MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi Motherboard Review
Peter Donnell / 5 days ago
A Closer Look
It’s certainly an attractive motherboard, so long as you like matte blacks and greys peppered with carbon fiber-esque panels.
The hardware is serious enough though, with a 12+1+1 Duet Rail Power System fed from an 8+4 pin CPU power connector. The VRM heatsinks are quite large, with some thicker fins stacked. However, there is also a heat pipe running between them for better heat dissipation.
AT the bottom, you’ve got even more carbon on the chipset heatsink, as well as two heatsinks for the M.2 mounts. It all looks a little out of shape though, nothing really matches here and the M.2 covers look slimmer than usual. It’s all fine, but geometrically, it’s a mess.
There are three full-size PCIe lanes, albeit the top two are armoured for supporting the weight of modern GPUs. There’s a pair of 1x slots in there too should you need them. Furthermore, audio hardware is amounted on the bottom left, with a separating trace to reduce interference.
In additional to the M.2 mounts, there are six SATA ports for all your other hard drives.
The rear I/O shield is pre-installed, so there’s no chance of you forgetting it. It’s well equipped too, with plenty of USB ports, including a Type-C. Networking comes from both the 2.5G LAN and 802.11 AX WiFi.