The MSI H170M-A PRO is compatible with Intel processors with the LGA 1151 socket.
It has 64 GB DDR4 maximum RAM and conforms to the Mini-ATX form factor standard.
|CPU Socket||LGA 1151||SLI Support||1 graphics cards|
|CPU Compatible Make||Intel||Crossfire Support||1 graphics cards|
|CPU Chipset||Intel® H170||Onboard GPU||no|
|Form Factor||Mini-ATX||PCI Slots|
|Max RAM||64 GB DDR4||SATA 1.0||0|
|RAM Slots||4 x DDR4||SATA 2.0||0|
|Memory Channels||2||SATA 3.0||0|
|Compatible RAM Speeds||RAID Support||yes|
|USB 2.0 Internal Slots||2||Internal I/O|
|USB 2.0 Rear||2||Back Panel I/O|
|Graphics Card Interface||PCIe v3.0|
The MSI H170M-A PRO uses the Intel LGA 1151 CPU socket. Any compatible Intel CPU will have the same socket entry. It uses the DDR4 memory type, with maximum speeds of up to 2133 MHz, and 0 DDR4 slots allowing for a maximum total of 64 GB RAM.
The Mini-ATX MSI H170M-A PRO uses a less common standard than the traditional ATX you most often see. As such, you should be wary of its compatibility with other cases, as well as the compatibility of PSUs with the case you choose.
The MSI H170M-A PRO has 6 SATA 3.0 hard drive slots. These allow for theoretical data transfer speeds of up to 6GB/s, as opposed to the 3GB/s of SATA 2.0. Generally speaking, only high performance hard drives, specifically solid-state drives, will be able to take advantage of the bandwidth potential of SATA 3.0 ports, though it is backwards compatible, so you do not have to take advantage.
The MSI H170M-A PRO does not support onboard graphics. Any system build that uses this motherboard therefore requires a separate graphics card, or a processor that has a GPU on the same die, such as AMD APU processors. There are 2 PCIe x16 slots on this motherboard. This means it is perfectly capable of accommodating the latest graphics cards, although it is important to try and use a graphics card with the same graphics card interface of PCIe v3.0, as anything below will not reach the motherboard's potential, and anything above will have its performance slashed to the bandwidth maximum of the MSI H170M-A PRO's PCIe v3.0. The MSI H170M-A PRO does not support multiple graphics cards via Nvidia SLI or AMD Crossfire.
The MSI H170M-A PRO has 4 USB 2.0 slots but no USB 3.0 slots. While USB 3.0 slots are so far by no means necessary, and with a plethora of USB 2.0 peripherals to choose from, the USB functionality on this motherboard should be fine. With so few slots, however, you would have to use a USB expansion hub. As such, we would highly recommend a different motherboard, preferably with USB 3.0 functionality as well.