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MSI MEG Z390 Godlike Motherboard Review

How We Test

Here at eTeknix, we endeavour to disclose vital information regarding the benchmarking process so that readers can quantify the results and attempt to replicate them using their hardware. When it comes to our benchmarks in our reviews, the benchmarks are pretty self-explanatory although there are a few exceptions. Remember that your choice of motherboard, the silicon lottery, and other factors can yield different numbers, and there’s always a margin for error when using any software. Therefore, your experience may vary.

Testing Your Own System

Links are provided below, as well as the settings we use. We encourage you to not just look at how one product compares to any other, but how it compares to your own. If you’re looking to build a new system, you should benchmark your current PC using our benchmarks and settings where possible. You should then look at the percentage improvement from your current hardware to the hardware we tested to give you a ballpark figure of how much an upgrade this will provide you with.

Intel Testbenches

Z390

  • Motherboard – Changes Per Review
  • CPU – Intel Core i9-9900K
  • RAM – Crucial 32GB (4 x 8GB) 3000 MHz
  • CPU Cooler – Noctua D15S
  • Graphics Card – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

Z370

  • Motherboard – Changes Per Review
  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8700K
  • RAM – Crucial 32GB (4 x 8GB) 3000 MHz
  • CPU Cooler – Noctua D15S
  • Graphics Card – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

X299

  • Motherboard – Changes Per Review
  • CPU – Intel Core i9-7900X
  • RAM – Crucial DDR4 2400MHz Quad-Channel 32GB
  • CPU Cooler – Noctua D15S with dual fans
  • Graphics Card – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

B360

  • Motherboard – Changes Per Review
  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8700K
  • RAM – Crucial 16GB (2 x 8GB) 2666 MHz
  • CPU Cooler – Noctua D15S
  • Graphics Card – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

AMD Testbenches

X399 (Threadripper)

  • Motherboard – Changes Per Review
  • CPU – Threadripper 1950X
  • RAM – Crucial 32GB (4 x 8GB) 3000 MHz
  • CPU Cooler – Noctua D15S
  • Graphics Card – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

X470

  • Motherboard – Changes Per Review
  • CPU – Ryzen 7 2700X
  • RAM – G.Skill 3400MHz Dual Channel 16GB
  • CPU Cooler – Noctua D15S with dual fans
  • Graphics Card – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

X370

  • Motherboard – Changes Per Review
  • CPU – Ryzen 7 1800X
  • RAM – GeIL  DDR4 2977MHz Dual Channel 16GB
  • CPU Cooler – Noctua D15S with dual fans
  • Graphics Card – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

B450

  • Motherboard – Changes Per Review
  • CPU – Ryzen 7 2700X
  • RAM – G.Skill 3400MHz Dual Channel 16GB
  • CPU Cooler – Noctua D15S with dual fans
  • Graphics Card – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

Games and Settings Used

All games are tested on a 60 Hz display with V-Sync off for all tests.

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (Steam)
    • DX12 Medium Preset
    • Pure Hair Off
  • Deus Ex (Steam)
    • DX12 Medium Preset
  • Ghost Recon: Wildlands (Uplay)
    • Medium Preset
    • Turf Effects Off
  • Far Cry Primal (Uplay)
    • Normal Preset

Software Used

  • 3DMark Fire Strike (download)
    • FireStrike (1080p) Benchmark
  • Unigine Superposition (download)
    • 1080p Extreme Benchmark
  • PCMark 10 Professional (download)
    • Express Benchmark
  • WPrime (download)
    • 32M and 1024M
    • Power usage recorded at 1024M 50% complete, thermals recorded at 75% complete
  • CineBench R15 (download)
    • CPU Multi
    • CPU Single
  • Handbrake (download)
    • Custom MP4 to MKV 4K conversion (details below)
  • AIDA64 Engineer (download)
  • CPU-Z (download)
  • HWMonitor (download)

Handbrake

To stress processors to their absolute limit and accurately judge their performance in video editing workloads, we transcode a 7.7GB compilation of gaming footage; this particular file is freely available from here. The captured footage is 22 minutes and 12 seconds long, it has a bit rate of 50.1 Mbps, and it uses the Advanced Video Codec. Additionally, the video runs at a constant 30 frames-per-second and opts for a 3820 x 2140 (4K) resolution. Once loaded into Handbrake, we then transcode the 4K MP4 to an MKV file using the “normal” profile.

Other Notes

A rest period of 2-5 minutes is observed between each piece of software allowing the system to return to its idle power usage and temperatures. Background services like Windows Update are checked to not be running during the testing period by setting WiFi to Metered Connection.

Updates

All games, graphics card drivers, BIOS, Windows and everything else is always kept up to date with the latest available. Older benchmarks may not be retested until stated otherwise. However, all hardware will be tested with the best and latest firmware and software available to that hardware at the time of review. As of 1st of May 2018, all hardware was retested on their latest drivers. Anything after this date will again be using their most recent versions available to them.

Thanks

Thank you to NoctuaCrucialASUSGigabyteLian-Libe quiet!OCZ, for providing the hardware that helps makes these tests possible!

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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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