Top positive review
Decent Value Motherboard
1 October 2017
Good value motherboard. I'd disagree with another reviewer who thought it was pricey. I think it's quite good value compared with the competition for the X370 chipset (£111 at time of writing). It supports SLI, 64Gb of RAM and has an M.2 slot which many of the cheaper boards don't.
The box includes two SATA cables and a SLI connector.
Note in SLI mode it can only do x8 PCI express per graphics card. It can only do x16 with a single graphics card. However you probably won't notice the difference anyway.
Don't be confused by the HDMI connector on the back panel, this board does *not* have any kind of on-board graphics. For that to work there needs to be a GPU on the CPU. AMD have not currently released any such chips so that connector does nothing. You will definitely need a separate graphics card.
Note on the USB 3.1, this has two "Gen 2" connectors on the back panel only. One of which is type C. All the rest of the 3.1 connectors are "Gen 1" (i.e. really USB 3.0) including the all the internal headers (2 headers). It also has a couple of USB 2 headers.
The M.2 connector is right underneath the x16 PCI slot for your main graphics card. Install the M.2 card first.
When installing your Ryzen, if you have been supplied with a screw-in fan, you need to unscrew the two plastic lugs either side of the processor slot. There is an insert card in the box explaining it, it's not in the manual.
My board came with a dinosaur era BIOS however updating it is fairly straight-forward. You put the latest BIOS on a USB flash drive and boot it into a special mode and it will re-flash it. That worked fine with no problems. I would recommend you update it before installing your O/S.
The BIOS defaults are reasonably sensible and I didn't need to fiddle much other than to clock up the RAM speed. It uses a lowest common denominator speed by default which will probably have a noticable impact on your system performance, so change that to whatever your RAM supports. The MSI A-XMP feature makes it pretty simple to get the RAM timings right, turn that on and it can basically work it out itself. No more wondering about RAS and CAS.
The ATX connector on mine was a tight fit to say the least. I'm not sure whether to blame MSI or the PSU manufacturer (BeQuiet) so can't really knock a star off for that as I don't know who's fault it is. However that was a pain to install and still isn't quite in right, but it works. Could do with a slightly wider tolerance on that.