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MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE (Intel Z390) Motherboard Review (Page 2)

Steven Bassiri | Dec 18, 2018 at 10:00 pm CST - 3 mins, 14 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: MSI

Packaging and Overview

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The box and packaging are top notch, and the package weighs a lot.

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The accessory package includes six custom SATA6Gb/s cables, WIFI antenna, streaming card, SLI HB bridge, M.2 Xpander-Z card, ΒΌ" to 3.5mm jack converter, RGB LED extension cable, addressable RGB extension cables, two external temperature probes, case badge, manuals, cable stickers, and GPU poster.

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MSI has a total of ten fan headers, yea, ten fan headers. All of them are DC/PWM hybrid headers, we suspect the two circled in red are by default PWM headers and the others in blue are probably DC mode. However, MSI hasn't specified what the default headers are or if any are auto-sensing as they did on some of their previous motherboards.

MSI added in two headers for the included temperature probes; they are circled in green. There is also a water flow header, allowing you to plug in a flow sensor directly into the motherboard for monitoring. The motherboard's aesthetics are pretty decent, and there are a lot of RGBs, and the whole body shield covers most of the traces and components to make the build look cleaner. The back of the motherboard carries some components, but not too many.

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The integrated rear IO panel (first time I have seen MSI do it) features a clear CMOS button, a BIOS FLASHBACK= button, WIFI antenna connectors, PS/2 keyboard/mouse, four USB 3.0 ports, USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, two Gbit LAN, 6.3mm/1/4" headphone jack, and gold plated 7.1 audio connectors with S/PDIF out.

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The PCI-E layout is as follows; the top three x16 slots operate at x16/x0/x0, x8/x8/x0, or x8/x4/x4. The bottom x16 slot shares all of its x4 PCI-E 3.0 from the PCH with one of the M.2 slots. The x1 slot is direct to the PCH. One M.2 slot shares with the U.2 port and two SATA ports. The last M.2 slot shares with one SATA port. MSI has diagrams and suggests configurations to help you figure out bandwidth sharing in their manual; they have one of the best manuals for figuring this out. All M.2 slots also have two thermal pads; I assume one for below and one for on top of the M.2 device.

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We find the motherboard features two USB 3.0 internal headers that are rotated 90 degrees. There are also six SATA6Gb/s ports that are shared with the M.2 ports and U.2 port. There are also two USB 3.1 10Gb/s type-C internal headers.

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At the top right corner of the motherboard, we find a bunch of stuff including voltage read points, a POST code display, dynamic dashboard LCD, an addressable RGB LED header, a Corsair specific addressable RGB LED header, and boot LEDs. At the bottom right corner of the motherboard, we find another addressable RGB LED header, an OC retry button, an OC force BIOS entrance button, and two set of headers that can be hooked up to buttons that can increase either BCLK or CPU ratio. There are also power and reset buttons, as well as an auto OC knob that can be used for automatic overclocking.

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At the top right of the motherboard, we find two 8-pin power connectors. At the bottom center of the motherboard we find two USB 2.0 headers, PCI-E disable switches and BIOS selection switch.

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Finally, we find a normal RGB LED header at the bottom left of the motherboard, as well as an LN2 mode jumper, and a cold boot bug fix jumper (we assume it increase PLL voltage). Some motherboards are not easy to take apart, this one was fairly straightforward, and we can see solid contact has been made with components.

Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST

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Steven Bassiri

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Steven Bassiri

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

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