Today we have on the bench the third of the initial 3 motherboards for testing the new Z390/9900K platform: the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming EDGE AC. This board, much like the Gigabyte model we looked at recently, is a sub 200 dollar option which means it is going to be among the more popular boards and much more accessible for mainstream users.
The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming EDGE AC is a solid board from a feature set but it is not packing the stuffed to the gills feature set as you get with the more expensive boards. MSI omits the less tangible features for a more simplified feature set to match the needed price point. One thing I will note right away is that the main VRM cooler which also does double duty of covering the rear IO which I am guessing saves the cost of a separate integrated IO cover. This heatsink is quite large which if course means more potential cooling surface area for the VRM.
The area above the CPU socket also has a decent chunk of the VRM (4 phases) but the cooler has a bit less surface area or so it would seem, so this will be interesting to see how things perform as we get to burn things in.
Here we see the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming EDGE AC
This is now the second sub $200 board and that’s not a bad thing as I said above this board will likely be more prevalent in builds due to its more attractive price point while still offering a solid feature set.
Here are the boards we will be testing in this article:
ASUS Maximus XI Extreme (review) $599 *coming soon*
MSI MPG Z90 Gaming EDGE AC $189.99 (Source: Amazon)
Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro WiFi (review) $191.04 (Source: Amazon)
Once again for those who didn’t see the previous reviews, this is a huge price delta and we are not expecting the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming EDGE AC to stack up against the Extreme board in terms of feature set but we want to see how it performs, what are the takeaways and how well can it keep pace with its much higher cost competitor.
Now let’s look at the specs.
Supports Intel® Core™ 9th / 8th Gen Intel® Core™ / Pentium® Gold / Celeron® processors for LGA 1151 socket
Before using Intel® Optane™ memory modules, please ensure that you have updated the drivers and BIOS to the latest version from MSI website.
Supports 2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology
Supports 3-Way AMD® CrossFire™ Technology
Intel® Z390 Chipset
3x USB 3.1 Gen2 (SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps) ports (1 Type-C and 1 Type-A ports on the back panel, 1 Type-C internal connector)
6x USB 3.1 Gen1 (SuperSpeed USB) ports (2 Type-A ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB connectors)
6x USB 2.0 (High-speed USB) ports (2 Type-A ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB connectors)
Internal I/O Connectors
1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port
2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports)
2 x USB 2.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
1 x 4-pin CPU fan connector
1 x 4-pin Water Pump connector
5 x 4-pin system fan connectors
1 x Serial port connector
1 x Front panel audio connector
2 x System panel connectors
1 x Thunderbolt Add-on Card Connector
1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
1 x TPM module connector
2 x 4-pin RGB LED connectors
1 x 3-pin RAINBOW LED connector
1 x 3-pin CORSAIR LED connector
Back Panel Connectors
PS/2 Combo Port
Wireless / Bluetooth
HD Audio Connectors
USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A + C
USB 3.1 Gen1
Optical S/PDIF out
Support for Windows® 10 64-bit
9.6 in. x 12 in. (24.3 cm x 30.4 cm)
ATX Form Factor
I add this as a service so you do not need to visit the manufacturer site for the full spec loadout and if you have any questions on it, it should all be roughly handled up there or at least for the most part.