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MSI Z170A GAMING PRO: A Nice Board For Building A Skylake Linux System

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  • MSI Z170A GAMING PRO: A Nice Board For Building A Skylake Linux System

    Phoronix: MSI Z170A GAMING PRO: A Nice Board For Building A Skylake Linux System

    Since I started delivering my Skylake Linux tests back in August, I've received many inquiries from Phoronix readers curious about what motherboard I've been using, etc. Long story short, all of my initial Intel Skylake Linux testing has been done with the MSI Z170A GAMING PRO motherboard, which has been working out well.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=22182

  • #2
    Any idea why the SATA ports are not on the side of the board?

    With this size "GAMING PRO" motherboard it will usually go into a big case with big graphics cards. It looks like, at the very least, the bottom x2 ports will block a second graphics card.

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    • #3
      I have the Gigabyte Z170M, it's a bit cheaper but all boards are pretty similar nowadays. Everything in Skylake is great except the built-in graphics. It's OK for desktop use but nothing more. 4.3 kernel does not bring performance increases over 4.2 that I've noticed, only the experimental flag is turned off which is nice but really says a lot about Intel and their supposed "great" Linux support. It's now 1.5 months since release and there is still no stable linux kernel that works with skylake out of the box. By the time 4.3 is released, it will be more like 2-3 months.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jabberwocky View Post
        Any idea why the SATA ports are not on the side of the board? It looks like, at the very least, the bottom x2 ports will block a second graphics card.
        How many people (especially Linux users) really run multiple graphics cards? I've got an Antec Sonata Solo MiniTower, and I wish the SATA ports on my mobo would not have been on the side.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DanL View Post

          How many people (especially Linux users) really run multiple graphics cards? I've got an Antec Sonata Solo MiniTower, and I wish the SATA ports on my mobo would not have been on the side.

          It's hard to say how many, but I do. It's awesome for a multi-seat gaming computer, having one gpu per seat. I might build another one in the future.

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          • #6
            I use 2 r9 280x in crossfire for gaming in manjaro and it works great as long as you want to use catalyst. You also could get pci passthrough with kvm if that would be something you want to do.

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            • #7
              Would love to see some benchmarks using the M2 slot, or any consumer-level (cheapish) SSD using something not constrained by the SATA3 port.

              Interesting that they're using dual channel memory, previous motherboards could handle triple channel using an i7. Did they just conclude it wasn't worth it?

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              • #8
                Michael, how deep into package C state do you get this rig? I've had some trouble with my MSI Gaming 3 + Haswell-E. My conclusion was bad ASPM config from the UEFI.

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                • #9
                  "Supports ECC, un-buffered memory" Wait a minute, didn't Intel intentionally disable/remove all ECC support from all there desktop CPUs?

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                  • #10
                    Do you know how RAID on Z170 chipset works with modern Linux? Are there any problems? I have no experience in RAIDs and I want to use it with motherboard with this chipset.

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