MSI MEG Z590 ACE motherboard review
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We peek at the all-new MSI MEG Z590 ACE motherboard; this socket LGA1200 and Z590 chipset-based product offers an updated infrastructure for your Comet Lake (10th gen) or Rocket Lake (11th gen) Intel processor. We'll check it out with the Core i9 11900K, bringing PCIe Gen 4.0 to the platform as well. All Comet Lake and Rocket Lake generation processors are supported on this board; it's about performance and aesthetics. Dual 8-pin connectors feed the CPU, and for VRM design, this motherboard has 18+2+1 phases backed by 90A power stages. MSI applies a familiar dark shielded design.
The 11th generation into Core desktop processors is running up-to 8 cores, which's two down from 10th generation processors. Likely, Intel needed the transistor space on 14nm for the increase in IPC, bigger Tier1 and 2 caches, and of course, the new Xe-based integrated graphics solution. The processor socket sticks towards 1200 pins, aka LGA1200. After a BIOS update, Z490 will also be compatible with 11th Gen processors, be sure to check out compatibility with your motherboard manufacturers. Among the main features, we have HyperThreading through the entire line of Core products, so that's from Core i3 to Core i9, up to 8 cores and 16threads, and up to 5.3GHz for a single-core boost if your cooling allows the processor to do so. The new Z590 motherboards will last for Comet Lake-S (last gen) and Rocket Lake-S (11th-gen).
Being Z590, if you pair the mobo with a Gen 11 (Rocket Lake-S) processor, you'll get 16 lanes of Gen 4 for graphics cards and 4 lane gen4 available for a nice fast NVMe SSD. It also has and has nice cooled M2 slots, four of them! (only one can be used at PCIe Gen 4. Z590 allows USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 from the chipset. The USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 standard offers speeds of up to 20 Gb/s. The new RKL/Z590 platform has native support for 3200 MHz DDR4 memory, but the OC model can run upwards of over 5000 MHz.
The motherboard has been fitted with the usual suspects and then some, including a 2.5 Gigabit (I225-V) ethernet and WIFI6 in the form of Wi-Fi 6E AX210 (AX). You will run into a Realtek ALC4082 Codec (flagship) + ESS SABRE9018Q2C combo DAC when it comes to the audio. The motherboard has four DIMM slots, and the top PCIe slot is reinforced. The board, as stated, is positioned in the high-end region. MSI applies the Gaming Dragon in gold on a dark design, setting this SKU apart from the rest. The VRM heatsinks are both made from a solid block of aluminum with lines cut out. Current pricing indicated you'd need to spend 450 to 500 USD to purchase this product.