. The SM2256 is a 4-channel IC using a 32-bit RISC CPU supporting 2D/3D MLC and TLC NAND as well as AES 256, TCG and Opal encryption for added security and it also supports the DevSleep ultra-low power state.
The controller also has proprietary NANDXtend error-correcting and data protection technology built in, which along with LDPC (low-density parity check) and RAID Data Recovery technologies help prolong the TLC NAND’s endurance.

Besides, the SP550 drives use pseudo-SLC caching to ensure high writing performance as well as a dedicated 256 MB of DDR3 DRAM cache. The module used is the Nanya NT5CC128M16IP-DI IC and is DDR3L-1600 with 11-11-11 timings.

Test Setup and Benchmarks

We used our usual testbench to benchmark the ADATA SP550 M.2 SSD.
CPU: Intel Core i7 5930K OC at 4.5Ghz on all six cores
Motherboard: Gigabyte X99 Gaming 5P
RAM: Kingston HyperX Predator 16GB DDR4 (4x4) 3000Mhz Memory Kit
Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX
Graphics Card: Asus STRIX RX 480 8GB DDR5
Storage: Adata SP550 M.2 120GB SSD
Power Supply: Corsair AX860i 860W 80+ Platinum
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

The drive was easy to fit in and installed without a problem. Following our usual SSD testing methods we formatted the drive and put it as a secondary drive with our main SSD loaded with Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit. The entire test suite was run twice to obtain the best possible reading, each session performed after a fresh system restart. Out of the 120GB promised only 112GB on this drive is usable so around 6.6% of the total space is reserved for memory buffer.


ATTO Disk Benchmark measures transfer rates across specific lengths for any storage system. ATTO uses RAW data, I set my transfer size from 0.5 to 8192kb. This is generally the most reliable benchmarks for today's SSDs.

As we can see the drive is hitting the exact advertised speed over here with 556Mb/s read speed though 362Mb/s write speed is a bit lower than the 410MB/s mark.

CrystalDiskMark 5.0.2

CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software that analyses different types of hard drive. Giving sequential benchmark write and read statistics in MB/s. A simple program that is very useful.

The read/write speed again can be seen in almost coherence with our previous tests.

Anvil Storage Utility

The next test is Anvil Storage Utilities, which is a really great piece of software. The SSD benchmark gives you scores for both read and write as well as a combined score.

Anvil also includes Threaded IO tests, which test IOPS. We ran both the random read and random write tests. The results are below.


The AS SSD software determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains five synthetic and three practice tests. The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are performed without using the operating system caches. In Sequential tests, the program measures the time it takes to read and write a 1 GB file respectively.

From the images its clear that the SSD not only hits great speeds in the benchmark but also the copy benchmark shows respectable speeds which is something most consumers will be interested in.

AIDA64 Extreme Edition v5.60

AIDA64 is one of the best tools out there to check the system stability, error diagnostics and even to validate overclocking.
It has a set of suites for almost every hardware out there including SSD/HDD. So we started of with AIDA64 disk suites.

As we can see that the drive is hitting great speeds and is quite consistent in read and write activities.

HD Tune Pro

HD Tune Pro is one of the most popular hard drive software suites available. It has many different benchmarks and tests built into it. Our first test is the read benchmark, which tests the average read speed and access time of the drive.
It was necessary to use it even after so many tests just to give all of you a graph of how constant the speed is on this SSD as many SSDs tend to fluctuate on the read/write speed which ultimately gives you unstable performance.

At 354.5Mb/s average read speed and a very consistent graph the drive is definitely performing well.

PCMark Vantage

We used the PCMark Vantage HDD test which is one of the best range of test suits out there for measuring the performance of any HDD/SSD. Tests are conducted by simulating real life tasks such as Windows Start up, Gaming etc.

With 78413 as the total score and minimum speed at 297.22Mb/s in the 'application loading' test the drive comes up with some very impressive stats. This is important since these are emulation of real life usage! 

My Verdict

Alright so this one is pretty straight forward, the ADATA Premier Pro SP550 M.2 SSD might not be your ground breaking-record shattering SSD to make your friends and neighbors go green with envy but it is in fact one of the best performing M.2 SSDs in the budget segment.
The controller does fumble in synthetic benchmarks during read speeds but performs better than many of the more expensive drives in real life emulation tests such as PCMark Vantage and AS SSD. One thing worth noticing is that the drive performs better when occupied rather than being empty as the SM2256KAB controller has this tendency and since its a 120GB drive reaching its full or near full capacity won't be an issue for many! Also since its affordable and low on power consumption it makes a perfect upgrade option for most of the laptop owners out there who are looking for an upgrade to their primary drive over the conventional mechanical drive.
I give it a 8/10 and hence the ADATA SP550 M.2 SSD ears our Gold Award!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Logitech G Pro Gaming Mouse: Gorgeous and game-changing

The Pro Gaming Mouse is a competition-quality mouse that looks and feels gorgeous while providing maximum responsiveness at a budget-friendly price

When you're in the market for a new gaming mouse there are four things that you need to prioritize: it needs to perform to pro standards, it has to be comfortable enough to use for intense, extended play sessions, it has to be built to last and you want it to look good. And if it can do all that at a reasonable price, then you're in business. And you can get all that and more with the Logitech G Pro Gaming Mouse.

Inspired by the classic lines and simple construction of Logitech's high-end gaming mice, the G100 and G100s preferred by top competitive eSports professionals, the Pro Gaming Mouse is a competition-quality mouse that looks and feels gorgeous while providing maximum responsiveness, and all at a budget-friendly price.
Sleek and lightweight, it's designed for comfort and durability with a design that's optimized to reduce weight wherever possible so as to improve comfort, stability and responsiveness. It weighs in at just 83g (not counting the cable), but despite its lightness it's still packed with features that will give you the competitive edge, no matter what you're playing.

Because top-level gaming demands pixel-precise accuracy, the Pro Gaming Mouse boasts a best-in-class PMW3366 optical sensor that'll respond instantly to your every move, with zero smoothing, filtering or acceleration across the entire DPI range. And while it’s responding flawlessly to your moves, its button performance is ready for your best game too. The left and right buttons feature advanced tensioning that enhance consistency with crisp, reliable click performance, and help reduce the force required to click, enabling you to play longer without gaming fatigue.

In short it's built to be a mouse that you can depend on at the highest level of competition, but the benefits of investing in the Pro Gaming Mouse don't end there. As well as the two main buttons, the mouse also has six additional buttons that are completely programmable. You can use the mouse out of the box with preset programming, or with Logitech Gaming Software you can configure the buttons exactly how you want them. Either bind them to those out-of-the-way controls so that you can use them without taking your keyboard hand off station, or set them up with custom macros so that you can have complex commands and special moves right at your fingertips.

Logitech Gaming Software is also the power behind the G Pro's most eye-catching feature: its smart RGB lighting. Customizable with up to 16.8 million colors, it's the perfect way to stamp your individuality on your mouse, enabling you to personalize your setup by lighting it up with your team's colors and also synchronize lighting effects with other Logitech G products. And on a more practical note, the G Pro's RGB lighting also acts as a power indicator so that you'll always be certain that it's plugged in when you need it.

It's a stunning piece of kit with incredible gaming chops, and you can rest assured that the Pro Gaming Mouse is built to last, too. You don't want a flash design that fails on your right in the middle of a Dota 2 crunch match, and the G Pro has been rigorously tested to ensure that it can withstand the most heavyweight punishment that gaming can inflict.

Logitech has over 30 years of experience in designing, building and testing mice, and the G Pro Gaming Mouse is testament to this with its signature hard-wearing reliability. Its body is treated with a special coating that improves durability and grip, its left and right buttons are tested to over 20 million clicks, and even the mouse feet are tested to over 250km of use. It all adds up to the equivalent of a pro gamer training 10 hours every day for two years, so you can be sure that it won't let you down in the heat of battle.

And the sweetest part of the deal for this mighty gaming mouse? It can be yours for a bargain price: you can order one today for just $69.99 with free shipping included. It's the perfect opportunity to enhance your gaming rig and up your kill rate. Get one now before your opponents do.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Gamdias unveils Floating Design Mechanical Keyboards



The Most Powerful Gaming Gear on Earth
October 19th, 2016, Taipei, Taiwan – GAMDIAS, the leading gaming brand, today announced the newest entries to its celebrated line-up of floating design keyboards; this keyboard will be available in three variants, HERMES P1, M1 and E1 Combo.

Designed for gamers of all level, HERMES P1, M1 and E1 exhibit GAMDIAS’s solid and advanced features: sleek design, ultra-accurate components, and aluminum construction combining for minimalist looks, pinpoint accuracy, and long lasting performance. These new keyboards will be available with GAMDIAS certified switches, all of which have unique contoured keycaps, quick – attach wrist rest for your comfort during gaming sessions and good lighting effects can be directly controlled by the users using the GAMDIAS HERA software or using the keyboards built in controls.

HERMES P1 Gaming Keyboard

GAMDIAS brings 16.8 million color lighting to the new HERMES P1 RGB keyboard, brilliant RGB LED backlighting immerses you in the game with virtually unlimited adjustability. By tapping into our free HERA software, you can set up your customizable RGB lighting or simply use 13 kind of preset lighting effects for all your games and beautiful animations.
The HERMES P1 also features 6 dedicated media keys allow you to play, pause, skip and adjust the volume of your music with a touch of a button, without having to switch out of the game. Additionally, HERMES P1 comes with 100% anti-ghosted matrix, full key rollover and a 1000Hz reporting rate for fast, accurate input for gaming. You can go from zero to awesome in less than five minutes. The Hermes P1 has everything you need to make it yours.

HERMES M1 Gaming Keyboard

HERMES M1 offers dynamic 7 color backlights with 4 lighting effects by using HERA software to match your style, and 2 dedicated, programmable G-keys with onboard storage let you quickly access your favorite macros, presets, and key combinations.  HERMES M1 features
21 - Key rollover on USB for fast, accurate gameplay and same 6 dedicated media key and 1000Hz reporting rate found in HERMES P1.


HERMES E1 Combo contains HERMES E1 mechanical keyboard, DEMETER E2 Optical mouse and NYX E1 mouse pad which packs a whole lot of features at a budget friendly price. GAMDIAS backlit keyboard and gaming lighting mice brings color to your life.

HERMES E1 - HERMES E1 gives you responsive lighting upon key presses, same programmable G-keys with onboard storage, multimedia controls, and anti-ghosting with 21-key rollover on USB for fast, accurate gameplay found in HERMES M1.

DEMETER E2 Optical Mouse - The DEMETER E2 Optical Mouse features an advanced gaming optical sensor, with up to 3200 DPI, and responsive breathing blue and red lighting accents. It offers good stability and accuracy via great tracking precision and a high max speed.

On-the-fly DPI tuning-Instantly adapt your mouse speed to the situation for total command of any environment. DEMETER E2 has an ergonomic, ambidextrous shape, making it great for both left and right handed users.

NYX E1 Mouse Pad - Built from a high-quality, long-lifespan polymer material, the NYX E1 is optimized for gaming sensors, giving you better glide without sacrificing control or accuracy.

HERMES E1 Combo is definitely a perfect addition to your gaming desk if you are looking for whole pack of gaming gear with affordability and functionality!

Pricing and Availability

HERMES P1: USD $119.9
HERMES M1: USD $89.9
HERMES E1 Combo: USD $79.9
Worldwide availability - November 2016.

Visit GAMDIAS website at:

For latest updates and giveaways, like us on Facebook:

GAMDIAS emphasizes on the fundamentals, complemented with creativity and service. GAMDIAS Technology was founded in 2012, successfully creating the gaming brand known as GAMDIAS. Not only do we aim to set the bar for quality and practically, but also to go above and beyond in our designs. Further supplementing our motto: Gaming Art in Motion, we will continue to invest heavily on designs, transcending GAMDIAS products to an artistic pantheon.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

GIGABYTE Introduces GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050 Graphics Card Lines

Geared for next-gen gaming with complete graphics arsenal

India, October 18, 2016 – GIGABYTE, the world’s leading premium gaming hardware manufacturer, today introduced both GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050 graphics cards based on the Pascal GP107 core architecture. Equipped with 4GB of 128-bit GDDR5 memory, GIGABYTE GTX 1050 Ti series comes in 4 models with enthusiast’ favored G1 GAMING edition leading the charge, followed by the WINDFORCE OC edition, the dual-fan OC edition, and the single-fan D5 edition. The GTX 1050 lineup will feature 2GB of GDDR5 memory and offered in the same 4 variants as well. The vast array of graphics arsenal is set to provide gamers with maximum performance for diverse PC build requirements at various budget ranges.

GTX 1050 Ti / GTX 1050 G1 GAMING

Powered by the Super Overclocked GPU, the G1 GAMING edition ups the ante with hefty overclocks right out of the box, together with the signature WINDFORCE cooling and RGB Illumination for gamers who crave superior cooling and boost in performances with style. Through GIGABYTE’s GPU Gauntlet Sorting technology, the top-notch GPU cores built in the G1 GAMING cards push overclocking capability to the limit without compromising the system reliability. The ultra-durable components augmented with 4+1 phase design make the MOSFET working at a lower temperature to provide more stable voltage output for superior overclocking.

The WINDFORCE 2X cooling system incorporates dual 90mm alternate-spinning fans with the unique blade design and 2 composite copper heat pipes in direct touch to the GPU, keeping the card cool and quiet even when aggressively overclocked. Fans are regulated during low power gaming; an LED fan indicator provides a user-friendly, instant display of the fan status.

The G1 GAMING cards allow for unique styling with their customizable RGB and lighting effects using the newly developed XTREME Engine utility software. At rear, the stylish metal back plate adds rigidity and protection to the cards. On the output side, the cards have a total of 3 HDMI ports in addition to a DVI-D port and a DisplayPort to provide more flexible multi-display connectivity.


Fitted with a solid back plate, the sleek-looking WINDFORCE OC edition runs sufficiently cool in silence with the help of WINDFORCE 2X cooling system, featuring two semi-passive 90mm fans, a pure copper composite heat pipe with direct touch to GPU, and unique blade fan design. Alternate spinning fans optimize airflow, reducing turbulence to a minimum.

The cards are reinforced with ultra-durable components with 4+1 phase design make the MOSFET working at a lower temperature to provide more stable voltage output for remarkable overclocking. Via the intuitive interface of XTREME Engine utility, gamers can enjoy enhanced gaming right away with a simple click of the button to overclock the card without the hassle of any manual adjustment. The 3 HDMI ports make multi-display configurations accessible with more flexibility.

GTX 1050 Ti / GTX 1050 OC

Performance accelerated with minimum power requirement, the OC edition provides an outstanding boost in graphics without any auxiliary power connector. The cards incorporate the WINDFORCE 2X cooling system, featuring dual 80mm fans with the unique blade fan design, to deliver an effective heat dissipation capacity for higher performance at lower temperatures. The semi-passive cooling ensures the fans remain turned off at idle or low load, letting gamers enjoy light gaming in complete silence.

GTX 1050 Ti / GTX 1050 D5

The power-efficient D5 edition does not require external power, while delivering impressive overclocked performance over the reference design. Cooled by a custom-designed 90mm fan, coupled with the optimized air flow cover and aluminum base, the cards can dissipate heat effectively from the GPU while keeping the fan operating at a lower speed with less noise. The fan is also regulated as the system is running light or idle.

For more details on GIGABYTE GTX 1050 Ti G1 GAMING 4G Edition:

For more details on GIGABYTE GTX 1050 G1 GAMING 2G Edition:

For more details on GTX 1050 Ti WINDFORCE OC 4G Edition:

For more details on GIGABYTE GTX 1050 WINDFORCE OC 2G Edition:

For more details on GIGABYTE GTX 1050 Ti OC 4G Edition:

For more details on GIGABYTE GTX 1050 OC 2G Edition:

For more details on GIGABYTE GTX 1050 Ti D5 4G Edition:

For more details on GIGABYTE GTX 1050 D5 2G Edition:

GIGABYTE Technology Co. Ltd., headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, is known as a leading brand in the IT industry with branch offices located in 24 countries around the world. Founded in 1986, GIGABYTE started as a small research and development team and has since taken a position as one of the in the world's top motherboard manufacturers. In addition to motherboards and graphics cards, GIGABYTE further expanded its product portfolio to include notebooks and desktop PCs, datacenter servers, networking products, mobile handsets, and home entertainment devices to serve each facet of the digital life in the home and office. Everyday GIGABYTE aims to “Upgrade Your Life” with innovative technology, exceptional quality, and unmatched customer service. Visit for more information.

HyperX Stinger Gaming Headset Launched Exclusively with Amazon India

  • Is the Best-in-class Budget Gaming Headset
  • Lightweight HyperX Cloud Stinger Headset Offering Powerful Sound,
    Audio Precision and Ultra Comfort

Mumbai, India, October18, 2016 - It's easy for hard core enthusiasts to find top notch gaming headsets, but when it comes to budget-minded users, the balance between headset quality and price can sometimes be challenging.HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology,the independent world leader in memory products, now has the solution for it;solidifyingits commitment to creating quality gaming gear for everyone with the launchof the HyperX Cloud Stinger™gaming headset. Designed to make even the most casual gamer feel like a pro. The HyperX Cloud Stinger features HyperX signature memory foam and 50mm directional driversto deliver a comfortable, high-quality sound experience at an MRP of INR 4,599/-. It will be exclusively available on Amazon India for a month.

HyperX Cloud Stinger weighs just 275 grams and is built with 90-degree rotating ear cups to provide hours of comfort for console and PC gaming. The lightweight headset includes 50mm directional drivers that are tilted to position sound directly into the ear,resulting in a broader and more accurate in-game sound. HyperX Cloud Stinger also offers a convenient set of features for game play, including a swivel to mute the microphone, an adjustable steel slider for long lasting durability, and volume controls on the headset

“Building on the success of HyperX Cloud Gaming Headsets designed for gamers of all skill levels, including professional eSports athletes, our new Cloud Stinger brings our quality to all players, no matter the budget or expertise,” said Ann Bai, Sales Director, APAC Region, HyperX. “The Cloud Stinger rounds our line of Cloud Gaming Headsets to deliver consumers a broader range of premium in-game audio for gaming, music, entertainment, and more.”

With optimal audio performance and sound quality, the HyperX Cloud Stinger ensures crisp and clear audio to help gamers quickly locate rivals for game play advantage across platforms. HyperX Cloud Stinger is multi-platform compatibility out-of-the-box with PC, Xbox One™1, PS4™, Wii U™ and mobile devices2.

HyperX Cloud Stinger, an affordable gaming headset, is backed by a two-year warranty and legendary HyperX reliability.

HyperX is the high-performance product division of Kingston Technology encompassing high-speed DDR4 and DDR3 memory, SSDs, USB Flash drives, headsets and mouse pads. Targeted at gamers, overclockers and enthusiasts, HyperX is known throughout the world for quality, performance and innovation. HyperX is committed to eSports as it sponsors over 30 teams globally and is the main sponsor of Intel Extreme Masters. HyperX can be found at many shows including Brasil Game Show, China Joy, DreamHack, ESL One, and PAX.

For more information, please visit the HyperX home page.

HyperX Cloud Stinger Key Features:
  • Lightweight Design – Minimal weight for enhanced comfort
  • Audio Precision – Optimal audio performance and sound quality
  • Adjustable Steel Slider – Long lasting durability and stability; high-quality build
  • Intuitive Volume Control – Easily accessible volume slider to adjust audio on the headset
  • Noise-Cancellation Microphone – Clear voice quality; conveniently flip the microphone to mute
  • Multi-Platform Compatibility – Enjoy comfort and enhanced audio experienceon PC or console; plug into a mobile device2and wear the headset on the go

Additional HyperX Cloud Stinger Specifications:
  • Driver: Dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
  • Type: Circumaural; closed back
  • Frequency response: 18Hz-23,000Hz 
  • Impedance: 30 Ω
  • Sound pressure level: 102 ± 3dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
  • T.H.D:  ≦ 2%
  • Input power: Rated 30mW, Maximum 500mW
  • Weight: 275g
  • Cable length and type: Headset (1.3m) + Extension Y-cable(1.7m)
  • Connection: Headset - 3.5mm plug (4 pole) + extension cable - 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs

  • Element: Electret condenser microphone
  • Polar pattern: Uni-directional, Noise-canceling
  • Frequency response: 50Hz~18,000Hz
  • Sensitivity: -40 dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)

1 May require controller adapter (adapter sold separately).
2 Compatible with devices with CTIA standard connectors.

HyperX can be found on:
YouTube: AND

About HyperX
HyperX® is a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the world’s largest independent memory manufacturer. Established in 2002, HyperX is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, USA. For more information, please visit
Kingston, the Kingston logo and HyperX are registered trademarks of Kingston Technology Corporation. All rights reserved. All other marks may be the property of their respective titleholders.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

MSI H170 Gaming M3 Motherboard Review

At Computers and More we've always thrived to bring you the best which also includes reviews on demand. One such long pending demand was to review something which is more inclined towards the ultra to medium budget segment obviously that is with respect to the Indian market. Today I'm really happy as MSI heeded to our request and sent in their much acclaimed budget motherboard aimed strictly towards gaming and nothing too fancy.
We have with us today the MSI H170 Gaming M3 motherboard which supports the Intel 6th Gen processors working on the LGA 1151 socket and the very latest DDR4 memory.

The H170 PCH unlike its superior cousin the Z170, is strictly aimed at the ultra budget segment delivering just enough to get the job done just right. It can support memory only upto 2133Mhz and has lesser number of SATA 6Gb/s ports. Also the PCIe lanes are restricted to 16 and not to 20 unlike the Z170 PCH.

Packing and Accessories 

MSI has maintained the Gaming series packaging style with the H170 Gaming M3 aswell. A well placed MSI logo in the center compliments the Gaming M3 written in a chunky font. No real image of the product is printed though.

At the back a wired I/O panel diagram, product name and associate brands logos are printed. We can also a well laid out feature set of the product such as Audio Boost 3, Gaming LAN, Turbo M.2 etc

The accessories front is limited and just enough with a user guide, a pair of SATA cables, driver disk, installation guide, I/O shield and a MSI decal to accentuate your chassis.

Closer Look and Features

Open the box and inside an anti-static bag you will find the motherboard securely seated. The first look itself confirms the fact that its one of the premium looking H170 PCH motherboards in the market today.

One thing is pretty clear that MSI has certainly cut corners on the H170 Gaming M3 as the reinforced PCIe slots are absent along with any extra shielding on the I/O panel. Its a matte black motherboard with accents of red and on the VRM and PCH heatsinks. All in all the motherboard doesn't look cheap at all.

Moving on to the center of the board, the processor area is quite full with capacitors surrounding it red paint highlighting the circuit patterns that lead to the adjacent DIMM slots. MSI has done it not only to add a visual appeal to the board but also to show that the RAM kits will have direct ultra fast connection to the CPU to ensure clearer and stronger signals enabling you to reach optimum overclocking potential. Also the circuitry glows up red when XMP profile is enabled on the RAM to add on to the aesthetics and visuals!

The board comes with the usual four DIMM slots providing support for a maximum capacity of 64GB dual channel memory & can support 16GB memory per slot working at 2133Mhz only since its a H170 PCH motherboard.

The MSI H170 Gaming M3 comes equipped with 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, 2x PCIe x1 slots, 3x PCIe slots and one Turbo M.2 port.
The PCIe 3.0x16 slots is CrossFireX compatible giving a distribution of x8/x8 for the installed graphics cards.

Since it is equipped with a PCIe Gen3 x 4 M.2 connector which supports drives of upto 30mm in length. Dues to the H170 PCH limitation the M.2 port shares its PCIe lanes with the CPU and hence will be disabled if two graphics cards are installed in CrossFireX configuration.

Coming over to the I/O panel we see a mixed bag of standard & new features, we have 1x PS/2 port, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 4x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI port, 1x Gigabit LAN port, 2x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 3.1, 1x S/PDIF out and 5x HD audio jacks.

Just next to the I/O panel we spot two prime features of the board. One is the Audio Boost Technology by MSI and this time its the Audio Boost 3 under which rests a Realtec ALC 1150 chip to drive the audio on the Gaming M3. The lid on top is soldered nicely and and LED path provides isolation to the audio components from electrical distortions. Dual OPA1652 AMPs, Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors, EMI shielding, and isolation from the board, all help bring you a great audio experience with that S/N ratio of 115db.

The other one is a LAN chip, MSI chose the Killer LAN E2400 through this series of boards. One of the cool features of this gaming NIC is the ability to automatically shape traffic to prioritize gaming (called AES 2.0). Typically this is a function you manually control via included software, which you can here, but this one puts the games up at the top of the list when active. The connector also has 15Kv anti-surge protection for safety.

From storage point of view the H170 Gaming M3 comes with six SATA 3 6Gb/s ports and one SATA express port. Out of the six SATA 3 ports two are vertical wrt to the motherboard giving easy access while installation inside a chassis.

MSI opted to use a 8+1 phase all digital power delivery system with the H170 Gaming M3, which ensures a stable supply of power to the processor. Remember that Skylake doesn't come with a voltage regulator built into the processor so the motherboard is responsible for regulating and cleaning the voltage to be fed to the chip.

Overall a terrific design really, aesthetically pleasing to the eyes as well. MSI has applied their Military Class V components on the motherboard with updated DrMOS MosFETs and aluminum colored dark caps which help in increasing the lifespan of the board along with giving it a distinguished look!

BIOS and Bundled Software


UEFI BIOS is getting more and more common with each manufacturer opting for it due to its simple and flexible interface along with the option to navigate via a mouse rather than a keyboard exclusive BIOS. MSI is no different and has offered not one but two versions of BIOS, EZ and Advanced versions, with the MSI H170 Gaming M3 so as to suit every customer's needs.
On boot up by default you'll be greeted with a more comprehensive and detailed EZ BIOS screen. This is a crammed up screen that has the details about all the components installed on the board along with options laid out neatly under clear tabs on the left side. If you want to change fan speeds, maybe boot devices, or use its automated overclocking function or XMP, you can do so quickly and easily.

This is a much preferred version for the beginners and it even comes with a Game Boost knob on the top left corner, the same 8 setting for over clocking the processor are laid out ranging from 0-11. You can either use this or the one physically present on the board since the changes will only take place after a reboot.
On pressing the F7 key you'll be teleported into the Advanced BIOS version or the traditional MSI UEFI BIOS version. This is a version that all the over clockers will love since the settings are broadly laid out with tab heading like Over Clocking Settings itself but sadly its a H170 motherboard with no support for overclocking! A plethora of features are there out of which I'm showing you a selective few.

Bundled Software

This is the era when manufacturers provide customers with not just a motherboard and utility softwares that act more like blotwares if nothing else. Gigabyte App center is already what I've reviewed a lot of time & it has never failed to impress but MSI is no less rather  a bit more refined in their approach.
The heart of the software set is the MSI command set which gives you general features and information regarding the CPU, GPU, Fan Speed, IGP and the Game Boost knob...again!

Also one beautiful graphical window is there that provides you with temperature readings of each component & even tell you where they are located on the board.

The gaming app section is something that you'll  be familiar to if you are a MSI graphic card owner. It give you all the information and tweaking options related to your GPU and you can select which vital stat you want to see on your screen. Also you can adjust mouse sensitivity and assign hot keys to your gaming mouse from here making it a one stop solution for gaming.

The MSI RAM disk is a nifty little tool to help you create an ultra fast cache by taking some memory off of your RAM disk and increase the read/write speed of your storage devices. Its a great feature if you have unused or really high amount of memory installed.

Another added feature is the Nahimic settings. Yes its the same Nahimic I talked about in the beginning. The Nahimic audio software boosts the audio performance by supplying a high definition sound technology which leads to clearer audio performance whether that be during music, video or gaming.

Some extra software include the SteelSeries Engine 3 for Steelseries gaming accessories, MSI version of CPUZ, XSplit Gamecaster with one year free subscription etc

Test Setup and Benchmarks

Installing all the hardware onto the MSI H170 Gaming M3 was easy and no difficulty came in and once powered on we booted into Windows without any hiccups.
For the benchmarks we used the following test setup --

CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K 3.5Ghz
Motherboard: MSI H170 Gaming M3
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z 16GB DDR4 (2x8) 3400Mhz Memory Kit
Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX 240mm Liquid Cooler
Graphics Card: Gainward Phantom GLH GeForce GTX 960 2GB DDR5
Storage: Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB SSD
Power Supply: Corsair AX860i 860W 80+ Platinum
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

AIDA64 Cache & Memory Benchmark

AIDA64 implements a set of 64-bit benchmarks to measure how fast the computer performs various data processing tasks and mathematical calculations. Memory and cache benchmarks are available to analyze system RAM bandwidth and latency.

AES-256 and SHA-1 Hash Benchmark

AES-256 and SHA-1 Hash benchmark emulates real life data processing scenarios through a set of pre-defined algorithms scoring both the CPU and GPU respectively. It is a very useful test to determine how efficient the processor and graphics card will be on a particular motherboard when it comes to real life working.

Cinebench R15 & Cinebench R11.5

Cinebench uses Maxon's Cinema 4D engine to render a photo-realistic scene of some shiny balls and weird things (we miss the motorbike). The scene is highly complex, with reflections, ambient occlusion and procedural shaders so it gives a CPU a tough workout.
As Cinema 4D is a real-world application - used on films such as Spider-Man and Star Wars - Cinebench can be viewed as a real-world benchmark.

Intel XTU

Intel XTU is a utility mainly used to overclock the processor and memory to benchmark the system for its stability and performance. The score obtained is a projection of the computer's true potential signifying its performance in real-life tasks.


This suite allows you to measure the performance of your computer. The benchmark shows a rating in MIPS (million instructions per second). There are two tests, compression with LZMA method and decompression with LZMA method. Once the total passes reaches 100, the score is taken. Higher the score better is the computer's overall performance.

wPrime v2.10 32M and 1024M

wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions. It is influenced by memory timings and frequency.

SuperPi Mod v1.5 1M and 32M

SuperPi is a simple program that utilizes the processing power and memory speed of the system to calculate the value of Pi upto 1 Million or 32 Million decimal point depending upon what you choose. The time is calculated in minutes and seconds so lower the score faster is your computer.

Crysis 3

I can't start gaming benchmarks without running my all time favorites Crysis 3 but its a game that no system loves! The CryEngine 3 behind this scenic beauty can bring down any system to its knees and I mean any system. I set everything to Very High at 1920x1080 resolution with SMAA 2X and motion blur medium.

Batman Arkham Knight

Since the game is powered by Epic's Unreal Engine 3 and supports DX11 tessellation so playing this game on 1920x1080 resolution with all settings maxed out can be any modern system's 'worst nightmare'! While benchmarking all setting were set to normal with nVidia exclusive features disabled.

Battlefield 4

Based on the DICE's Frostbite Engine 3 this game not only taxes a CPU and GPU both by reproducing lush details on the screen but also utilizes the DX11 and DX11.1 features coupled with 64-bit binaries! Settings were at Ultra with antialiasing deferred at 2x MSAA and ambient occlusion enabled.

My Verdict

The best price I could find for the MSI H170 Gaming M3 is around ₹10,000 in the Indian market which is a great deal for a motherboard that comes with superior looks and great performance simply in terms of its support for multiple GPU support along with Audio Boost 3 technology which clearly justifies its 'Gaming' tag.
The motherboard works flawlessly with its swift and easy to use BIOS and MSI Command Center making the user's job a tad bit easier in every possible form. I really loved the addition of MSI's Titanium chokes and Black caps since they are quite reliable and solid for long term performance.
The absence of a USB 3.1 Type C port on board is probably the only thing I can find myself to complain about as Type C is slowly making its way into the mainstream market with more and more high speed flash-drives  opting for the same interface.
In short it is a worthy pick for a gamer who's tight on budget and wants all the gaming essential features packed into a board without dropping much cash on the desk!
The MSI H170 Gaming M3 Motherboard truly deserves our Golden Award!