MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC Review

Published by Luca Rocchi on 10.01.19

With the MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC, MSI has a new micro-ATX motherboard in its portfolio, which comes with a very reasonable feature mix. There are for example two M.2 slots, one Intel Ethernet port and a WiFi AC module. In addition the layout has been well thought with a CPU socket that isn't too close to the PCIe slot. At this point we are curious to find out what's it exactly that should make this a great product.



Specs and Delivery

Chipset Intel Z390
Mémoire vive Dual Channel DDR4, 4 x DIMM, Max. 64 GB DDR4, 4500 OC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Slots
  • 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16
  • 2 x PCIe x1
Audio Realtek ALC1220P-VB2
Stockage Intel Z390 chipset
  • 2 x M.2 slots
  • 4 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
Network Intel I219V Gigabit LAN Controller
Internal Connectors
  • 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 2 x M.2 slots
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 connectors
  • 2 x USB 2.0 connectors
  • 1 x 4-pin CPU fan connector
  • 1 x 4-pin Water Pump connector
  • 3 x 4-pin system fan connectors
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector
  • 2 x System panel connectors
  • 1 x Serial Port connector
  • 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
  • 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  • 2 x 4-pin RGB LED connectors
  • 2 x 3-pin RAINBOW LED connectors
Extrenal Connectors
  • 2 x Antenna Ports
  • 2 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
  • 1 x HDMI Port
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen1
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Ports
  • 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED
  • HD Audio Jacks
Format Micro-ATX


Power design

VCC

VCCGT

Controller Phases Doppler Highside MOSFETs Lowside MOSFETs Controller Phases Doppler Highside MOSFETs Lowside MOSFETs
UPI uP9521P 4 x 2 - 4 x Onsemi 4C029N 4 x Onsemi 4C024N Same VCC 1 - 1 x Onsemi 4C029N 2 x Onsemi 4C024N


Gallery

  • MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
  • MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
  • MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
  • MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
  • MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
  • MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
  • MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
  • MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
  • MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
  • MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC


Benchmarks


Conclusion

Générale   + -
A closer look at the motherboard lineup from MSI reveals that the MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC is a high-end model, regarding their gaming branded Z390 based products. Compared to the previous model, MSI has changed completely the design of the heat sinks as well as the color scheme. Last but not least there are several good features like several USB 3.1 ports, a good flexbility regarding the storage and Mystic Light RGB with several effects. Nevertheless at a price of 160 Euro, this board is definitely quite interesting.   - Design
- Layout
 
       
Layout   + -
The layout of the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC has been well thought - as expected. Storage wise we find four SATA ports placed in the bottom right corner and two M.2 slots. Apart from that there are two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots with metal reinforcement and two PCIe x1 slots. Furthermore there are plenty of 4-pin PWM headers for both aircooling and watercooling setups. A quick look at the back I/O panel reveals there are plenty of USB ports, which in combination with the display and network connectors make for a good mix on the connector side of things.  

- Space around the CPU socket - Realtek ALC1220

 
       
Power design   + -
On the MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC motherboard we find 4 x 2 + 1 phase power design. Nevertheless it's based on uPI's mid-range uP9521P controller regarding the VCC side. Furthermore there are four Onsemi 4C029N on the highside and four Onsemi 4C024N MOSFETs on the lowside. Regarding the VCCGT section we see a similar design, MSI has placed the same PWM controller and one MOSFET.

Overall the VRM design is certainly good enough for a wide variety of users.
   
       
Performance   + -
At the moment our test setup includes only five motherboards but during the upcoming we will add more models. Calculating the average of all benchmarks results we ran, we see that this board scores 1st but the gap with the 2nd place is super tiny. Checking out the energy efficiency we see that this board is in the middle part of our chart.   - Power consumption
       
Recommandation   + -
The MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC is a well equipped Z390 motherboard. This board is also quick according to our 2D and 3D benchmarks. On top of that it comes with a vast feature set. If you are looking for a micro-ATX motherboard based on Intel Z390 chipset and you haven't big pockets, we suggest to check out this model. The MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC is available on Geizhals for 160 Euro.   - Price
       
We give the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC excellent 5 out of 5 stars.



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