MSI MEG Z690 Unify review
MSI has returned with an entirely black motherboard, and it does not apply to RGB. And that's something we appreciate. This Z690 Alder Lake-ready motherboard features five M2 slots, WIFI6e, and a pair of 2.5 GigE connectors, among other features. The Z690 motherboards from MSI will be robust, with some of the models offering a choice between multiple configurations. The range exists the Z690 ACE, which will be the company's highest-ranking Z690 motherboard when it launches later this year.
Additionally, MEG Unify motherboards (reviewed today) are typically all-black in style and do not include RGB LEDs. Then Carbon, Edge, and Force motherboards with Wi-Fi are available in the lower-ranked MPG series. Additionally, a MAG Z690 Tomahawk Wi-Fi, a MAG Z690 Torpedo, and several MSI Pro motherboards will become available.
Alder Lake and Z690
Z690 is the enthusiast chipset from Intel, and this motherboard is powered by it. It also marks the dawn of a new era; Intel's Alder lake processors are a wholly new and faster architecture. We have written a lot about it. The new processors will have energy and performance cores to balance power consumption in idle and load conditions. With the Alder lake platform, new features are brought to the table. DDR5 and PCIe Express 5.0 are among the first-ever for intel products.
BIG versus little
As an alternative to Intel's previous releases, which focused solely on single-core and gaming performance, Alder Lake puts the company fully back in the multi-core ring, led by its squad of sixteen-core goliaths built on Intel's transistor-dense 10-nanometer manufacturing process. But this time, Intel delivers its own interpretation of the term BIG.little. We'll talk a little more about it on the following pages.
MSI MEG Z690 Unify
The Unify might not be that uber super-premium product in the motherboard range, but it boasts many features that will impress and ticks most of the right boxes. First and foremost, there's an extensive 19+2 Power Phase design with 105A Smart Power Stages, one of the more muscular configurations we've seen this launch and will help overclock any new CPUs. Of course, support for the latest DDR5-6666 memory, two PCIe Gen 5 x16 slots, and five M.2 slots, all of which support the super-fast PCIe Gen 4 specification. Also present; Thunderbolt 4 ports, USB 3.2 Gen 2x2. To make things even better, you also get a twin 2.5 GbE LAN, along with a Wi-Fi 6 and a whole host of other features. Because it is such a connection behemoth, the Z690 Unify is ideal for a large amount of high-end storage. We review the MEG Unify series, fitted with Thunderbolt 4 ports, USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 connectors, and up-to DDR5-6666 compatibility. MSI further enhances the motherboard to include five M.2 slots, four of which can support PCIe 4.0 technology. Technology aside, the Unofy is all about that deep dark black design, and yeah, that works alright.