Here are key points about the MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
Uniquely Customizable: MSI sent us the motherboard with two customized sets of panels for the motherboard's heat sinks and panels. The board does come with a set of gold and silver panels, so anywhere you see carbon fiber you can physically change the color. We were provided a set of blue and gold with TweakTown written on the VRM panel. You can now customize your panels, and I hope MSI releases 3D printable templates for those who want to customize the motherboard even more. The RGB LEDs on the back and on the motherboard as well as the headers adds to the unique customizability of the motherboard.
Intel LAN and Wireless AC: I was surprised to find Intel network controllers on both the wired and wireless solutions for the motherboard. Intel's solutions are generally favored, especially on the wired side, and at this price point, many will be happy.
Solid Quality: The IR VRM components are best in class, and MSI used all the latest controllers for USB 3.1 and audio. The motherboard also uses re-drivers when required, which is something I like about MSI motherboards.
OC Features: The X299 Gaming Pro Carbon is mostly a gaming motherboard, but it does offer a decent amount of overclocking features to quench your thirst. You get a POST Code display along with buttons, and even rear clear CMOS and BIOS recovery buttons. For the novice, there is an OC Knob you can turn to get an automatic overclock.
Hard to Remove Panels: I almost scratched the heat sinks when trying to remove the default carbon fiber panels, so make sure to take care when switching them out (I recommend something strong, sharp, and plastic).
No 4-Way SLI: Like a lot of other X299 motherboards, and only a few X99 motherboards, the X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC doesn't offer 4-way SLI.
The MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon is not at the high-end when compared to what else MSI has in store for us, the Gaming M7 costs more, which means MSI will release a slew of higher-end motherboards for future processors. That being said it is still high-end enough but strategically positioned as a sweet spot product in regards to price and performance.
While it isn't a cheap solution, it's in the mid-range between the cheapest and most expensive X299 motherboards on the market now, and I think it offers a very fair amount of features for that price. I really like the customizability of the motherboard, and MSI has done a nice job with the interchangeable panels; they are first to market with such a feature.
If you are looking for a sweet spot gaming motherboard for the X299 platform, the X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is definitely worth a look.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Overall TweakTown Rating||91%|
The Bottom Line: MSI's X299 GAMING PRO CARBON AC does offer a fair amount of premium hardware features, but one of the coolest and unique features is the ability for you to physically change the color of the motherboard's heat sinks and panels.
PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United Kingdom: The MSI X299 GAMING PRO CARBON AC Motherboard retails for £XXX at Amazon UK.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and X299 GAMING PRO CARBON AC Overview]
- Page 3 [MSI X299 GAMING PRO CARBON AC Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [MSI X299 GAMING PRO CARBON AC 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 [VRM and System Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
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