Here are key points about the MSI X370 GAMING PRO CARBON.
High-End Aesthetics: I didn't think the motherboard would look as good as it does in person, but MSI's designers deserve a round of applause for this product as the mixture of carbon fiber, blacked out PCB/heat sinks, and RGB LEDs go together quite well. The RGB LEDs built into the motherboard will allow you to customize its color, and their diffusion is excellent.
Dual M.2: Not many X370 motherboards feature two M.2 slots, but this one does. The top slot operates at 32Gb/s while the bottom one operates at 20Gb/s. While x4 PCI-E 3.0 (top slot) offers more bandwidth than x4 PCI-E 2.0 (bottom slot), both are capable of supporting high-speed drives.
Latest NIC and Codec: Many people will only buy motherboards with an Intel NIC, and while there are good alternatives, Intel's NICs offer consistent performance. The X370 GAMING PRO CARBON offers the latest Intel NIC, the i211AT. The audio on this motherboard comes from top notch components including the latest Realtek ALC1220, two Texas Instruments amplifiers, and Nichicon Gold series capacitors.
Dual Internal USB 3.0 and ASMedia USB 3.1: MSI has decided to provide two USB 3.0 internal headers on its latest X370 motherboards. Rear USB 3.1 type-A and type-C both come from ASMedia's latest controller, which should offer slightly better performance than AMD's native controller because of its distance from the rear ports.
VRM Quality vs. Price: At this price point we did expect slightly better VRM quality. I will say that the VRM does get the job done, I can easily overclock to 4GHz, but I would have some active airflow in the VRM area for 24/7 full load use.
The MSI X370 GAMING PRO CARBON is a mid to high-end X370 motherboard in every sense. From its aesthetics to its features, it's a really great buy for someone who wants a high-end Ryzen experience at a fair price. My only issue with the motherboard is its VRM quality and lack of OC features; I expected slightly better in this price bracket. Needless to say, the VRM gets the job done and doesn't hinder overall overclocking capabilities.
The X370 GAMING PRO CARBON also looks quite impressive, and while some people might not care about how their motherboard looks, I and many others do as well. Many of you had asked me to review this motherboard, presumably because it is on your list for potential builds. I am happy to say I approve of this product; it's a solid motherboard with a healthy serving of features and aesthetics.
The Bottom Line: Dual M.2 slots, high-end audio, Intel NIC, and crazy RGB LED support are only some of the loaded features that the MSI X370 GAMING PRO CARBON has to offer.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and X370 GAMING PRO CARBON Overview]
- Page 3 [MSI X370 GAMING PRO CARBON Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [MSI X370 GAMING PRO CARBON Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]