MSI’s MEG Z790 Ace is an E-ATX-size board has a darkish black end and gold elaborations, yielding a high-end aesthetic that’s positive to look good inside most chassis. Priced at $699.99, it’s not cheap, however neither are most of its direct opponents.
The board not solely seems good, it comes with a slew of premium options, together with two 40 Gbps ports, flagship-class audio, 5 M.2 sockets (one PCIe 5.0 x4), twin 2.5 GbE and Wi-Fi 6E, and one of the vital sturdy VRMs I’ve seen. There are additionally versatile USB Kind-C show choices, 40 Gbps ports on the rear IO, huge storage functionality, and extra. Nearly the one factor it’s lacking is a ten GbE port. In any other case, it has all of the bells and whistles of the much more costly flagship motherboards.
Efficiency-wise, our MEG Ace did properly throughout our suite of assessments, operating round common to a bit quicker general. Efficiency in our video games and 3DMark assessments confirmed it’s a performant gaming board, beating the opposite Z790 boards we’ve examined to date. Beneath, we’ll dig into the small print of the board and see whether or not the worth level knocks it out of a spot on our Finest Motherboards listing. Earlier than we get into the small print, listed below are the detailed specs from the MSI web site.
Specs: MSI MEG Z790 Ace
|Voltage Regulator||27 Part (24x 105A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore)|
|Video Ports||(1) DisplayPort (by way of USB Kind-C)|
|(2) TB4 (Mini DP In/Out) Passthrough|
|USB Ports||(2) Thunderbolt 4 (40 Gbps) Kind-C|
|(1) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Kind-C|
|(7) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Kind-C|
|Community Jacks||(2) 2.5 GbE|
|Audio Jacks||(5) Analog + SPDIF|
|PCIe x16||(1) v5.0 (x16)|
|(1) v5.0 (x8)|
|(1) v4.0 (x4)|
|CrossFire/SLI||AMD Multi-GPU assist|
|DIMM Slots||(4) DDR4 7800+(OC), 192GB Capability|
|1DPC 1R Max velocity as much as 7800+ MHz|
|1DPC 2R Max velocity as much as 6600+ MHz|
|2DPC 1R Max velocity as much as 6400+ MHz|
|2DPC 2R Max velocity as much as 5600+ MHz|
|M.2 Sockets||(1) PCIe 5.0 x4 (128 Gbps) / PCIe (as much as 80mm)|
|(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 110mm)|
|Helps RAID 0/1/5|
|SATA Ports||(6) SATA3 6 Gbps (Helps RAID 0/1/5/10)|
|USB Headers||(2) USB v3.2 Gen 2×2, Kind-C (0 Gbps)|
|(2) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|(2) USB v2.0 (480 Mbps)|
|Fan/Pump Headers||(8) 4-Pin (CPU, Pump, System Fan)|
|RGB Headers||(3) aRGB (3-pin)|
|(1) RGB (4-pin)|
|Diagnostics Panel||(1) Dr. Debug|
|(1) EZ Debug LEDs|
|Inner Button/Change||Energy and Reset buttons, BIOS and LED on/off switches|
|SATA Controllers||ASMedia ASM1061|
|Ethernet Controller(s)||(2) Intel (2.5 GbE)|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2×2 ax, MU-MIMO, 2.4/5/6 GHz, 160 MHz, BT 5.3)|
|USB Controllers||Genesys Logic GLG3590|
|HD Audio Codec||Realtek ALC4082 (ESS ES9280AQ DAC)|
|DDL/DTS||✗ / ✗|
Contained in the Field of the MSI MEG Z790 Ace
MSI consists of a number of equipment contained in the field to get you began. You get the guides, notices, stickers, SATA cables, thermistors, EZ M.2 clips, and extra. Beneath is a whole listing of the included equipment.
- Fast Set up information
- (4) SATA Information Cables
- EZ M.2 clips, M.2 screws/standoffs
- EZ Entrance Panel Cable
- (2) Thermistor cables
- 1 to 2 RGB LED Y cable
- Rainbow RGB LED extension cable
- (2) DP to Mini DP cables
- Wi-Fi antenna
- USB driver stick
- Cable stickers
Design of the MSI Z790 Ace
Picture 1 of 3
The Z790 Ace sports activities a darkish black look with gold highlights on an 8-layer PCB. Breaking apart the black is the RGB-lit MSI Dragon in RGBs, MEG branding on the highest VRM heatsink, and different smaller adornments on the M.2 heatsinks and chipset. Together with the MSI Dragon, the Ace nomenclature and a design ingredient on the chipset sport RGB LEDs, under which provides the board a pleasant glow inside your chassis. It’s a handsome motherboard that received’t take over the within of your chassis with RGB bling, however nonetheless offers off premium vibes.
Trying on the high half of the board, we first run into the VRM heatsinks. On the Z790 Ace, MSI makes use of a stacked fin array design to extend the floor space and cooling functionality. A heatpipe connects the three VRM heatsinks to share the load amongst them. For as a lot energy as this board can output utilizing the water cooling possibility, these heatsinks are a sensible choice. As you’ll see later, they do an awesome job of preserving almost 300W from the processor in examine.
To the appropriate of those and the socket space, in a singular location, is the place we discover the 2 8-pin EPS connectors (one required) to energy the processor. If you happen to’re utilizing an AIO or water cooling, I’d join each of those, because the socket can take over 300W of energy if left unchecked.
Beneath the EPS connectors are 4 unreinforced DRAM slots with a single-sided locking mechanism on the underside, nearer to the graphics card slot. MSI lists assist for as much as DDR5 7800+(OC) with 1 DPC (DIMM Per Channel), an analogous cap in comparison with different boards. We tossed in our TeamGroup DDR5-7200 package and it labored with none changes.
Alongside the appropriate edge is a slew of options starting from fan and RGB headers to voltage learn factors. Beginning with fan headers, the board has a complete of eight which needs to be sufficient to maintain your chassis operating cool. The 4-pin fan headers assist each PWM and DC-controlled units. The CPU and Pump followers output as much as 3A/36W whereas the System Fan headers output 2A/24W. If the eight headers aren’t sufficient, the output is such that you would be able to piggyback a few followers on a single header with out fear. However as all the time, ensure you know the way a lot energy the followers use as to not overload the headers.
Additionally on this space are two 3-pin ARGB headers, and there are two 4-pin RGB headers situated throughout the underside. RGB management is managed by means of the MSI Management Heart software program and the Mystic Mild utility. There are many canned LED patterns and performance inside the utility.
Beneath the RGB headers is the EZ debug LED and 2-character debug LED to assist troubleshoot POST points. That is comprised of 4 LEDs that gentle up through the POST course of and keep lit if the system hangs on account of a selected situation akin to the lights. In the meantime, the extra subtle 2-character LED shows codes that present extra particulars. Mixed, these are nice instruments for troubleshooting a non-functional system. Additionally notice that, by default, the 2-character LED shows CPU temperature as soon as previous the POST course of.
Transferring down the appropriate aspect, we run into a pair extra 4-pin fan headers, the 24-pin ATX connector to energy the board, two entrance panel USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps) ports and a six-pin PCIe connector. The latter is required for the 60W PD quick charging functionality, in any other case it’s restricted to 30W.
Transferring on to the VRMs, energy comes from the 8-pin EPS connector(s) onto a Renesas RAA229131 PWM controller. For Vcore, energy then heads on to 24 105A Renesas RAA22010540 SPS MOSFETs. The two,520 Amps accessible is likely one of the highest values we’ve seen and simply handles the flagship Intel Core i9-13900K at inventory and overclocked. We’ve got no issues concerning the MEG Ace’s overbuilt energy supply.
On the underside half of the board, hidden beneath some shrouds, is the Realtek ALC4082 audio chip. Together with the flagship codec, MSI additionally makes use of an ESS Sabre ES9280AQ DAC/HPA combo for a flagship-class audio resolution. The Realtek audio management panel is the Home windows instrument that makes changes to the audio.
In the midst of the board, we see three strengthened full-length PCIe slots. The highest two slots supply their lanes from the CPU (with the first graphics slot topmost) operating as much as PCIe 5.0 x16, with the second slot in a position to run as much as PCIe 5.0 x4. There may be some lane sharing occurring with storage, however we’ll focus on that shortly after we get to storage. The final PCIe slot sources its lanes from the chipset and runs at PCIe 4.0 x4 speeds. MSI lists AMD Multi-GPU assist for individuals who nonetheless need to use Crossfire.
Situated in and across the PCIe slots are 5 M.2 sockets. Just one slot helps PCIe 5.0 x4 (128 Gbps) speeds and, surprisingly, it isn’t the highest socket with the bigger heatsink. As an alternative, it’s it is the underside left (M2_4) socket that’s the quicker possibility. The remainder assist PCIe 4.0 x4 speeds, with a pair providing assist for as much as 110mm modules. Some sockets even supply M.2 SATA assist, which you don’t see too usually anymore. On the lane-sharing entrance, the M2_4 slot (the one PCIe 5.0 socket) is disabled when PCIE_E2 (the center slot) is populated. Moreover, SATA7 is unavailable when putting in an M.2 SATA SSD in M2_5 socket. Simply pay attention to the sharing points should you’re making an attempt to populate many of those storage choices.
Throughout the underside of the board are a number of uncovered headers. You’ll discover the standard, together with extra USB ports, RGB headers, in addition to energy/reset buttons. Beneath is a whole listing from left to proper.
- Entrance panel audio
- 4-pin ARGB header
- (5) System Fan headers
- Waterflow header
- Temperature sensor headers
- LED and BIOS switches
- (2) USB 2.0 headers
- Energy and Reset buttons
- MIS Dashboard header
- System panel header
- 4-pin ARGB header
On the preinstalled rear IO, the Z790 Ace sports activities a black background with gold labels on the entire ports. There are 10 USB ports in whole, eight 10 Gbps ports (in purple, plus a Kind-C) and two 40 Gbps Kind-C ports. Video outputs include a Kind-C port in addition to Mini-DisplayPort inputs for the Thunderbolt ports. There are three buttons on the far left, a transparent CMOS button, Flash BIOS, and a Good button. The twin 2.5 GbE ports sit above the USB ports, with the Wi-Fi 6E antenna connections to the appropriate, subsequent to the 5-plug analog plus SPDIF audio stack.
MORE: Finest Motherboards