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MSI MEG Z390 Godlike Motherboard Review

A Closer Look

The motherboard its self is drop dead gorgeous. However, it’s more function over form than it may seem. Of course, aesthetics are a big part of PC building these days, and obviously, MSI is not letting us down in that regard either way.

VRM

Large solid heatsinks surround the CPU socket, with a vast bank of VRM and chokes to help deliver flawless power to the CPU for extreme overclocking. It’s easily one of the most robust configurations of this generation too.

With dual 8-pin power connectors, there’s no doubt you’ll have more than enough power for even the power thirsty i9-9900K. Again, those heatsinks look more than up to the job of keeping temperatures down too.

Fans

As for cooling, you’ll find plenty of fan headers on this motherboard. There’ a dedicated header for an AIO pump, as well as the CPU cooler its self. Furthermore, there are 8 x system fan headers, 8 x temperature sensors, and 2 x extension thermal headers.

Reinforcement

Everything on this motherboard is robust, and that includes these DIMM slots. They’re reinforced with metal strips, ensuring they don’t cause any flex in the motherboard.

OLED

This fantastic bit features a nice OLED display that can give motherboard readouts, but there’s also a standard DEBUG LED there too for dealing with BIOS issues etc, giving you the best of both worlds.

This is further enhanced with a range of on-board overclocking tools. There’s a pair of on-board power and reset buttons, which are ideal for overclockers, and people like me who run it on a test bench. There’s even a quick OC wheel, allowing you to dial in your OC on the fly should you need to.

Connectivity

For storage, you’ll find 6 x SATA ports, as well as a pair of Turbo U.2 ports down the side.

There are two USB 3.0 headers, as well as two USB Type-C headers too, giving you huge amounts of I/O for the front panel.

Plus all the usual USB 2.0, audio and other outputs on the bottom row.

Gaming and Storage

When it comes to GPU configurations, you’re not short on options. There are four full-size PCIe lanes, all fully armoured, and there’s also an extra 1x slot in there too. Of course, with the Stream card and PCIe M.2 card in the box, you could easily fill all this by the time you add in a pair of graphics cards.

There are three M.2 drives tucked in here too, all with M.2 Frozr shields, and with the M.2 card, that’s support for five M.2 drives in total!

There’s even an extra 6-pin for added PCIe voltage stability, and two more fan headers here should you need them.

Backplate

The motherboard features a built-in backplate, so there’s no chance you’ll forget to install it. Furthermore, there are loads of connectivity options here too. You’ll find five audio jacks, all gold plated, as well as a TOSLINK optical out. For headphones, you’ll find an HP-Out jack, which is also gold-plated. USB benefits from five USB SS ports, as well as an addition of USB Type-C. There’s even a PS2 port which will please the old-school OC crowd.

Two LAN ports and built-in WiFi mean you’ll always have a way to connect to your network or the internet. Plus, you can pair all of them together for added stability and speed to reduce lag; ideal for online gaming.

Overall, a truly fantastic looking board, packed to the brim with features. But how does it perform?

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Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's (but not for long), I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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