MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC Review

Mainstream PC users will get a kick from the new MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC motherboard. It comes at a comfortable mid-range price, with all the Z390 chipset goodies that we’ve come to expect from the MSI brand.

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC Review

This review pulls the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC motherboard apart to focus on its performance, graphics, and features.

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2 USB...
  • Supports 9th i9-9900K, i7-9700K, i5-9600K and 8th Generation Intel Core / Pentium Gold / Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports dual channel DDR4 Memory, up to 4400(OC) MHz; DIMM Slots: 4.Operating system: Support for Windows 10 64-bit
  • 2x TURBO M.2, Intel Optane Memory Ready, Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2; USB 2.0 ports (Front): 4
  • MYSTIC LIGHT: 16.8 million colors / 29 effects. Connect RGB or RAINBOW LED strips with addressable headers and create an RGB gaming PC. Control Mystic Light SYNC enabled products
  • Built for high-performance gaming - Extended heatsink, ATX form factor ready for multi-GPU

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC (Our Review)

Overall Assessment 

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC is similar to the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. There are only a couple of noticeable differences between the two motherboards.

For one, it’s missing the beautiful carbon fiber finish on the Gaming Edge AC. However, what it may lack in appearance, it makes up for in performance.

RAM

The Z390 chipset supports 4x DDR4 DIMM slots. If you’re a power user, you can max this system out at an impressive 64GB RAM. 

The RAM is an improvement over the popular MSI B450M Gaming Plus motherboard. Users can also overclock the RAM to 4400MHz for exceptional performance. This increase in system memory can keep most resource-heavy applications running smoothly.

Peripherals

The Z390 Gaming Edge AC comes with loads of peripheral support. We are treated to 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) ports, 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) ports and even 6x USB 2.0 ports. It’s easy to add all your external devices such as printers, gamepads, and webcams with all these USB ports.

MSI didn’t skimp on storage space. There are two M.2 ports along with 6x SATA 3 ports to connect hard drives and solid states.

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2 USB...
  • Supports 9th i9-9900K, i7-9700K, i5-9600K and 8th Generation Intel Core / Pentium Gold / Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports dual channel DDR4 Memory, up to 4400(OC) MHz; DIMM Slots: 4.Operating system: Support for Windows 10 64-bit
  • 2x TURBO M.2, Intel Optane Memory Ready, Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2; USB 2.0 ports (Front): 4
  • MYSTIC LIGHT: 16.8 million colors / 29 effects. Connect RGB or RAINBOW LED strips with addressable headers and create an RGB gaming PC. Control Mystic Light SYNC enabled products
  • Built for high-performance gaming - Extended heatsink, ATX form factor ready for multi-GPU

Audio and Networking

This motherboard doesn’t disappoint in terms of audio and LAN. The Realtek ALC1220 codec drives the studio-quality sound. At the same time, an impressive Intel chip takes care of the networking.

Just like in our MSI MPG X570 Gaming Edge WiFi review, the onboard networking is powered by an Intel chip. The Wi-Fi will make connecting your rig to a network much easier and means less cable management taking up your time.

Aesthetics

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC looks just as good as the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus. The minimalist black and white theme makes customization easy as there aren’t any clashing colors to work around.

However, we feel that the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is a better-looking option, and it doesn’t break the bank either.

Pros

  • Lots of fan headers
  • Excellent RGB support
  • Reliable overclocking
  • Beautiful heatsinks
  • Onboard Wi-Fi
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2 USB...
  • Supports 9th i9-9900K, i7-9700K, i5-9600K and 8th Generation Intel Core / Pentium Gold / Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports dual channel DDR4 Memory, up to 4400(OC) MHz; DIMM Slots: 4.Operating system: Support for Windows 10 64-bit
  • 2x TURBO M.2, Intel Optane Memory Ready, Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2; USB 2.0 ports (Front): 4
  • MYSTIC LIGHT: 16.8 million colors / 29 effects. Connect RGB or RAINBOW LED strips with addressable headers and create an RGB gaming PC. Control Mystic Light SYNC enabled products
  • Built for high-performance gaming - Extended heatsink, ATX form factor ready for multi-GPU

Cons

  • More expensive than other Z390s 
  • Poor BIOS interface

Common questions about MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC motherboard

Does the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC have dual BIOS?

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC comes with only one BIOS chip. It does, however, have USB BIOS Flashback if things should go wrong.

Will the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC support my i9 without a BIOS update?

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC supports 9th generation i9 processors without a BIOS update. 

Will the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC fit in my NZXT H500 case?

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC is an ATX form factor motherboard and should fit in an NZXT H500 case.

Customer Reviews

“As an experienced PC builder, I find that the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC motherboard is an excellent board with a great load of features.”

G. A. Giordano

5/5 Stars

“The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC installed easily enough. I am only giving it three stars because the MSI software is very clunky and not easy to use.”

Trey

3/5 Stars 

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