The MSI B760M GAMING PLUS WIFI motherboard enters the gaming PC peripheral with a bold statement. Priced at PHP 10,700, it’s a gaming powerhouse that combines smart design decisions with a few quirks, making it quite a compelling choice in the competitive MicroATX market. We take a closer look at what this motherboard offers.
MicroATX motherboards often find themselves confined to basic home and office use, leaving enthusiasts longing for feature-rich options. The gaming arena, in particular, has been a battleground dominated by budget-friendly choices. We checked the motherboard with an Intel core i5-11400 processor and an MSI GEFORCE RTX 4070 Ti SUPRIM X 12GB GPU, and here’s what we think about it.
Design and Durability: Aesthetics Meet Substance
Gaming-centric products with military-inspired elements and diagonal design cues are evident in the MSI B760M GAMING PLUS WIFI’s design. A six-layer black PCB, thickened copper traces (2 ounces, according to MSI), and aluminum heatsinks exude sturdiness.
The VRM heatsink extends seamlessly over the rear I/O panel, showcasing thoughtful integration. While the B760 chipset targets business and basic home use, MSI ensures durability and a touch of gaming style.
The rear I/O panel strikes a balance between functionality and simplicity. USB 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 ports coexist with 10Gbps USB Type-A and Type-C ports, demonstrating versatility. MSI takes networking up a notch by integrating a Realtek 2.5Gbps LAN chip, complemented by Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 support. Internal headers, including fan connectors, USB ports, and RGB headers, contribute to a well-rounded feature set.
MicroATX motherboards offer the unique advantage of fitting into cases snug for full ATX motherboards. The MSI B760M GAMING PLUS WIFI leverages this by providing standoff clearance markings, simplifying the installation process. While the lack of onboard power and reset buttons might disappoint enthusiasts, the motherboard’s fan header layout and quick installation clips for M.2 slots enhance the overall build experience.
Power-packed Internals: CPU, Memory, and Beyond
Underneath the hood, the MSI B760M GAMING PLUS WIFI boasts a 12+1+1 power regulation design, delivering power efficiently to the CPU. The motherboard supports up to DDR5-7000 memory speeds, with four DDR5 slots accommodating up to 192GB of memory.
Although the B760 chipset limits overclocking capabilities and reduces PCIe and SATA lanes, the MSI B760M GAMING PLUS WIFI still supports three PCIe 4.0 x4 drives, providing ample storage options.
Expansion and Storage: Versatility at Its Core
The motherboard offers three PCIe slots, including a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot for high-performance graphics cards. Storage options abound with four SATA slots and two M.2 slots. However, an interesting layout choice places two SATA slots perpendicularly along the bottom edge, adding a unique twist to the traditional configuration. The inclusion of PCIe 5.0 support positions the B760M Mortar for future-proof gaming experiences.
BIOS Mastery: Navigating the Depths
The Mortar’s BIOS, while lacking a flashback feature, impresses with its user-friendly interface. The CPU cooler menu, advanced settings, and overclocking options provide a comprehensive toolkit for users.
The inclusion of an OC Profile tile allows users to save and export their overclocking configurations, enhancing customization possibilities.
Extra Utilities: MSI Center Unleashed
MSI Center, a comprehensive utility, takes the motherboard’s configurability to the next level. Enabling users to tweak RGB settings, overclock with ease, and access game recording features, the utility offers a one-stop solution for system management.
The seamless integration of modules and preset options makes customization accessible to both beginners and advanced users.
Verdict: A MicroATX Marvel
The MSI B760M GAMING PLUS WIFI emerges as a strong contender in the MicroATX segment, offering a blend of gaming aesthetics, powerful internals, and user-friendly utilities. Despite its steep price of PHP 10,700, a few missed opportunities leave enthusiasts wanting more. There are features we would have liked to see such as a PCIe 5.0 storage option, BIOS flashback function, or a clear CMOS button could have elevated it to a premium midrange status.
Nevertheless, the MSI B760M GAMING PLUS WIFI holds its ground as a worthy gaming motherboard, just a feature or two shy of perfection. In a market where MicroATX often gets overlooked, MSI brings forth a compelling option that demands attention.