MSI MEG Z490 Godlike review

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Not a god just yet, but certainly heavenly.

In this review, we look at the E-ATX form factor based MSI MEG Z490 Godlike. Priced at $749 MSI delivers where most premium Z490 motherboard that has been loaded with features and then some. Animated OLED screen, 10 Gbit LAN, 2.5 Gbit Lan, AX WIFI, and looks that make this board seem like James Bond himself.  MSI motherboards these days are sorted into four categories: the MEG series, MPG series, MAG series, and there's a PRO series as well. The MEG being short for 'MSI Enthusiast Gaming'. This MPG board is positioned in the mainstream to a higher-end region of the DIY PC desktop segment.

That and some pretty fancy design choices from an aesthetic point of view. Ready for 10h Gen processors this board is about performance and aesthetics, the CPU socket has dual 8-pin ATX power connectors. The pin connectors indicate a strong VRM, and this motherboard as such has 16 CPU phases backed by 90A power stages.

MSI applies a super nice dark-colored PCB. It has hidden/cooled M2 slots, three of them but includes an add-in card for more M2 pleasure. The motherboard has been fitted with the usual suspects and then more extras, including a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek), and then Aquantia AQC107 10 G Ethernet and then WIFI6 in the form of AX. When it comes to the audio you will run into a Realtek ALC1220 Codec + ESS SABRE9018Q2C combo DAC. 

With the new Comet Lake-S you can expect a handful of K model processors predominantly become popular in demand for the PC gamer, as each and every one of the processors will offer proper gaming performance if your graphics card is fast enough. Intel is able to boost the Turbo frequencies towards that 5.3 GHz domain for the flagship processor, the Core i9 10900K. Intel is releasing these series processors initially with a spread of CPU core choices:

  • Core i5-10500K (4 Core / 8 Threads)
  • Core i5-10600K (6 Core / 12 Threads)
  • Core i7-10700K (8 Core / 16 Threads)
  • Core i9-10900K (10 Core / 20 Threads)
For this review, we'll check out this Z490 motherboard with a ten-core / twenty threads Core i9 10900K and take it through our benchmark paces. You'll be able to tweak this proc towards at least 5.2 GHz on all ten cores with this motherboard. The board tested as stated is positioned in an enthusiast region, it not only is the hardware just that, it looks premium as well with a very unique style, stuff we like of course. Also, the new board has some interesting new features. Have a peek, and then let's head onwards into the review my man. 
Form factor E-ATX (SSI EEB)
Chipset Intel Z490
VRM 10 real phases (8+2), 18 virtual phases (16+2), PWM-Controller: ISL69269 (max. 12 phases)
MOSFETs CPU 16x 90A ISL99390
MOSFETs SoC 2x 90A ISL99390
RAM 4x DDR4 DIMM, dual PC4-40000U/DDR4-5000 (OC), max. 128GB (UDIMM)
Extension slots 3x PCIe 3.0 x16 (1x x16, 1x x8, 1x x4), 1x PCIe 3.0 x1, 2x M.2/M-Key (PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA, 22110/2280/2260/2242), 1x M.2/M-Key (PCIe 3.0 x4, 2280/2260/2242)
External connectors 2x USB-A 3.1 (Z490), 4x USB-A 3.0, 2x USB-A 2.0, 2x Thunderbolt 3 (Intel JHL7540), 1x 10GBase-T (Marvell AQtion AQC107), 1x 2.5GBase-T (Realtek RTL8125B-CG), 5x jack, 1x toslink, 1x PS/2 Combo
Internal connectors 1x USB-C 3.1 Key-A Header (Z490), 2x USB 3.0 Header (4x USB 3.0), 2x USB 2.0 header (4x USB 2.0), 6x SATA 6Gb/s (Z490), 1x TPM-Header, 1x Chassis Intrusion-Header
Header Cooling 1x CPU fan 4-Pin, 8x fan 4-Pin, 1x pump 4-Pin, 2x Thermal-sensor, 1x flow rate-sensor
Header Lighting 1x RGB-Header 4-Pin (5050), 2x RGB-Header 3-Pin (WS2812B), 1x Corsair-RGB-Header
Buttons/Switches Power-Button (internal), Reset-Button (internal), SafeBoot-Button (internal), Retry-Button (internal), clear-CMOS-Button (external), USB BIOS Flashback (external), LED switch (internal)
Audio 7.1 (Realtek ALC1220), DAC (ESS E9018 Sabre)
RAID level 0/1/5/10 (Z490)
Multi-GPU NVIDIA 2-Way SLI (x8/x8), AMD 3-Way-CrossFireX (x8/x8, x8/x8/x4)
Power connections 1x 24-Pin ATX, 2x 8-Pin EPS12V, 1x 6-Pin PCIe
Graphics not available
Lighting RGB, 3 zones (chipset cooler, I/O cover, emphasis right)
Special features audio+solid capacitors, Diagnostic LED (segment indication), Diagnostic LED (LED indicators), I/O-shield integrated, Backplate, 3x M.2-passive cooler, voltage measurement points, Bluetooth 5.1 + WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2x2, Intel AX201)

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