Here are key points about the MKSI Z370 GAMING PRO CARBON AC.
Solid Aesthetics: The carbon fiber style MSI has used here is one of the better ones they have implemented over generations. It has a raised texture, and it matches the rest of the motherboard quite well. MSI's dedication to bringing solid and simple black motherboards with integrated RGB LEDs is one that many gamers and builders alike have come to appreciate.
RGB Crazy: You do get integrated RGB LEDs in heat sinks, in the IO, and even underneath the motherboard, but the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC also has three types of RGB LED headers. For starters you get two RGB LED headers, one at the top of the motherboard and another at the bottom. Then you get a JRAINBOW header, which is MSI's version of a digital or addressable RGB LED header. However, MSI wanted to add some extra special sauce and teamed up with Corsair to provide a JCORSAIR header, which works with Corsair's RGB LED products.
WIFI Card: With the WIFI card as an add-in card and not built into the motherboard you can reuse the card in the future when you upgrade to another platform, or you can even use the card in another machine if you please.
Re-drivers: Re-drivers are designed to take a signal and improve its quality, allowing the signal to traverse a longer distance without losing as much integrity. MSI is known for using re-drivers when many other vendors do not, and we find many of them near both internal USB 3.0 headers and even near two SATA6Gb/s port (straight angled ones).
VRM Airflow: You should have either positive case air pressure or a fan blowing in the direction of the VRM is you are going to attempt overclocking with Intel's 6-core parts.
MSI's Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is a very well equipped, mid to high-end motherboard for the Z370 platform, and it has many surprised. Whether it's the three types of RGB headers with Corsair collaboration or the re-drivers that many people gloss over, the motherboard hits the nail on the head in many different areas. The motherboard is also only $10 more expensive than the non-WIFI edition, making it an excellent value.
The only area where I felt MSI could have done better was in the VRM area. MSI's Z270 Gaming M7 and Gaming Pro Carbon had very similar VRMs to what I found here, meaning they didn't upgrade the VRM from their previous models. However, you should still be fine with this VRM and Intel's 6-core parts, but I would look a bit more at improving case airflow (positive air pressure) or have a fan pointed at the heat sink (which has been improved) if on a test bench when overclocking the new CPUs.
Overall, I was impressed with the motherboard and thought it provided an excellent balance of price, performance, and features.
Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST
The Bottom Line: MSI's Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC strikes an excellent balance between high-end features and a reasonable price.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Z370 GAMING PRO CARBON AC Overview]
- Page 3 [MSI Z370 GAMING PRO CARBON AC Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [MSI Z370 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 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]