MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus Review

MSI has been very hit-and-miss with their Z390 motherboards, and we hope that the new MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus motherboard will be better. It seems to offer us valuable features and performance at a comfortable mid-range price.

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus Review

Only a detailed review of this motherboard will tell whether it’s any good, which is exactly what we aim to do. We take a look at its features, performance, and aesthetics.

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2 USB 3.1...
  • 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
  • 2x TURBO M.2, Intel Optane Memory Ready. Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2, Extended Heatsink
  • Intel CNVi Ready: Supports Intel CNVi Wi-Fi module, IEEE802.11 AC wave2
  • Built for esports, streaming, and gaming.Operating system:Support for Windows 10 64-bit

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus (Our Review)

Overall Assessment 

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus is a strange motherboard. It doesn’t look as great as the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. It doesn’t even offer any additional features as the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC did. The only redeemable quality may be the fact that it’s slightly less expensive. 

Supported Processors

Intel’s LGA 1151 socket lets you install anything from an overpowered Core i9 to a humble Pentium G4560. This compatibility suits the Z390 range pretty well, as it gives you enough freedom to build according to your specific budget and ambitions.

Fans of AMD chipsets should head over to our MSI B450i Gaming Plus AC review

RAM

Dedicated number-crunchers will be happy that the RAM can overclock to 4400MHz. This speed, coupled with the maximum system memory of 64GB, is great. It’s far more than what you get on similarly priced motherboards. 

Peripherals

The Z390 Gaming Plus comes with great peripheral support, from ample USB ports to 6x SATA ports and 2x M.2 connectors. 

This support allows you to connect a variety of devices simultaneously. There are 11 USB ports to choose from, so the likelihood of you running out is slim.

Graphics

The Z390 Gaming Plus comes with fewer PCIe slots than the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC. This limits how useful AMD CrossFire systems can be. 

While two graphics cards are better than one, we still think that power users would have loved installing more graphics cards onto this motherboard.

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2 USB 3.1...
  • 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
  • 2x TURBO M.2, Intel Optane Memory Ready. Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2, Extended Heatsink
  • Intel CNVi Ready: Supports Intel CNVi Wi-Fi module, IEEE802.11 AC wave2
  • Built for esports, streaming, and gaming.Operating system:Support for Windows 10 64-bit

Audio and Networking

The biggest surprise is found looking at the Z390’s networking capability. MSI included onboard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The inclusion of Wi-Fi means this motherboard can be used in all kinds of setups. 

Users can easily set up their computers without having to worry about setting up routers and dealing with ethernet cables all over the place.

We were equally happy to find the Realtek ALC1220 codec driving the audio. This codec is superior to the cheaper ALC891, and it delivers noticeably better quality sound. This should satisfy the most demanding of DJs and music enthusiasts.

Aesthetics

We loved the carbon fiber look found on the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. This design shows us that motherboards can be much more than just a functional piece of equipment, they can be beautiful too.

Unfortunately, MSI decked out the MPG Z390 Gaming Plus in standard red and black. We get 2x RGB headers to customize our rig. Luckily, the heatsinks aren’t ugly, with futuristic, sharp angles. 

Conclusion

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus doesn’t offer anything special that we haven’t seen from MSI’s Z390 range. The only real difference is the inclusion of onboard Wi-Fi. 

It’s still an excellent motherboard, especially when paired with the latest i9 processor. Yet, we’ve come to expect new, exciting things from MSI, and this motherboard offers only reliable regulars.

Pros

  • Lots of fan headers
  • Reliable overclocking
  • Beautiful heatsinks
  • Onboard Bluetooth
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2 USB 3.1...
  • 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
  • 2x TURBO M.2, Intel Optane Memory Ready. Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2, Extended Heatsink
  • Intel CNVi Ready: Supports Intel CNVi Wi-Fi module, IEEE802.11 AC wave2
  • Built for esports, streaming, and gaming.Operating system:Support for Windows 10 64-bit

Cons

  • No NVidia SLI support
  • Poorly designed BIOS interface

Common questions about MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus motherboard

Is it possible to turn off the LEDs on the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus?

You can switch off the onboard LEDs using the MSI Dragon software.

Will the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus support my next generation 2080 graphics card?

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus supports a 2080 GPU. The PCIe slot is also steel-reinforced. This reinforcement makes installing heavy graphics cards, more manageable as the motherboard won’t bend under the added weight.

Does the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus come with a DVI-I port or a DVI-D port?

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus comes with a DVI-D port on the back I/O panel. DVI-I ports are primarily used with older monitors. Power-users aren’t going to get much out of it, since you don’t want to play the latest AAA games on a monitor that can’t deliver high resolution.

Customer Reviews

“It is the first time in five years that I’ve purchased a motherboard. The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus works well with my i5 and Corsair Vengeance RAM.”

D. Jackson

5/5 Stars

“The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus is great, but installing an Intel copper-core heatsink is difficult as some of the caps can be in the way.”

JR

3/5 Stars 

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