MSI is one of the most well known and influential motherboard manufacturers on the planet. MSI embraced DIY PC’s as a gaming platform years ago to a point where it re-branded most of its products as being gaming oriented. Today, MSI has become a powerhouse in the gaming world as a premiere sponsor of eSports and offers a massive lineup of gaming focused products. These range from motherboards, to peripherals, monitors and even power supplies.
Competition is fierce, and even so MSI has managed to flourish. They are one of the largest suppliers of AMD video cards in the world and are one of the top motherboard manufacturers. I believe they are even encroaching on being number one in gaming monitors. A market the company hasn’t been in all that long really. Having said that, I haven’t always understood MSI’s marketing strategy for its motherboards as the differentiation between product lines makes little sense. It currently has six different motherboard series, with names that are basically meaningless without context. Obviously, you can simply go to MSI’s website and see how they rank. You could probably also tell standing in your local retail store by looking at the boxes.
Regardless, the company remains known primarily as a motherboard manufacturer as that is where it got its start. In most respects, its no different than its primary competitors aside from having embraced gaming by targeting most of its products in that direction early on. This was a decision that seemed almost insane at first, but MSI saw the writing on the wall. Its conclusion that the DIY PC market was primarily built around PC gaming and some workstation use has been confirmed by research done internally by Intel and other companies. These days the only PC’s that aren’t either workstations or gaming boxes are typically bought for web browsing and light home office type of work to keep costs down. Even then, laptops and tablets dominate that space. Desktops at this level essentially have razer thin margins and are ruled by OEMs like Dell and HP. This is a market that MSI and its competition have no interest in dealing with for good reason.
MSI X470 GAMING Pro
The MSI X470 GAMING Pro is part of MSI’s performance gaming line which is underneath “Enthusiast” and above its “Arsenal” gaming line. Like I said, this doesn’t really make much sense without looking into the hierarchy of MSI’s product stack via its website. Essentially, this is a mid-range gaming offering and its price and feature set reflect this.
The motherboard is based on AMD’s X470 chipset and supports the latest features available at the time of this writing. This includes the PCIe Gen 3.0, SATA III 6Gb/s, up to 64GB of DDR4 memory, NVMe SSD’s, AMD’s StoreMI technology, and multi-GPU technologies from AMD. It does not sport NVIDIA’s SLI certification, so anyone looking for SLI compatibility will be out of luck with this one. Many X470 motherboards lack this certification so its hard to fault MSI on this one. For one thing, multi-GPU solutions have fallen out of favor in recent years so this is a feature that’s more likely to go unused than in years past.