Msi Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon Ac Motherboard Review

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MSI’s Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is the most affordable board of the lot at just S$349. It’s worth mentioning that MSI does have higher-end Z370 boards available, but we weren’t able to lớn secure one for this shootout.

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That said, the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is more a mid-range board with a focus on aesthetics. There are literally lights everywhere, with LEDs built into the VRM & PCH heatsinks, under the board, & an LED light trail that traces the path of the audio circuitry.

There are even mounting points for 3D-printed accessories, so you can install things like an M.2 tín đồ stand, cable cover, and tư vấn bracket for your graphics card.

What’s more, the board features a total of four RGB headers, including two that support individually addressable LEDs. One of the latter – the JCORSAIR1 header located to the right of the DIMM slots – was also designed specifically for the Corsair Lighting Node PRO LED strip or RGB fans (via Corsair’s fan hâm mộ hub), part of a collaboration between MSI and Corsair.

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If you vày decide to install a Corsair LED strip or fans, you’ll then be able lớn control them using MSI’s software. However, it’s not entirely clear that MSI’s decision to focus on Corsair hardware is the best thing, as it shoehorns users into picking a specific brand.

The JCORSAIR 1 header actually supports up to six Corsair fans via a fan hub, but the board itself has a total of six fan headers that tư vấn both DC và PWM fans. However, it doesn’t seem like they will automatically detect whether you have a DC or PWM fan hâm mộ plugged in, so you’ll have to lớn manually change the settings in the BIOS.

The headers for the CPU and pump fan hâm mộ are actually set lớn PWM mode right out of the box, while the system fan hâm mộ headers run in DC mode by default.

Still, MSI has done a great job of cramming as much value as it can into what is a very attractive package. For instance, the onboard Wi-Fi is a nice touch, as some of the pricier boards don’t have this. It’s also equipped with plenty of USB ports on the back, including USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C & Type-A ports, four USB 3.1 (Gen 1), và two USB 2.0 ports.

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That’s more than some of the pricier boards offer, so MSI has paid attention where it counts. However, the board is still missing a USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C front panel header, so you’re out of luck if your chassis has one.

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Storage expansion options are also on par with the greenlines.com.vnpetition, with six SATA 6Gbps ports (two of which are facing directly upward) & two M.2 sockets. In addition, you get metal-reinforced PCIe & DIMM slots and an M.2 heatsink as well.

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However, there’s a rather greenlines.com.vnplex resource sharing arrangement going on here. If both M.2 sockets are populated with either PCIe or SATA SSDs, you’ll find yourself down by two SATA ports. Alternatively, going with just a PCIe SSD in the first socket will leave all the SATA ports untouched.

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The onboard audio solution uses a Realtek ALC1220 codec with an integrated tai nghe amplifier that can drive headphones up khổng lồ 600 ohms. It also features Nippon Chemi-Con audio capacitors, separate PCB layers for the left & right audio channels, and de-pop protection, which amount to a pretty sweet greenlines.com.vnbination for the price.

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Another nice cảm ứng is the smattering of useful status LEDs that can help with troubleshooting. The board is missing a debug LED display, but it attempts to make up for that with status indicators built into the PCIe và DIMM slots.

For example, the PCIe x16 LEDs will glow red when the slot is running in x16 mode, và white when it drops lớn x8, x4, or x1 mode. Similarly, the DIMM LEDs will light up when a memory module is installed, so you can quickly tell if you’ve got a loose connection.

The EZ Debug LEDs greenlines.com.vne in handy too, where each of the four LEDs corresponds lớn the CPU, DRAM, VGA, & boot device respectively. A problem with one of these greenlines.com.vnponents will cause the LED to lớn light up, so you know where khổng lồ look.

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Having said that, the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC isn’t the best board for enthusiasts. Lượt thích the ASRock board, there are no nguồn or reset buttons, & it’s lacking in terms of tư vấn for liquid cooling.

The VRM on the motherboard uses an 8+2-phase design, achieved using phase doublers. Furthermore, while overclocking performance is decent, it isn’t quite as good as what asus and Gigabyte offer. Overall, this is a good board for the mass market và those who can’t get enough of RGB LEDs, but enthusiasts will probably want to look elsewhere.


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