The MSI Z690 Edge WIFI DDR4 hails from the MPG line of motherboards, in the midst of the corporate’s product stack. Whereas it could not have all the bells and whistles that some high-end MEG-class boards do, the MPG line (and the Edge WIFI) all come well-equipped and able to tackle no matter Alder Lake processors dish out, together with our i9-12900K check chip.
The Z690 Edge WIFI DDR4 ($299.99) is on the backside of the MPG sequence, with the Z690 Power WIFI and Z690 Carbon WIFI/Carbon EK X we reviewed above it. The board contains succesful energy supply, a great deal of storage (together with 4 M.2 sockets and 6 SATA ports) premium audio and community options, quick USB connectivity, and busy-but-good seems, all for $299.99. There isn’t a lot to not like right here that isn’t subjective. If you wish to use the newest and biggest in RAM (and pay much more for it), there’s a Z690 Edge WIFI DDR5 possibility for $329.99 as effectively.
Examined efficiency on our Z690 Edge WIFI DDR4 was good throughout, however particularly in our Procyon/MS Workplace suite, the place it recorded among the highest values. The distinction between DDR4 and DDR5 is clear within the 7Zip compression assessments and x264 benchmarks, however the board competes effectively with the opposite DDR4 fashions we’ve examined.
Efficiency testing whereas gaming was spot on as effectively. In brief, you’d be hard-pressed to note a distinction between this board and the others we’ve examined.
Let us take a look at the MSI MPG Z690 Edge WIFI DDR4 options and efficiency in additional element and see if this $300 motherboard has an opportunity to make our finest motherboards checklist. However earlier than we do this, listed below are the board’s full specs, direct from MSI:
Specs: MSI MPG Z690 Edge WIFI DDR4
|Voltage Regulator||18 Section (16x 75A MOSFETs for Vcore)|
|Video Ports||(1) HDMI (v2.1)|
|(1) DisplayPort (v1.4)|
|USB Ports||(1) USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Sort-C (20 Gbps)|
|(5) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)|
|(2) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)|
|Community Jacks||(1) 2.5 GbE|
|Audio Jacks||(5) Analog + SPDIF|
|PCIe x16||(1) v5.0 (x16)|
|(2) v3.0 (x4)|
|PCIe x1||(1) v3.0 (x1)|
|DIMM slots||(4) DDR4 5200+(OC), 128GB Capability|
|M.2 slots||(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps), PCIe (as much as 110mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps), PCIe (as much as 80mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps), PCIe/SATA (as much as 80mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps), PCIe/SATA (as much as 80mm)|
|Helps RAID 0/1/5/10|
|SATA Ports||(6) SATA3 6 Gbps (Helps RAID 0/1/10)|
|USB Headers||(1) USB v3.2 Gen 2, Sort-C (10 Gbps)|
|(1) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|Fan/Pump Headers||(8) 4-Pin (CPU, system, water-pump)|
|(8) 4-Pin (CPU, system, water-pump)||(3) aRGB Gen 2 (3-pin)|
|(1) AURA RGB (4-pin)|
|Diagnostics Panel||EZ Debug LED|
|SATA Controllers||ASMedia ASM1061|
|Ethernet Controller(s)||Intel I225-V (2.5 Gbps)|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||Intel Wi-Fi 6 (2×2 ax, MU-MIMO, 2.4/5/6 GHz, 160 MHz, BT 5.2)|
|HD Audio Codec||Realtek ALC4080|
|DDL/DTS||✗ / ✗|
Contained in the Field of the MPG Z690 Edge WIFI DDR4, MSI contains a regular assortment of equipment: SATA cables, a USB persist with drivers (a pleasant contact at this worth), and extra to assist get your system up and working. Right here’s a full checklist of what’s within the field with the board:
- 2 SATA cables
- Wi-Fi Antenna
- Fast Set up Information
- EZ M.2 clips
- USB drive (drivers)
- 1 to 2 RGB LED extension cable
- RainboRGB LED extension cable
- Cable stickers
- MPG stickers
- Case badge
- Cleansing brush
Design of the Z690 Edge WIFI
Trying intently on the board, we see a jet black PCB together with heatsinks and shrouds that cowl fairly a little bit of the floor. All of those are a lighter black in comparison with the board. The dot-matrix styling makes the board look busy to me. There are massive heatsinks with loads of cutouts and floor space that cowl the VRMs. That is additionally the place we discover the primary RGB component: The MSI Dragon is lit up from beneath, illuminating the branding. The second RGB space, situated below the chipset heatsink, lights up the underside a part of the board. Total, the MPG Z690 Edge WIFI DDR4 seems good, although the busy nature of the design might drive some builders away.
Beginning with the highest half of the board, we get a more in-depth have a look at the massive heatpipe-connected heatsinks to chill the facility supply. On high, the MSI dragon RGBs are saturated and colourful, whereas not being too brilliant and overwhelming. The board provides off a glow that lights up the within of your case, however doesn’t make it the focal point. Simply above the heatsinks, we spot two 8-pin EPS energy connectors (one required) to energy the processor.
Transferring previous the socket, we run into 4 unreinforced DRAM slots, which lock the RAM down from each ends. MSI lists help on this DDR4 board as much as 5200+ MHz (with one DIMM per channel and one rank) and capability as much as 128GB. Concerning reminiscence pace, your mileage could range because it relies on the reminiscence equipment and the processor’s IMC to achieve such speeds. We didn’t run into any points with our DDR4-3600 or DDR4-4000 kits throughout testing and, there’s nonetheless extra headroom obtainable.
Above the DRAM slots are 4-pin fan headers and RGB headers. On this location, there are CPU_FAN1 and PUMP_FAN1 headers, plus six others on the board for a complete of eight. All headers help each PWM and DC-controlled followers. CPU_FAN1 defaults to auto management and outputs as much as 2A/24W. PUMP_FAN1 defaults to PWM mode and outputs as much as 3A/36W, whereas the SYS_FAN1-6 headers default to DC mode and output 1A/12W. There are many headers and energy to help your cooling ecosystem by the board. You may management the followers by the BIOS in addition to MSI’s Heart software program.
Subsequent to the CPU and PUMP fan headers are two RGB headers. There are two 3-pin ARGB headers right here, whereas on the underside fringe of the board is a 4-pin RGB and a 3rd 3-pin ARGB. If the RGB lighting on the board isn’t sufficient, use these to gentle up your chassis and MSI’s Mystic Mild software program to regulate the lightshow.
Trying down the fitting fringe of the board, we run into one other 4-pin fan header, the EZ debug LEDs (the issue space stays lit if there’s a downside through the POST course of), the 24-pin ATX connector to energy the board, a 15-pin entrance panel USB 3.2 Gen1 (5 Gbps) port, and a front-panel USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Sort-C port.
MSI lists the VRMs as an 18-phase system, with 16 phases devoted to Vcore. Energy comes from the 8-pin EPS connector(s) and onto the common-for-this-platform Renesas RAA229131 20-channel controller. Energy then strikes to 16 75A Renesas SPS MOSFETs. Some serviette math reveals there’s 1,200A obtainable to the CPU, which is loads to deal with the high-end i9-12900K we use for inventory testing and when overclocked utilizing ambient cooling. In brief, the facility supply gained’t maintain you again, your cooling will. That is true on most Z690 boards.
Beginning on the underside left aspect, we see a full uncovered audio part with the Realtek ALC4080 codec. Of the comparable (equally priced DDR4) boards, this Edge board and the Gigabyte Aero G are the one ones that use a current-generation resolution. Whereas this isn’t an enormous deal because the ALC1220 codec sounds good too, it’s nice to see it carried out on a board centered extra on the finances aspect of issues. Together with the codec, we spy an audio separation line to maintain the audio bits away from the remainder of the board (EMI mitigation), and a number of other Chemicon-branded devoted audio caps.
There are three full-length PCIe slots in the midst of the board, an x1-size slot, and room for 4 M.2 modules below the heatsinks. Beginning with the slots, The highest slot (PCI_E1) sources its lanes from the CPU and runs as much as PCIe 5.0 x16 speeds. PCI_E3/E4 get their bandwidth from the chipset and run as much as PCIe 3.0 x4 speeds. This configuration helps AMD Crossfire expertise for these nonetheless rocking multi-card setups.
Wedged across the PCIe slots are 4 M.2 sockets. The highest socket, M2_1, helps as much as 110mm PCIe units and runs as much as PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) speeds. The second slot, M2_2, helps as much as 80mm PCIe units as much as PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) speeds. The underside two sockets, M2_3 and M2_4, help PCIe and SATA-based modules as much as 80mm. In different phrases, there’s loads of storage obtainable, together with SATA-based M.2, which is lacking on some boards. It’s additionally value mentioning right here right here that MSI makes use of EZ Latch M.2 clips to safe the units down, somewhat than the standard tiny screws. Whereas we don’t change these typically, the clips are nonetheless a lot simpler to cope with than screws which might be simple to lose within the board or your rug.
Alongside the fitting edge, we run into the six SATA ports. 4 are native to the board/chipset (SATA5-8) whereas the opposite two, SATA A/B, work by the ASMedia ASM1061 controller. The specs and handbook don’t point out lane sharing, so you need to be capable to run all the SATA ports and M.2 sockets concurrently. If RAID is your factor, the SATA ports help RAID0/1/10 whereas the NVMe sockets run RAID0/1/5/10.
A number of headers are positioned throughout the underside, together with USB and SATA ports, RGB, and so on. Beneath is a whole checklist of all of the headers throughout the underside of the board:
- Entrance panel audio
- 3-pin ARGB header
- 4-pin RGB header
- Thunderbolt header
- (3) 4-pin fan headers
- (2) USB 2.0 headers
- 4-pin system fan header
- LED swap
- TPM header
- Entrance panel header
Transferring to the rear I/O space, the preinstalled I/O plate matches the board theme (black) with labels for every port in grey. An MPG image reminds you what model household the Edge is from.
Working left to proper, we first run right into a BIOS Flashback button used for updating the BIOS with out a CPU. There are two USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI and DisplayPort video output to the fitting. Subsequent, in pink, is a 4 stack (plus one to the fitting) of USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) ports. Beneath the one Sort-A is a 20 Gbps Sort-C, whereas the two.5 GbE port is above that. On the fitting, we discover the Wi-Fi 6 antenna connections and a 5-plug analog audio stack, plus SPDIF.
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