EK-Mana MSI MAG Z690 TORPEDO EK X D-RGB review

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Final Words & Conclusion

Final Words 

Today's review entails not one, but two products. The MSI MAG Z690 Torpedo motherboard, as well as the EK monoblock, were used. It's not a bad deal at all; purchasing this motherboard alone would cost approximately 275 EUR/USD. The mobo-monoblock bundle is 399 EUR/USD. True, a substantial sum of money is involved. Essentially, the pricing premium for the MOS/CPU block is 125 EUR/USD. Performance-wise, the block is very adequate; nevertheless, you must consider that the CPU can generate 250 Watts of heat at PL2, let alone the VRM portion. This does imply that you'll require a decent liquid cooling setup of at least 280mm. EK offers a variety of solutions, and we can confidently suggest the Quantum power Kit D RGB P360 that we tried. The end effect, however, is a perfectly chilled CPU with extremely low VRM stage temperatures. It must be emphasized, however, that under full load, MOS records temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius, which is good. However, with the current construction quality and 16 phase power delivery under normal load conditions, we're at 50 degrees C as well (without liquid cooling) ... while that's a drop of 15 degrees C, that 50 Degrees C marker is still an extremely low temperature. Thus, the importance of VRM cooling is nominal in this case.


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Of course, there is also the oh-so-critical aesthetic component to consider. Whether you love it or despise it, I do enjoy the look of a real monoblock combined with the aRGB functionality and the aesthetics thus are very lovely. BTW, the installation is simple. I will admit that installing the monoblock was a little challenging; the crews are spring-loaded and are a pretty tight fit. Finally, I utilized a special torq screwdriver to successfully complete the build. Apart from that, there is little to criticize here.

Energy efficiency

Added chips, RGB, and BIOS configuration are a bothersome factor when testing stuff like this. The MSI MAG Z690 TORPEDO EK X  performs quite well with comes back at 50 Watts power draw in IDLE. Under total stress on the processors, the system comes back at roughly 300 Watts with a 12900K. Energy efficiency for this motherboard and processors as such are average at best. Keep that in mind with your cooling choice, as processor wattage usually is 1:1 in line with cooling performance. 



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Noteworthy is that Intel no longer provides a total design power (TDP), instead referring to a 'processor base power' of 125W and a 'maximum turbo power' that is significantly greater. Intel, at the very least for the overclockable K processors, has ended the confusion that the PL1 and PL2 power constraints produced in previous generations with this announcement. The current norm for these CPUs is that they can boost indefinitely unless the PC maker (or, in the case of self-build, the user) decides otherwise to keep within the limitations of the cooling and power supply systems.


Overclocking

You may have missed a unique chapter, but the results are consistent across all Z690 motherboards we tested; hence, the processor is the bottleneck, not the motherboard. There are several ways to overclock an Intel platform, depending on your objectives. With a Core i9-12900K, you may expect to see clock speeds of approximately 5.1-5.2 GHz across all performance cores. And the processor will require approximately 1.4 Volts. The majority of contemporary motherboards provide an automatic setting for this. All eight performance cores have been overclocked to 5.3 GHz, albeit at a cost of an additional 125W in power consumption. Here liquid cooling obviously helps you achieve your goal and hardware threshold.


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The conclusion

MSI MAG Z690 TORPEDO EK X is a streamlined and intriguing ATX motherboard that migrated towards DDR5 with a bucketload of M2 options and PCIe Gen 5.0. The Torpedo looks stylish and simple, which is what you'll want as the focus needs to be that monoblock, which you do need to add into your own liquid cooling loop of course.  The sheer reality is that with today's build quality of motherboards the VRM does not heat up that much anymore, but keeping it chilled with that monoblock of course always brings down the temps a notch further.  But yeah, it is not really needed. Aesthetics wise the look is fantastic with the aRGB integration + you got your widespread essential element cooling covered. As an end result, we have a well-designed motherboard that supports all of the Z690 platform's characteristics + a DDR5 and PCIe Gen 5.0 interface. The storage, network, and audio solutions all perform admirably. To recap, if you're looking for a motherboard that delivers the performance of Intel's 12th generation microprocessors, this one will not disappoint. We believe that the board is an attractive proposition for 399 EUR with the EK monoblock included. Of course, you need to add or add it into a liquid cooling loop, and that's where the real money is to be found. Definitely a top pick.

You can visit EK for more information and purchasing options at this link.

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