MSI Ryzen X370 XPOWER Gaming Titanium Review
It is very difficult to review any of the AMD Zen architecture products without comparing them to their Intel equivalents, or to seem to praise them for things that should be taken as a given. Forgive us if we go down this path once more.
The previous, by which we mean AM2 and AM3 related products, were the last of the old school way of doing hardware, where there is a genuine noticeable difference between buying certain products over other ones. This is something that Intel eliminated around the time of the Z77 chipset, wherein you could choose which motherboard to buy based upon the colour scheme, design, extra features and/or pricing rather than its performance, because they all performed at approximately the same level. Naturally there are some that are exceptionally good, but there aren't any that were risible. AMD still, to some degree, had this issue, but the AM4 socket and X370/B350 chipsets look to have erased this performance difference and solidified their foundations. So, just like their Intel counterparts, you can buy based on personal preference rather than being stuck with a model that you don't like the looks of, just because it ticks the price/performance boxes.
The MSI Titanium unquestionably stands proud when it comes to looks. So many motherboards follow either the black and red colour scheme or - as is very much the case in the past 12 months or so - just black and some RGB lighting. With the Titanium MSI have gone all in on the silver looks, and we think that it looks spectacular. Not just because it is different to the usual crop of motherboards that pass through our offices, but because MSI have really made a great job of the colour and avoided the very real possibility of it looking grey. In fact the only thing we dislike is that MSI haven't fully committed to this colour scheme with the rest of their range. You want a silver GPU to go with this motherboard, and now they've stepped away from the black and yellow that used to be the spine of their MPOWER range we were hoping they'd use the unique colours of the Titanium to branch out from the rest of the market. Maybe their new Lightning will come in the silver shades, or maybe you're stuck using a Founders Edition nVidia card or some old Twin Frozr II equipped number.
Performance of the Titanium is very good, banging out consistent results in all of our benchmarks. Particularly worthy of note is the exceptional work MSI have put into the BIOS since we first looked at the Titanium. When the X370 arrived it was clear that the memory performance was the only slight fly in the ointment and barely a few weeks later MSI have solved all these issues by providing a BIOS which happily ran all of our 3200 MHz DDR4 kits without missing a beat. No faffing about adjusting voltages or tweaking timings, install, select speed, bosh.
Naturally there is a negative, and that has to be the price. You're getting an awful lot of premium motherboard with a monster array of features for your money, but it is wandering dangerously close to 'expensive'. However, it's the only issue we have at all with the Titanium and if you love the looks and want the combination of features and performance that it offers then there really is only one choice.