With a $20 amount bead from its $220 MSRP, the now-$200 MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon resembles the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon it replaces in amount as abundant as in layout. The reasonable amount brings with it an added bit of ability to abutment Intel’s new flagship Amount i9-9900K processor–and that’s aloof abundant to equal the value of its moderately-priced predecessor.
Priced aloof a bit college than the lath it replaces, MSI’s MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon comes with the added ability bare to overclock the Amount i9-9900K. Those attractive for a acceptable antithesis of performance, affordability and appearance should booty note.
Obvious changes from the previous-generation Z370 archetypal accommodate the MPG moniker, which stands for “MSI Achievement Gaming,” a abate RGB breadth on the I/O section’s top cover, and a lower M.2 drive awning that gets added chip into the design, as against to the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon’s standalone awning on the top M.2 slot. Less accessible with the MPG Gaming Pro Carbon is the Gen2 front-panel USB 3.1 connector, which gets its 10Gb/s interface from the new Z390 chipset’s chip controller.
Intel appear adapted versions of its boilerplate chipset IC beforehand in 2018 with the H370/B360 launch, and we accept that the Amount i9-9900K’s heftier ability claim was the capital acumen the aggregation captivated aback its barrage of flagship Z390 PCH. That action assured that motherboard designers would accept abounding time to aftermath new boards with beyond voltage regulators. But award added new genitalia on the MPG Gaming Pro Carbon’s architecture appropriate some digging.
Where the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon had four angled phases (via alongside MOSFETs) for the CPU amount and two for the chip cartoon (iGPU), the MPG Gaming Pro Carbon has bristles angled phases for its CPU amount and one for the cartoon silicon. That agency we’re seeing six groups of MOSFETs on anniversary board. Converting an iGPU appearance to a angled CPU appearance appropriate the accession of abandoned one MOSFET and one choke. Based on appearance calculation alone, the amount gets 20 percent added ability and the iGPU bisected as much. MSI said that the iGPU didn’t charge that abundant power, and we’d accede that buyers who rarely use the CPU’s chip GPU are absurd to overclock it. MSI would additionally like us to characterization the new voltage regulator an 11-phase design. And back its competitors additionally use alongside MOSFETs to bifold their appearance counts, we cautiously agree.
Compared to the Z370 archetypal it replaces, the MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon upgrades two USB ports to 10Gb/s (from 5Gb/s) and loses two 5Gb/s ports. The access in USB 3.1 Gen2-spec ports is address the Z390’s chip controller, and the accident of rear-panel connectors can be abhorrent on the attendance of a Gen2 front-panel adapter that was missing from the beforehand board. Other I/O changes accommodate a factory-installed I/O absorber and a bare amplitude amid the Gigabit Ethernet anchorage and audio jacks, abaft which resides an abandoned Key-E/CNVi aperture for the -AC model’s Wi-Fi module. If you appetite Wi-Fi, the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon-AC costs $20 added than this board, or about $220. DisplayPort and HDMI outputs for chip video, bristles analog jacks and one agenda optical audio achievement backpack over from the previous-generation MSI archetypal this lath is replacing.
More than aloof a corrective upgrade, the MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon’s new M.2 calefaction spreader architecture makes faculty because the lower M.2 aperture is potentially accountable to greater calefaction (from the adjacent cartoon card) than the high aperture (which sits aloft the aboriginal cartoon agenda slot). Calefaction for the additional M.2 aperture should abandoned be an issue, though, back installing a additional cartoon card. Note, though, that abacus a additional agenda in this x16 aperture robs bisected the CPU-based PCIe lanes from the high aperture (x16/x0 to x8/x8 conversion). Dropping in a third cartoon agenda is additionally accurate for CrossFireX but not SLI, back the lower x16-length aperture gets abandoned four lanes from the chipset. Those who appetite multi-card setups with best bandwidth will still accept to attending to pricier platforms like Intel’s X299/Core-X or AMD’s X399/Threadripper.
The MPG Z390 Gaming Pro’s basal bend is arranged with headers. Here you’ll acquisition front-panel audio, one (of two) accepted RGB LED headers, a Jrainbow (digital/addressable) header, three (of seven) PWM fan connectors, a bequest COM anchorage connection, anatomy intrusion, two dual-port USB 2.0 headers, a Thudert add-in agenda header, a beep-code apostle connector, and an Intel-standard front-panel LED/on header. The TPM attack is mid-board by the RTC battery, and the front-panel USB 3.1 Gen2 attack is begin amid two USB 3.0 headers forth the advanced edge. A Corsair (addressable) LED attack is begin aing to the additional RGB band attack in the board’s upper-front corner, a two added of its fan headers.
Six SATA ports and one front-panel USB 3.0 attack face advanced to acquiesce the fitment of cards that are best than the motherboard, and the two fan headers we didn’t acknowledgment aloft are amid at the upper-right and lower-left bend of the CPU cooling breadth to alluringly fit a acceptable CPU acknowledgment and case bankrupt fan. We didn’t acquisition any fitment issues overall, afar from the high PCIe x1 aperture actuality covered by the coolers of best cartoon cards–and the aforementioned affair additionally applies to the lower x1 aperture back two cartoon cards are installed. MSI alike spaced the two CPU-connected x16-length slots afar three spaces to aid airflow to the cartoon coolers. This layout, though, agency that agreement a cartoon agenda in the third x16-length aperture will about crave the use of an eight-slot case, admitting the ATX accepted has abandoned seven amplification slots.
The MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon includes a driver/app disc and printed documentation, two SATA cables, a high-bandwidth SLI bridge, an RGB LED splitter cable, Corsair-style addressable LED and JRainbow LED cables, an MSI VIP card, a case badge, and cable characterization stickers.
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