MSI MEG Z790 Ace Motherboard Review: Fully Packed, Overpriced
MSI’s MEG Z790 Ace is an E-ATX-sized motherboard with a deep black end and gold gildings, offering a high-end aesthetic that can undoubtedly look good typically. At $699.99 it is not low-cost, however neither are a lot of its direct rivals.
Not solely does the motherboard look stunning, it additionally consists of two 40Gb/s ports, flagship-class audio, 5 M.2 sockets (one PCIe 5.0 x4), twin 2.5GbE and Wi-Fi 6E, and one It comes with a bunch of top-notch options. One of the vital strong VRMs I’ve ever seen. There’s additionally versatile USB Kind-C show choices, 40Gbps ports on rear I/O, ample storage capability, and extra. Just about the one factor lacking is the 10GbE port. In any other case, it has all of the options of much more costly flagship motherboards.
Efficiency-wise, our MEG Ace did properly in our take a look at group and ran barely sooner than common general. Efficiency and 3DMark checks in our video games confirmed it to be a efficiency gaming motherboard that outperforms different Z790 motherboards we have examined up to now. Beneath, we’ll dig into the small print of the board and see if the worth level knocks it out of a spot on our record. Finest Motherboards record. Earlier than we get into the small print, listed below are the detailed specs from the MSI web site.
Specs: MSI MEG Z790 Ace
|voltage regulator||27 Part (24x 105A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore)|
|Video Ports||(1) DisplayPort (through USB Kind-C)|
|(2) TB4 (Mini DP In/Out) Passthrough|
|USB Ports||(2) Thunderbolt 4 (40 Gbps) Kind-C|
|(1) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Kind-C|
|(7) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Kind-C|
|Community Jacks||(2) 2.5GbE|
|Audio Jacks||(5) Analog + SPDIF|
|PCIe x16||(1) v5.0 (x16)|
|(1) v5.0 (x8)|
|(1) v4.0 (x4)|
|Crossfire/SLI||AMD Multi-GPU assist|
|DIMM Slots||(4) DDR4 7800+(OC), 192GB Capability|
|1DPC 1R max velocity as much as 7800+ MHz|
|1DPC 2R max velocity as much as 6600+ MHz|
|2DPC 1R max velocity as much as 6400+ MHz|
|2DPC 2R Max velocity as much as 5600+ MHz|
|M.2 Slots||(1) PCIe 5.0 x4 (128 Gbps) / PCIe (as much as 80 mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe (as much as 110 mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe (as much as 80 mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe + SATA (as much as 80 mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe + SATA (as much as 110 mm)|
|Helps RAID 0/1/5|
|SATA Ports||(6) SATA3 6 Gbps (helps RAID 0/1/5/10)|
|USB Headers||(2) USB v3.2 Gen 2×2, Kind-C (0 Gbps)|
|(2) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|(2) USB v2.0 (480Mbps)|
|Fan/Pump Heads||(8) 4-Pin (CPU, Pump, System Fan)|
|RGB Headers||(3) aRGB (3-pin)|
|(1) RGB (4-pin)|
|Diagnostic Panel||(1) Debugging|
|(1) EZ Debug LEDs|
|Inside Button/Change||Energy and Reset buttons, BIOS and LED on/off switches|
|SATA Controllers||ASMmedia ASM1061|
|Ethernet Controller(s)||(2) Intel (2.5GbE)|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2×2 axis, MU-MIMO, 2.4/5/6 GHz, 160 MHz, BT 5.3)|
|USB Controllers||Genesys Logic GLG3590|
|HD Audio Codec||Realtek ALC4082 (ESS ES9280AQ DAC)|
|DDL/DTS||✗ / ✗|
MSI MEG Z790 Ace Field Contents
MSI consists of a wide range of equipment contained in the field to get you began. You get manuals, notices, stickers, SATA cables, thermistors, EZ M.2 clips and extra. Beneath is the entire record of included equipment.
- Fast Setup information
- (4) SATA Knowledge Cables
- EZ M.2 clips, M.2 screws/mirrors
- EZ Entrance Panel Cable
- (2) Thermistor cables
- 1 to 2 RGB LED Y-cables
- Rainbow RGB LED extension cable
- (2) DP to Mini DP cables
- wifi antenna
- USB drive stick
- cable labels
Design of MSI Z790 Ace
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The Z790 Ace has a deep black look with gold accents on an 8-layer PCB. Breaking the black are the RGB-lit MSI Dragon on the RGBs, MEG branding on the highest VRM heatsink, and different smaller decorations on the M.2 heatsink and chipset. Together with the MSI Dragon, Ace terminology and a design aspect within the chipset assist RGB LEDs beneath, which give the motherboard a pleasant glow inside your case. This can be a good wanting motherboard that will not invade your case with RGB bling, however nonetheless emits premium vibes.
Trying on the prime half of the board, we first come throughout the VRM heatsinks. On the Z790 Ace, MSI makes use of a stacked fin array design to extend floor space and cooling capability. A heatpipe connects the three VRM heatsinks to share the load between them. For as a lot energy as this card can ship utilizing the water cooling possibility, these coolers are a good selection. As you may see later, they do an important job of preserving the roughly 300 W coming from the processor in verify.
To the best of those and the socket space, in a novel place, is the place we discover the 2 8-pin EPS connectors (one is required) to energy the processor. In case you are utilizing an AIO or water cooling I might join each of those because the socket can take greater than 300 W if not managed.
Beneath the EPS connectors are 4 unreinforced DRAM slots with a single-sided locking mechanism on the underside, nearer to the graphics card slot. MSI lists assist for as much as DDR5 7800+(OC) with 1 DPC (DIMM Per Channel), which is the same restrict in comparison with different motherboards. We added our TeamGroup DDR5-7200 equipment and it labored with none settings.
Alongside the best edge are a bunch of options, from the fan and RGB headers to the voltage readout factors. Beginning with the fan headers, there are eight complete on the motherboard, which must be sufficient to maintain your case operating cool. 4-pin fan headers assist each PWM and DC managed gadgets. CPU and Pump followers output as much as 3A/36W, whereas System Fan headers output 2A/24W. If eight heads aren’t sufficient, the output is such that you could pack a number of followers on a single head with out fear. However as all the time, be sure you understand how a lot energy the followers are utilizing in order to not overload the headers.
Additionally on this space are two 3-pin ARGB headers and two 4-pin RGB headers situated on the backside. RGB management is managed by means of MSI Management Middle software program and the Mystic Mild app. There are numerous preset LED patterns and capabilities throughout the app.
Beneath the RGB headers are the EZ debug LED and the 2-character debug LED to assist troubleshoot POST points. This consists of 4 LEDs that gentle up throughout the POST course of and keep lit if the system crashes resulting from a selected drawback with the lights. In the meantime, the extra superior 2-character LED shows codes offering extra element. Collectively, these are nice instruments for troubleshooting a dysfunctional system. Additionally be aware that by default, the 2-character LED exhibits the CPU temperature after POST.
Taking place on the best, we discover just a few extra 4-pin fan headers, 24-pin ATX connectors to energy the board, two front-panel USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps) ports, and a six-pin PCIe connector. Second, 60W is required for the PD quick charging function, in any other case restricted to 30W.
When switching to VRMs, energy comes from 8-pin EPS connectors to a Renesas RAA229131 PWM controller. Energy for the Vcore is then routed to 24 x 105A Renesas RAA22010540 SPS MOSFETs. The present 2,520 Amps is likely one of the highest we have seen and simply handles the flagship Intel Core i9-13900K in inventory and overclocked. We’ve got no considerations concerning the MEG Ace’s extreme energy supply.
The underside half of the board has the Realtek ALC4082 sound chip hidden beneath some covers. Alongside the flagship codec, MSI additionally makes use of an ESS Saber ES9280AQ DAC/HPA combo for a flagship-class audio resolution. Realtek audio management panel is the Home windows instrument that makes changes to the sound.
In the midst of the cardboard, we see three strengthened full-length PCIe slots. The highest two slots get their lanes from the CPU operating as much as PCIe 5.0 x16 (with the first graphics slot on the prime), and the second slot can run as much as PCIe 5.0 x4. There are some stripe shares concerning storage, however we’ll briefly focus on that with regards to storage. The final PCIe slot will get its lanes from the chipset and runs at PCIe 4.0 x4 speeds. MSI lists AMD Multi-GPU assist for individuals who nonetheless need to use Crossfire.
There are 5 M.2 slots in and across the PCIe slots. Just one slot helps PCIe 5.0 x4 (128 Gbps) speeds, and surprisingly it’s not the highest slot with the bigger heatsink. As a substitute, it is the underside left (M2_4) socket that’s sooner. The remainder assist PCIe 4.0 x4 speeds, with a pair providing module assist as much as 110mm. Some sockets even supply M.2 SATA assist, which you do not see fairly often anymore. On the lane sharing entrance, the M2_4 slot (single PCIe 5.0 slot) is disabled when PCIE_E2 (center slot) is populated. Moreover, SATA7 can’t be used when putting in an M.2 SATA SSD within the M2_5 slot. In case you are making an attempt to fill many of those storage choices, concentrate on the sharing points.
There are a number of open headers on the backside of the board. You may discover as regular, together with further USB ports, RGB headers, and energy/reset buttons. Beneath is an entire record from left to proper.
- Entrance panel audio
- 4-pin ARGB header
- (5) System Fan headers
- water circulation head
- Temperature sensor heads
- LED and BIOS switches
- (2) USB 2.0 headers
- Energy and Reset buttons
- MIS Dashboard header
- System panel header
- 4-pin ARGB header
On the pre-installed rear IO, the Z790 Ace has a black background with gold labels on all ports. There are 10 complete USB ports, eight 10Gbps ports (crimson plus one Kind-C), and two 40Gbps Kind-C ports. Video outputs include a Kind-C port in addition to Mini-DisplayPort inputs for Thunderbolt ports. On the far left are three buttons, a transparent CMOS button, Flash BIOS, and a Sensible button. Twin 2.5GbE ports are situated above the USB ports, Wi-Fi 6E antenna connections are on the best, subsequent to the 5-plug analog plus SPDIF audio stack.
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