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MSI Z370-A Pro: should I buy this motherboard?

MSI Z370-A Pro

When you sit down and decide that it’s time to build the best gaming pc you can muster, you should think about the best motherboards first — because the board you pick will inform the rest of the PC components you’ll buy. And, if you’re planning an Intel build, you might want to consider the MSI Z370-A Pro. 

Not only does this motherboard feature all kinds of high-end features, with support for CrossfireX multi-GPU setups, but it has some mining features – if cryptocurrency is a thing you’re still into in late 2018.

And, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, there’s never really been a better time to get out there looking for the best cheap motherboards you can find. This is especially true if you can manage to find a $119 (£89, AU$159) MSI Z370-A Pro. And, we’re here to tell you that you totally can.

The motherboard

MSI’s Pro series of motherboards is aimed primarily at professionals and creatives that aren’t ready to step up to a high-end desktop (HEDT) platform. As such, you can expect high-end performance without any unnecessary frills. You’ll get compatibility with speedy NVMe SSDs, multi-GPU support and all the features that Coffee Lake processors have to offer. But, you won’t find a ton of gaming-centric stuff, like RGB lighting or special gaming modes. 

However, because it’s not an expensive board, especially when compared to some other Z370 parts, gamers might be interested in the MSI Z370-A Pro if they’re in it for performance more than aesthetics. 

MSI has also made a big deal about the Z370-A Pro’s cryptocurrency mining potential, with an optimized power design and a ton of fan headers to keep all of those hot GPUs nice and cool.

The cost

At just $119 (£89, AU$159), the MSI Z370-A Pro is actually a pretty great deal for a moderately high-end motherboard. You’re getting all the necessary features of the flagship platform at a budget price. All you have to do is look at some competing Z370 boards, like the $130 (£179, AU$298) Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming or the $164 (£150, AU$235) Asus Prime Z370-A, and you’ll see what we’re talking about.

And, with the myriad Black Friday PC component deals, we expect the MSI Z370-A Pro is going to be even more affordable very soon.  You should be able to build a great workstation or gaming PC on a budget, though if you’re going to pick up one of the latest Coffee Lake Refresh processors, you’ll have to update the BIOS — which might require you to have access to an 8th-generation Intel processor.

Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.