MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Review

We’ve been looking forward to getting our hands on the beautiful MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard for some time. It’s by far one of the best-looking motherboards we’ve seen.

The main question, though, is whether the Z390 is still as powerful behind its beautiful exterior. Can we expect the same remarkable results we saw in our MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC review

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Review

On the topic of performance, what’s the difference between this motherboard and the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon?

Let’s find out what the brains at MSI have in store for us.

MSI MPG Intel Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC ATX DDR4-SDRAM Motherboard
  • 64GB Dual DDR4-SDRAM
  • ATX form factor
  • Ports: 2 x USB2.0, 3 x USB3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB3.1 Type-C, 1 x LAN (RJ-45), 1 x PS/2, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPorts
  • Chipset: Intel Z390
  • Supports 9th / 8th Gen Intel Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron processors for LGA 1151

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC (Our Review)

Overall Assessment 

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is the second-most expensive Z390 MSI motherboard available, and you get some impressive firepower for your money. 

This motherboard is packed with all the essentials, from RGB LEDs to excellent overclocking. It seems to tick all the important boxes without breaking a sweat.

Supported Processors

The LGA 1151 socket will let you install most processors, going as small as a Pentium G4560 CPU. But you’re best off going big with this mid to high-tier motherboard, and investing in the most recent CPU will get the most from your components.

Considering its price and the superb performance you can get from the 9th and 8th generation CPUs from Intel, it’s a no-brainer that this board cranks out some of the best performance around. 

If you insist on an AMD processor, this board is not for you. Instead, read our MSI B450i Gaming Plus AC review

RAM

Gone are the days of being limited to a mere 64GB of DDR4 RAM. If you’re dedicated enough, you can attempt to max out the RAM on this system at 128GB. Overclocking your memory is also possible, and we’ve seen speeds of up to 4400MHz. 

This amount of RAM is a significant improvement over the 64GB in the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC. This translates into less time spent waiting for files to render or dealing with lower FPS.

Peripherals

There’s a reason this motherboard falls into the popular Gaming Pro range. It offers users some excellent peripheral support and ample expansion options which allows gamers to hook up all their shiny, high-tech equipment. 

There are 6x standard SATA ports, 2x M.2 connectors, and more USB ports than you can shake a stick. This satisfying range of peripheral support makes this motherboard good value for money.

MSI MPG Intel Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC ATX DDR4-SDRAM Motherboard
  • 64GB Dual DDR4-SDRAM
  • ATX form factor
  • Ports: 2 x USB2.0, 3 x USB3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB3.1 Type-C, 1 x LAN (RJ-45), 1 x PS/2, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPorts
  • Chipset: Intel Z390
  • Supports 9th / 8th Gen Intel Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron processors for LGA 1151

Graphics

If you plan on a multi-graphic system, you’re in luck. It comes with 3x PCIe x 16 slots, which are perfect for NVidia SLI and AMD CrossFire. 

You don’t have to worry about damaging your graphics cards during installation. MSI included the PCI-E Steel Armor to reinforce the PCIe slots. This is perfect for new graphics cards, as they all seem to get heavier and bulkier every year, and the reinforced slots will be more than able to hold them in place.

Audio and Networking

This board includes onboard WiFi and Bluetooth, unlike the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon. Including these features means we don’t have to fork to expand our connectivity. 

Onboard Wi-Fi makes cable management in your new gaming room effortless. At the end of the day, we’re just happy that we have the option available.

MSI included the Realtek ALC1220 codec which controls the sound output. It delivers noticeably better quality audio that complements the prestige of our new rig.

Aesthetics

We could quite easily write an entire novel about how much we love the look of this board. MSI changed our expectations about the way motherboards look with an incredibly stylish carbon fiber design.

Several RGB Headers and zones can be customized using the Mystic Light software. Tweaking the lights further emphasizes the sharp edges of the stylish heatsinks. Users can comfortably show off with an open side panel case, knowing that their motherboard is a work of art.

Conclusion

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is a powerful motherboard waiting to be paired up with a new Core i9 processor. 

It delivers exquisite looks and rock-solid performance, albeit at a bigger price, with all the gaming-ready features we’ve come to expect from MSI. 

Pros

  • Carbon fiber design
  • Full RGB support
  • Excellent overclocking
  • Beautiful heatsinks
  • Onboard Bluetooth
MSI MPG Intel Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC ATX DDR4-SDRAM Motherboard
  • 64GB Dual DDR4-SDRAM
  • ATX form factor
  • Ports: 2 x USB2.0, 3 x USB3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB3.1 Type-C, 1 x LAN (RJ-45), 1 x PS/2, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPorts
  • Chipset: Intel Z390
  • Supports 9th / 8th Gen Intel Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron processors for LGA 1151

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Poor BIOS interface

Common questions about MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard

What is the difference between the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC and the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon?

The main difference is that the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon lacks onboard WiFi and Bluetooth. It is also slightly cheaper than the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. Performance-wise they are both equally great motherboards.

Does the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC support PCIe 3.0?

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC supports PCIe 3.0. It comes with 3x PCIe x 16 slots to use in a multi-graphics environment.

What is the size of the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard?

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is a standard ATX-sized motherboard. That means it is 9.6in. x 12in. (24.3 cm x 30.4 cm) in size. This motherboard will fit in most standard cases.

Customer Reviews

“I used the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC in a build for my girlfriend. It is a flawless motherboard, and installation was pretty straightforward with no surprises.”

David B.

5/5 Stars

“The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is a good motherboard but comes with horrible Bluetooth. All my devices disconnect after a minute or two. It is almost as if this board doesn’t have Bluetooth. That’s how bad it is.”

Josh

3/5 Stars 

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