The MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium Motherboard Review: A Silver Flagshipby Gavin Bonshor on April 13, 2018 8:00 AM EST
MSI uses the same styled Click BIOS 5 across all of its current motherboard models. For the XPower, it uses a red and black themed BIOS with white test throughout, in light of the gaming aspect in the name, rather than white/silver for the titanium. The BIOS easy to navigate, feels responsive, and there were no issues finding key and important settings.
Click BIOS 5 has two selective modes with entry screen starting with EZ Mode. This is suited for novice users, with the more advanced settings being available in Advanced Mode. EZ Mode provides the base information for CPU clock speeds, memory speeds, memory timings, BIOS info, and one click entry to things like the M-Flash utility and hardware monitor.
After pressing F7 once, advanced mode appears and offers six different panels containing a wave of different options. From the left side is the settings panel which deep dives into the motherboards chipset options such as USB configuration, Windows OS configuration and integrated peripherals; the latter allows the user to turn off the onboard LAN controller as well as the onboard HD audio controller. Users can also enable a setting called ‘Above 4G memory/Crypto Currency Mining’ which is designed to bypass issues regarding system delay upon boot with Xeon Phi cards or mutliple graphics beyond four cards.
For overclocking, MSI uses a list of CPU, RAM and voltage settings. Most of the voltage settings can generally be left at auto when overclocking, although in our testing we do adjust CPU Core Voltage and DRAM Voltage. Using XMP profiles on memory will automatically adjust the DRAM voltage to its required level based on the memories XMP specifications.
On the right-hand side throughout the advanced section of the BIOS is the help and information panel aimed at explaining the settings chosen on the motherboard.
Overall the MSI CLICK BIOS works, is particularly responsive to use and combines an easy to navigate design with a clean and clear look. More of a nitpick would be the overall theme not matching the rest of the board such as the color scheme and XPower branding, but it doesn’t hinder any of the technological aspects of the BIOS.
Software offerings include the MSI Command Center software, Live Update, the MSI Gaming App, MSI Gaming LAN Manager and the Nahimic audio software. The most up-to-date solution for drivers and software would be to install the MSI Live Update 6 software and update them all to the latest available versions. Alongside the usual software, an MSI Gaming themed CPU-Z is also provided.
The MSI Command Center offers a range of CPU, memory, and integrated graphics options, and also provides overclocking options. The software itself isn’t dedicated to this specific board, as the base clock section has been greyed out mainly because the X370 XPower does not feature an external clock generator. However everything else, from CPU Core voltage, multiplier, DRAM voltage and even memory timings, are customizable.
On top of overclocking options, the Command Center also custom fan profiles for the four 4-pin SYS fan headers on the board. Options also include an automatic smart mode, or using user defined settings based on power levels. There is also a real-time onboard temperature monitoring screen which takes readings directly from the sensors on the motherboard, and displays it in a futuristic blueprint of the board.
Within the MSI Gaming App software, on offer are three different modes: OC Mode, Gaming Mode, and Silent mode. Each relates to CPU and graphics performance, although the software did not have any effect on our Ryzen 7 1700.
Also inside the MSI Gaming App are all the options relating LED adjustments. Users can plug up to a maximum of two 5050 RGB LED strips to add to the LED capabilities. It is worth noting that for users that want to implement RGB lighting and customize the colors, the Mystic Light utility embedded into the Gaming App is the only way to do this as the BIOS doesn’t even contain any options to simply turn the LEDs on or off.
The X370 XPower utilizes a Realtek ALC1220 and is complimented by the Nahimic audio software.The Nahimic interface is designed to offer different options to tailor the sound, such as a bass boost, virtual surround sound, reverb and a smart loudness setting which is essentially volume stabilization to aid in the reduction of large audio spikes. On the face of it, the audio section comes across as no more than an EQ adjuster, however since the initial offering, Nahimic has expanded to streaming, allowing for an audio launchpad which allows the user to hotkey sound samples to the keyboard or gamepad. Also included is 'Sound Tracker', an FPS focused technology which captions 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound processed by the codec into an on-screen display.