MSI 970A-G46 Socket AM3+ Motherboard

The front of the box of the MSI 970A-G46 motherboard states big and bold, “Top Quality & Stability.” MSI backs that up with strong built quality and all solid capacitors. When you hold it in your hands, it feels solid. It certainly feels worth more than the R1 279 price tag.

The performance is, of course, more important than how a motherboard looks and feels. As the “G46” in name suggests, this is one of MSI’s mainstream motherboards. The 970A tells you that it is built around the AMD 970 chipset for Socket AM3+ processors. 

The board is also compatible with AM3 processors, meaning that apart from be able to run Vishera FX CPUs, it can run Phenom, Athlon and Sempron CPUs.

MSI 970A-G46 Socket AM3+ Motherboard


Usually, when AMD is mentioned, overclocking comes to mind. This board does include OC Genie II technology with which, as MSI claims, you can overclock and unlock a CPU within 1 second to “boost system performance up to 248%.”

Word of caution: yes, you can overclock your AMD CPU on this board but it is not advisable to max overclock 8-core AMD FX 9-series processors on it – it will run too hot. After all, they are 220W thermal power designs (the rest of the range runs between 95W and 125W.) Any other AMD CPU, including the other CPUs in the FX series, will overclock just fine. But, as always, make sure you have proper cooling through your chassis and with the CPU cooler.

The MSI 970A-G46 is ideal if you’re looking at upgrading your motherboard but don’t want to spend money on a new CPU at the moment. (Thus said, AMD Socket AM3+ CPUs are priced keenly – the 3.8GHz 8MB FX4300 costs only R1 679.)

The bottom line with the MSI 970A-G46 is that you get a capable motherboard at a decent price.

MSI 970A-G46 Motherboard

MSI 970A-G46 specifications


• AMD 970 (Northbridge) and SB950 (Southbridge) Chipset


• 64bit AMD FX, Vishera FX-series, Phenom II X6/X4/X3/X2, Athlon II X4/X3/X2 and Sempron CPU in AM3 and AM3+ package

Hyper Transport Bus

• FSB 2400MHz HyperTransport 3.0 supporting speed up to 4.8GT/s

Main Memory

• Supports four unbuffered DIMM of 1.5 Volt DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600/1866/2133* (OC) DRAM, 32GB Max


• 2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots
• 2 PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots
• 2 PCI slots, support 3.3V/ 5V PCI bus Interface.

On-Board SATA

• 6 SATA III (1~6) ports by AMD® SB950
– Supports storage and data transfers at up to 6Gb/s

RAID Function

– SATA III 1~6 support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 mode by AMD® SB950

USB 3.0

• 2 USB 3.0 ports by Asmedia® ASM1042


• Chipset integrated by Realtek® ALC892
– True Blu-ray Audio Support
– Flexible 8-channel audio with jack sensing
– Compliant with Azalia 1.0 Spec


• Realtek PCI-E GbLAN controller 8111E
– Integrated Fast Ethernet MAC and PHY in single chip
– Supports 10Mb/s, 100Mb/s and 1000Mb/s
– Compliance with PCI-Express Bus specification v1.0a

Internal I/O Connectors

– 1 x ATX 24-pin power connector
– 1 x ATX 8-pin 12V CPU power connector
– CPU x 1 / System x 2 FAN connectors
– 1 x Front panel audio connector
– 1 x Front panel connector
– 1 x Chassis intrusion switch connector
– 3 x USB 2.0 connectors
– 6 x Serial ATA III connectors
– 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
– 1 x SPDIF-out connector
– 1 x TPM module connector

Back Panel I/O Ports

– 1 x Optical SPDIF-out
– 1 x PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse port
– 1 x Serial port
– 6 x USB 2.0 ports
– 2 x USB 3.0 ports (blue)
– 1 x RJ45 LAN jack
– 1 x 6 in 1 audio jack


• 30.5cm(L) x 22.5cm(W) ATX Form Factor


• 6 mounting holes.

Date: 13 Mar 2014