MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC Review

Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

The MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC is the smaller sibling to the ATX sized Gaming Edge AC model (mATX), so the PCB is smaller, which results in fewer slots. In line with the ATX model, one of the main features of the Gaming Edge AC range is the integrated 802.11ac 2T2R Wi-Fi adapter which is surprisingly higher spec than the one integrated (Intel 9462) onto the ATX model.

Features

MSI MPG Z390

The MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC has two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots with the top slot supporting x16 bandwidth and the second slot supporting only x8 bandwidth. It allows users to use both two-way SLI and CrossFire multi-GPU configurations. There are also two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots on the board. There are four memory slots with a maximum capacity of 64 GB and DDR4-4500 memory support. Due to the mATX form factor, the board has two PCIe/SATA support M.2 slots and four SATA ports.

As with the larger ATX sized Gaming Edge AC model, this model is equipped with the same Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec and Intel I219V Gigabit networking controller, which handles the 8-channel audio and single LAN port on the rear panel, respectively. There are two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (Type-A and Type-C) and four USB 3.0 Type-A ports on the rear panel. Those looking to use more devices can do so using the internal headers, which provide four USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports. With HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, the Z390M Gaming Edge AC is also suitable for users who want to take advantage of the GPU capabilities of Intel’s 8th and 9th generation processors.

Design

msi z390

The MSI MPG Z390M is primarily designed for gamers who want a smaller footprint than an ATX system. It is expected to launch at a suggested retail price of $180.

MSI has focused its efforts on providing higher-end features for its mid-range products by including a 2T2R 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter and a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec.

CPU

The motherboard features Core Boost, a combination of layout design and optimization for faster and undistorted current delivery to the CPU. Additionally, it supports one-second overclocking with the optional MSI Game Boost software. Additional features and enhancements include load-line calibration, overvoltage protection, digital power design, and double power connectors.

DDR4

On this motherboard, DDR4 RAM slots feature optimized traces and a fully isolated memory circuit for stable performance. Additionally, a variety of RAM from different manufacturers is supported, so make sure yours is compatible. Furthermore, you can enable XMP (Intel Extreme Memory Profile) with just a single click within the BIOS.

Storage

This motherboard supports PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSDs and Intel Optane memory for fast storage solutions. Data can be transferred at speeds of up to 32 Gb/s using a compatible drive. MSI’s optional software also offers XBoost for improved SSD performance. With M.2 Genie, this motherboard supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 with six SATA III ports. It is recommended that you update the BIOS and drivers to the latest versions before using Intel Optane memory.

Internet Connectivity

Gaming-quality Gigabit LAN connectivity is available with the Intel I219-V. Furthermore, this motherboard comes with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 for pairing extra peripherals.

Audio

In addition to MSI Audio Boost, the MPG Z390 has multiple hardware and software features designed to enhance audio performance.

  • Dedicated, EMI-shielded Hi-Fi audio processor
  • Isolated audio design with LED border ensures a better audio signal
  • Separate audio layers for clean left and right channels
  • De-pop protection prevents loud popping sounds when you plug or unplug or devices
  • Nahimic 3 surround sound for immersion
  • High-quality audio capacitors for a warmer sound
  • Connectors for 7.1-channel surround sound

MSI Mystic Light

MSI Mystic Light allows you to control and sync compatible RGB products. A 4-pin RGB LED connector and a 3-pin RAINBOW LED connector are included on this motherboard. MSI Mystic Light enables you to customize your build’s aesthetic with over 16.8 million colors and a variety of lighting patterns.