MSI MEG Z790 ACE review
Is this the best card in the deck? Meet MSI's ACE of Spades. In the past years, the MSI MEG ACE series has consistently been one of the best motherboards we have used and evaluated. Based on our experience, they are abundant in features, of excellent quality, and trustworthy. Today, we examine the MSI MEG Z790 ACE motherboard for Intel's latest 12/13th-generation processor but was designed for 13th-generation Raptor Lake processors. The MEG 790 ACE motherboard is black with gold accents. It lacks massive RGB illumination, unlike the majority of modern motherboards. The MSI MEG Z790 ACE is one of MSI's best motherboards for the Z790 platform. It has a robust 24+1 VRM design and PCI Express 5.0 lanes, many M2 slots (PCIe Gen4/Gen5a), dual 2.5 GigE ports, and WIFI6E. Even though it is an ACE, it costs $699. The Intel Z790 chipset will have 20 PCIe Gen 4 lanes and 8 PCIe Gen 3 lanes, whilst the CPUs will have 16 PCIe Gen 5 lanes and 4 PCIe Gen 4 lanes. We know that a few of the motherboard manufacturer's products will share the x16 discrete graphics card lanes with an x4 PCI Express Gen 5 M.2 slot. Intel will not have native support for PCIe Gen 5 M.2 until its 14th generation Meteor Lake CPUs.
MSI's whole Z790 board lineup will support DDR5-5600 out of the box, with upper-tier models supporting DDR5-7600 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 6E, and front USB 3.2 Gen 22 Type-C with power transmission of up to 60W.
Last month at Intel Innovation, Intel introduced the 13th generation of its Core processor family, led by the 13th generation Intel Core i9-13900K, their fastest-ever desktop CPU. There are six unlocked 13th-generation Intel Core desktop processors available, with clock speeds running up to 5.8 GHz over a maximum of 24 cores and 32 threads. So, let us find out how the MEG Z790 ACE performs and if it is worth your money in this review.