MSI MEG Z790 ACE MAX review

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MSI MEG Z790 ACE MAX review

MSI's ACE of Spades is back, this time in a MAX revision. Following the release of the Raptor Lake refresh processors, MSI has updated their motherboard lineup with the MSI MEG Z790 ACE MAX. This motherboard, designed for the Z790 platform, integrates a 24+1 VRM design, PCI Express 5.0 lanes, and multiple M.2 slots compatible with both PCIe Gen4 and Gen5. Furthermore, it incorporates dual 2.5 GigE ports and WIFI7 connectivity. The MEG Z790 ACE MAX motherboard is characterized by its sleek dark black finish accented with gold. It's engineered to harness the capabilities of Intel's 14th Gen Core processor. This is achieved through advanced hardware support, including a 24 + 1 +2 DRPS VRM power system, dual 2.5G LAN, Wi-Fi 7, and robust components complemented by a server-grade PCB. As an E-ATX platform, it is optimized for extreme configurations, accommodating advanced overclocking of the processor, DDR5 memory, and high-end graphic cards.

Included new BIOS Features:

  • Memory Extension Mode
  • Capability for P-core to exceed 6 GHz
  • BCLK locked at 102.5
  • Memory configuration optimization with "Memory Try It!"

In line with expectations, motherboards will provide comprehensive support for Intel's 14th Gen Raptor Lake Refresh Desktop CPU lineup, alongside enhanced compatibility with faster DDR5 memory. Furthermore, the VRMs have been calibrated to accommodate the heightened power consumption of these processors, complemented by improved heatsink designs to ensure effective cooling even during the most demanding workloads. The MSI MEG Z790 ACE MAX, boasts a formidable 24-Phase +1 +2 DRPS VRM power system equipped with 105A SPS power stages. The motherboard's LGA 1700 socket derives its power from dual 8-pin power connectors, while the four DDR5 DIMM slots offer impressive support, with speeds exceeding 8000 MT/s and capacities of up to 192 GB. In terms of expansion and connectivity, the board is equipped with five M.2 slots, two PCIe x16 slots (configured as x16/x8 in wiring), all of which are compatible with Gen 5, and one Gen 4 x8 slot. While most of the I/O options remain consistent, two standout features include WIFI 7 and dual 2.5 GbE LAN support.


MSI's whole Z790 board lineup will support JEDEC DDR5-5200 out of the box, with upper-tier models supporting DDR5-8000 through XMP 3.0. The power delivery system has been improved, ranging from 16 DRPS (Duet Rail Power System) CPU power phases using 80A SPS on the low end to a whopping 26 DRPS using 105A SPS on the MEG Z790 ACE (24+1+2 105A). The ACE's extensive M.2 compatibility provides many possibilities for assembling a high-speed storage array. On top of one of those hot PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSDs, MSI says the M.2 Shield Frozr cooling system will help reduce temps by 5 per cent. There are five M.2 slots and three PCIe 16x slots on the Ace, the latter operating at PCIe 4.0 speeds (one at PCIe 5.0). The Ace has nine different input and output connections, including two Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports with support for 8K video output, seven USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, two Mini DisplayPort connectors, and dual 2.5GbE ports. Also included is support for aRGB Gen 2 devices, Wi-Fi 7, and front USB 3.2 Gen 22 Type-C with power transmission of up to 60W. 


ProcessorConfigurationP-core / E-core Base Clock (GHz)L3 Cache (MB)PBP (W)SteppingMemory SupportECC Support
Core i9-14900KF8P + 16E3.2 / 2.436125B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600No
Core i9-14900K8P + 16E3.2 / 2.536125B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600Yes
Core i9-14900F8P + 16E2.0 / 1.53665B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600No
Core i9-14900T8P + 16E1.1 / 0.83635B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600Yes
Core i9-149008P + 16E2.0 / 1.53665B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600Yes
Core i7-14700KF8P + 12E3.4 / 2.533125B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600No
Core i7-14700K8P + 12E3.4 / 2.533125B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600Yes
Core i7-14700F8P + 12E2.1 / 1.53365B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600No
Core i7-14700T8P + 12E1.3 / 0.93335B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600Yes
Core i7-147008P + 12E2.1 / 1.53365B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600Yes
Core i5-14600KF6P + 8E3.5 / 2.624125B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600No
Core i5-14600K6P + 8E3.5 / 2.624125B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600Yes
Core i5-14600T6P + 8E1.8 / 1.32435B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600Yes
Core i5-146006P + 8E2.7 / 2.02465B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600Yes
Core i5-14500T6P + 8E1.7 / 1.22435C0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800Yes
Core i5-145006P + 8E2.6 / 1.92465C0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800Yes
Core i5-14400T6P + 4E1.5 / 1.12035C0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800No
Core i5-14400F6P + 4E2.5 / 1.82065C0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800No
Core i5-144006P + 8E2.5 / 1.82065C0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800No
Core i5-14400F6P + 4E2.5 / 1.82065B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800No
Core i5-144006P + 4E2.5 / 1.82065B0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800No
Core i3-14100T4P + 0E2.7 / N/A1235H0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800No
Core i3-14100F4P + 0E3.5 / N/A1258H0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800No
Core i3-141004P + 0E3.5 / N/A1260H0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800No
Intel 300T2P + 0E3.4635H0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800Yes
Intel 3002P + 0E3.9646H0DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800Yes

So, let us find out how the MEG Z790 ACE MAX performs and if it is worth your money in this review.

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