The MSI 970 Gaming AMD AM3 ATX motherboard is a solution designed to take the latest AMD processors and of course with gaming being the main focus. MSI produce some great products and the MSI 970 Gaming motherboard is a best seller on Amazon. The motherboard is based on the AMD 970 chipset and comes packed with features to provide the best possible gaming experience. Building a HTPC media centre using AMD architecture can save you money as the AMD CPU line is far more cost effective than its Intel cousins. The motherboard supports AMD FX Phenom II, Athlon II and Sempron CPUs.
Compare MSI 970 Gaming AMD AM3 ATX Motherboard Prices
Compare MSI 970 against other gaming motherboards.
|ATX||AM3+, DDR3 up to 32GB 2133MHz, 6 SATA, 6 USB, Intelligent Networking, Gaming Port|
|Mini-ITX||Socket FM2, DDR3 up to 32GB 2133MHz, 4 SATA, 10 USB, Wifi, Bluetooth|
|ATX||AM3+, DDR3 up to 32GB 2133MHz, 9 USB, NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX Support|
|ATX||AM3+, DDR3 up to 32GB 2133MHz, 16 USB, RADEON R9 380X Graphics|
|ATX||AM3+, DDR3 up to 32GB 2133MHz, 9 USB, Audio Boost 2 Sound, NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX Support, Advanced Gaming Port|
On first look the MSI 970 Gaming AMD AM3 ATX motherboard looks good. MSI have gone with the black PCB with red trimmings on some of the heat sinks dotted around the board. The look of the board is becoming increasingly important with gaming machines of today with many cases showing their inner workings and components. Along with the latest CPUs the motherboard supports DDR3-2133 memory. This is no longer the front runner in memory modules today but certainly hits the sweet spot when it comes to price vs performance and is more than adequate to take on the latest PC titles.
What makes this motherboard stand out is the great care MSI has taken in selecting and developing the multimedia components of this product to give gamers what they really need. The on board sound card uses Audio Boost 2 and is powered by Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2. This is the first motherboard I have reviewed to use Creative for sound output, a company that has dominated the PC sound market for so many years. Audio Boost 2 is not limited to speaker output. The MSI 970 Gaming AMD AM3 motherboard comes with Dual Headphone Amplifiers with both front and rear audio outputs. This combined with the very best audio components makes this board a real winner when it comes to sound.
Without doubt the most important consideration when purchasing a gaming motherboard is its graphics capabilities. With gamers really wanting to push back the boundaries of PC graphics the high end gaming market is moving towards dual graphics card solutions. The MSI 970 Gaming AMD AM3 motherboard has two adjacent PCI-E 2.0 slots with optimal positioning for cooling. The motherboard is fully optimised for AMD Crossfire dual graphics card solutions. If you want a gaming HTPC with the best possible graphics performance that beats the latest games consoles on the market today then you will struggle to get a better motherboard that the MSI 970.
Focus has even been given to the MSI 970 networking for gaming and this is a rather neat concept that other motherboards simply do not have. The board utilises the Killer E2200 Intelligent networking platform to give gamers increased stability when online gaming. This will not only aid gaming but also media streaming on your HTPCs. How this works is that the platform automatically detects streamed content and gaming data and gives it priority over other network traffic. This results in less network lag and a more seamless online gaming experience.
Yet another gaming area that MSI has put time, effort and money into is the Gaming Device Port. The mouse port on the rear of the motherboard has been optimised to provide the best possible connectivity for high end gaming mice. This gives a far more responsive and smoother gaming experience and gives the player faster reactions in games.
On first glance the MSI 970 Gaming AMD AM3 ATX motherboard looks great with its black PCB and red heat sink trims.
MSI 970 Gaming AMD AM3 ATX Motherboard Specifications
Below are the MSI 970 motherboard specs:
|Form Factor||ATX||Memory||DDR3 1066-2133||Expansion Slots||1x PCIe 2.0 x16/x8, 1x PCIe 2.0 x4/x8, 2x PCIe 2.0 x1, 2x PCI|
|CPU||AM3+||Networking||E2200 Intelligent||USB||2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, Additionl 3 USB 3.0 with panel|
|Chipset||AMD 970 + SB950||Sound||Realtek ALC1150||SATA||6X SATA 6 Gbps|
MSI have kept the price inline with the AMD CPU price point. This motherboard costs around 30% lower than a similarly spec’d Intel gaming motherboard.
MSI 970 Gaming AMD AM3 ATX Motherboard Advanced Features
The MSI 970 AMD Gaming motherboard comes with the following advanced features.
Audio Boost 2 – Unrivalled audio output utilising Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2.
Click Bios 4 – UEFI bios optimised for both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Command Centre – Tuning software allowing changes to system and cooling. This allows users to improve stability or increase performance.
Gaming Device Port – Improves the performance and responsiveness of gaming mice.
Killer E2200 Intelligent Networking – Prioritises gaming and streaming network traffic improving online performance and stability.
Live Update 6 – Software that automatically downloads the latest bios and drivers to your system.
Military Class 4 Components – Top quality components to aid stability under extreme conditions and to improve the longevity of the motherboard.
OC Genie 4 – Builtin overclocking solution for fast and effective overclocking of components including CPU, memory and graphics offering around a 20% performance boost.
Unlimited RAMDisk – Create a virtual drive using system memory to speed up games by approximately 20%.
HMP Verdict – MSI 970 Gaming AMD Motherboard Review
If you are a PC gamer or building a gaming HTPC and you want to use AMD processor architecture then you need this motherboard. At HMP we have reviewed a number of motherboards designed for gaming but we have not seen a motherboard with so much consideration given to the components and peripherals of gaming. So many gaming board manufacturers focus on performance and clock rates alone when this is just one element of the gaming experience. For the MSI 970 Gaming AMD AM3 ATX motherboard the manufacturer has considered everything including performance, graphics, sound, networking and even the gaming controller! If you buy an MSI 970 Gaming motherboard, other than your CPU and graphics card you will not need to purchase any other gaming peripherals as MSI have though of everything. This motherboard does not come with an on-board graphics chipset but it is designed for gaming and if you are building a gaming machine then you of course need a dedicated graphic card.
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Not only does the board come with everything but it looks great and the price is right. As previously stated many gamers of today invest in high end cases which provide visibility of the inner workings of the system and with its black PCB and red trimmings the MSI 970 Gaming motherboard is one you will be happy to show off. In terms of price the motherboard is inline with AMD CPU prices and comes in at around a 30% lower price point than some of its Intel architecture cousins. You will need to do a lot of searching to come up with a motherboard with so much consideration for gamers at this price and so the MSI 970 Gaming AMD AM3 ATX motherboard gets the thumbs up from us. If you want to build a gaming PC or HTPC with AMD architecture then this motherboard is a winner.