Just when we thought we'd seen it all, MSI teams up with Killer to announce a new motherboard that acts as both a networking switch and a Wi-Fi extender for your other wireless devices.
MSI's Z270 Godlike Gaming (opens in new tab) motherboard is the first to feature Killer's xTend technology. Several links related to xTend were dead at the time of this writing, though a cached version of a PDF (opens in new tab) document outlining the feature says it requires Windows 10, at least three Killer Ethernet controllers, and a Killer wireless module. The Z270 Godlike Gaming meets those latter two requirements—it's up to the user to install Windows 10.
The pitch from MSI is that it's more convenient to connect nearby wired and wireless devices to a PC than it is to fuss with dedicated switches and extenders, which can be "expensive and difficult to configure." MSI also promises to prioritize traffic on your PC so that connected devices don't interfere with online gaming and whatever else you might be doing.
"The Killer xTend keeps your games, voice, and video fast and smooth because high priority traffic on the Killer PC is prioritized above the traffic from connected devices. Killer xTend also delivers amazing throughput to your home—with potential throughput up to 1Gbps for each Killer E2500 plus another 867Mbps for the Killer Wi-Fi module," MSI explains.
It's an interesting proposition, though it's not the only thing the Z270 Godlike Gaming board has going for it. MSI touts three Turbo M.2 slots, fully isolated audio circuitry using a high-quality ESS DAC and two dedicated audio processors, USB 3.1 Gen2 connectivity, and more RGB lighting than its predecessor, the X99A Godlike Gaming.
There are not a lot of other details on this board, though from the photos, we can see there are four reinforced PCI-E x16 slots. And for what it's worth, MSI considers this "the best motherboard we have ever made."
Unfortunately MSI did not say when the Z270 Godlike Gaming will be available or for how much. Our bet is you could buy a decent motherboard, WiFi extender, and network switch for less than the motherboard will cost.