Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Today we take a look at our first MSI X570 motherboard, the X570 ACE. The new MEG X570 ACE is designed not to be a mid to high-end motherboard with features that are in line with motherboards like the Crosshair VIII Hero and the X570 Aorus Master, so competition is quite fierce in that regard in this segment. The new motherboard has many of the same features as many of the other high-end motherboards, so let's see what it has to offer.
The MEG X570 ACE features three PCI-E 4.0 M.2 slots, 2.4Gbps WIFI controller, 2.5G LAN, an Intel Gbit NIC, tons of 10Gb/s USB, and high-end audio.
The MEG X570 ACE costs around $370
Packaging and MEG X570 ACE Overview
Packaging and Overview
The box and packaging are decent and offer plenty of protection for the motherboard.
The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s, WIFI antenna, RGB LED Y-splitter, addressable RGB LED extension cable, cable stickers, case badge, and M.2 screws.
MSI put seven fan headers on the motherboard; all of them are hybrid PWM/DC mode fans. By default, the two headers circled in red are in PWM mode while the five circled in blue are DC mode fans. However, you can change the mode of each header individually. The motherboard has a sleek black and gold aesthetic with an infinity display over the VRM heat sink. The back of the motherboard has a small number of features on it.
The rear IO panel features two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 3.1 (10Gbps) ports three type-A ports and one type-C, clear CMOS button, Flashback button, WIFI antenna, 1G LAN, 2.5G LAN, PS/2 keyboard and mouse, and 7.1 gold plated audio outputs with S/PDIF out.
Here we find the PCI-E slot arrangement, which is very similar to many other X570 motherboards. The first top two x16 slots operate at x16 PCI-E 4.0 or x8/x8 PCI-E 4.0. The bottom x16 slot is wired to the chipset at x4 PCI-E 4.0, and there are also two PCI-E 4.0 x1 slots. There are three x4 PCI-E 4.0 slots, the top one is wired to the CPU, and the other two are wired to the chipset.
There are four SATA6Gb/s ports routed to the chipset. There is also a USB 3.0 right-angled header on top of the SATA6Gb/s ports. There is also a USB 3.0 internal header as well as two USB 2.0 headers, and a type-Cc USB 3.1 10Gbps port at the bottom of the motherboard.
At the top right corner of the motherboard we find an RGB LED header, an addressable RGB header (custom to Corsair), and debug LEDs. At the bottom right corner of the motherboard, we find a POST code display, an OC knob, a power button, and a reset button near an addressable RGB LED header.
At the bottom left corner, we find another addressable RGB LED header. There is also a fan in the chipset heat sink, and it offers Zero Frozr technology.
The heat sinks are connected by a heat pipe, so the motherboard will balance cooling capacity between the VRM and the chipset.
MSI MEG X570 ACE Circuit Analysis
The MEG X570 ACE shows us the goods with the heat sinks removed!
The VRM is in a 12+2 phase configuration, and it uses doublers to get the phase count up to 12 phases. The PWM controller is the new controller is the IR35201, which outputs 6 phases to six IR3599 doublers and two phases for the two SoC phases. The power stages are IR3555 PowIRstages, which are each rated 60A.
The memory VRM is controlled by a Richtek RT8125 PWM controller, which outputs to a large single phase VRM consisting of On Semiconductor PowerPAKs, which have double the number of required MOSFETs.
MSI MEG X570 ACE Circuit Analysis Continued
MEG X570 ACE Circuit Analysis Continued
Audio hardware includes a Realtek ALC1220 along with an ESS Sabre DAC, the SABRE9018. There is also a physical PCB divide and gold series audio capacitors.
Normal Gbit LAN comes from an i211AT Intel NIC, and 2.5Gbit LAN comes from an RTL8125. There is also a WIFI6 AX200 controller on the board.
The rear and internal USB 3.1 gen 2 ports (10Gbps) ports use a PI3EQX re-driver, and an HD3220 from Texas Instruments acts as the type-C controller.
The GL850G acts as a USB 2.0 hub for the internal headers. The PI3DBS16 act as PCI-E 4.0 quick switches, the IDT6V4 acts as the PCI-E 4.0 clock generator, and the PI3EQX16 act as PCI-E 4.0 re-drivers.
The Nuvoton NCT6797D is used as the SIO, while a nuvoton NUC126NE is used for RGB LED control.
An MXIC HX25U256 is used as a 256Mbit BIOS ROM for future compatibility for more CPUs. The NCT5635 is used as a GPIO controller for expanded fan control and other features.
The single PCI-E 4.0 quick switch is used to switch x1 PCI-E 4.0 between the two x1 PCI-E slots.
BIOS and Software
The UEFI BIOS is pretty much identical to the previous ones from MSI for both Intel and AMD platforms. You have both an advanced mode and an easy mode, where you will do most of your overclocking. Otherwise, the UEFI is loaded with all the latest features and settings to tune your new 3rd generation Ryzen CPU, including the FCLK. The fan control is quite good, and it's in the form of a GUI, and you have control over the chipset fan.
The software includes Dragon Center, Mystic Light LED, and Nahimic 3.
Test System Setup
Steven's Motherboard Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: MSI MEG X570 ACE
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
- Cooler: Wraith Prism Cooler - Buy from Amazon
- Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (2x8GB) 3200MHz
- Video Card: RTX 2080 Ti - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage - Boot Drive: Corsair MP600 2TB
- Storage - USB Drive: Corsair Voyager GS 64GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 900D - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Corsair RM1000i - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 - Buy from Amazon
- Monitor: ASUS PA328 ProArt 32" 4K - Buy from Amazon
- Keyboard: Corsair K70 LUX - Buy from Amazon
- Mouse: Corsair M65 PRO RGB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Headset: Corsair VOID RGB Wireless - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Network: ASUS XG-U2008 10Gbit Switch
The Infinity panel over the VRM and rear IO area is quite a nice touch, and in general, there aren't too many RGB LEDs built into the motherboard, which is great for people who don't want flashy RGBs.
The new CPUs don't overclock like crazy on-air, in fact, PBOC might be just as effective for mixed-use cases. However, memory and FCLK clocks can be changed, and so we are using a 3600MHz kit and seeing how high we can take all cores. We aimed for 4.2GHz, and we were able to get there with 1.415v set, and we did this because the auto LLC levels were quite good but a bit strong for us to use our typical 4.2Ghz OC.
We didn't need to alter many other settings, but we did see in the change list that the UEFI would change some OC settings to enable in the background. We like these type of auto-rules, as they make overclocking less of a hassle. We also just set XMP and we were able to easily hit 3.6GHz.
CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks
3DMark: Fire Strike
3DMark: Cloud Gate
Performance is very close on all the motherboards, and that might be because AMD has locked down most of the UEFI so that motherboard vendors can't really break anything. Overall, we like this, but we also look forward to other tweaks.
System IO Benchmarks
ixChariot Network Throughput:
Storage and network performance are excellent.
Sound Judgment by Ear: Excellent, the ALC1220 and ESS Sabre DAC are great. There are five ratings for audio: 1. Problems, 2. Okay, 3. Acceptable, 4. Very good, 5. Excellent
Power consumption is decent, not many issues or problems.
What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts
Very nice VRM: With twelve 60A IR3555 and a powerful IR35201, the VRM on this motherboard is well equipped to handle any overclock of the new 3rd generation Ryzen CPUs. The VRM is cooled by a large heat sink that uses a heat pipe to attach to the chipset heat sink.
Networking: We find not only an Intel Gbit NIC, but also a 2.5Gbit Realtek NIC for faster network connectivity when dealing with the new Wireless AX controllers. We also find the new AX200 WIFI6 controller onboard, so we know the motherboard is ready for the future.
Solid Audio: Audio on this motherboard is also quite good, and we find the ESS Sabre 9018 DAC on the motherboard, which should provide better audio.
A bit low on SATA: There are only four SATA ports on the motherboard, which is a bit low compared to other motherboards, but was done to allow more USB and other chipset features.
The MEG X570 ACE costs around $370, putting it within range of the ASUS Hero and the GIGABYTE Master. They all have similar features such as a 2.5Gbit NIC, a Gbit NIC, and the new WIFI6 controllers. They also all have quite nice VRMs, so it's a very tied up competition, which should come down to part selection, PCB quality, and heat sink performance.
Each has its own benefits, but what is clear is that all of them can handle the new high-performance CPUs. Other than the VRM, the motherboard has a nice cooling system where the chipset fan can turn all the way off, something a lot of people complained about on other motherboards.
We were very impressed with the aesthetics of the motherboard as well; black and gold were popular before, and we are impressed with the way MSI brought it back. We think this is a solid motherboard with an excellent feature set at a reasonable price.
The Bottom Line
Loaded with an excellent VRM, solid aesthetics, great features, and excellent audio and networking, the MSI MEG X570 ACE is a solid choice for the new Ryzen platform.