Previews

MSI Z490 Motherboard Preview

MSI MEG Z490 ACE

Now this is more my style, as this box actually has a picture of the motherboard on it, showing off the stunning LED/RGB lighting on the heatsinks.

Even with the power off, it looks stunning, thanks to the inlaid golden trim, that will shine with RGB when it’s powered up. The shroud on the back rear I/O is freaking massive though, but it does look great!

It’s hiding some serious VRM hardware though, with their Frozr Heatsink, VRM Heatpipe, and MOSFET Baseplate all flanking the CPU socket. I suspect this will be a good motherboard for overclocking!

You’ll get big power delivery too, as this board steps up to a dual 8-pin for the CPU.

Further down, you’ve got a wild mixture of angles, colours and textures making up the chipset heatsink and M.2 heatsinks. There are three M.2 mounts, all marked with “M.2 Shield Frozr” on the front.

There are three full size PCIe lanes, as well two 1x lanes, all armoured for supporting heavy GPUs in SLI or CrossFire modes.

On the bottom of the motherboard, you’ll find built-in power controls, as well as a handy BIOS Debug LED, which is great for problem solving while overclocking, or in general.

Down the side of the board, there’s all the usual headers for SATA, USB 3, Type-C, etc.

Finally, even the rear I/O looks great and matches the style of the rest of the board. Black and gold all over, and some cool ventilation holes too. There’s 2.5 GbE LAN as well as 1 GbE and 802.11ax WiFi. You get good connectivity too, with eight USB ports, including a Type C.

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Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's, 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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