MSI Z170A Gaming M6 boasts a better USB 3.1 controller

As Intel and AMD move more and more chipset features onto their processors, motherboard vendors have faced growing challenges to separate themselves from the pack. MSI is looking to stand out by offering what it claims is "the fastest USB 3.1 solution on the market." Its upcoming Z170A Gaming M6 will integrate the ASMedia 2142 USB 3.1 controller, a new chip that MSI and ASMedia apparently worked together to create. That controller can talk over two lanes of PCIe 3.0 instead of the single lane of PCIe 3.0 or two lanes of PCIe 2.0 that powered the older ASMedia 1142 chip used on many boards until now.

The fancy new USB controller doesn't provide the board with any extra ports. The Gaming M6 still comes with the usual pair of USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C ports. MSI does say that the extra connectivity should improve performance when using both ports, though. Besides that fancy new USB controller, the board also offers "next-generation" Killer Networking hardware, although MSI apparently isn't ready to reveal details on exactly what hardware that might be.

There's also no product page for the new board yet. Poring over the board image, we can see a pair of metal-reinforced PCIe x16 slots and a pair of M.2 slots, putting this board squarely in the high-midrange category of Z170 boards. MSI hasn't revealed pricing and availability for the Z170A Gaming M6 yet.

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