MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon Review

When the MSI MPG Z390 Z360 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard landed on our desks, we had to draw straws to decide who was going to review it. While the board certainly looks good, the lack of onboard Wi-Fi and distinguishing features meant we didn’t have much enthusiasm to sink our teeth into this piece of machinery.

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon Review

But we decided to give it a fair shakedown to find out what the MSI’s gurus did to make this board worth your attention.

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 Pro Carbon (Our Review)

Overall Assessment 

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon comes at less of a price than the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. It comes with guns blazing, packed with features, RGB-ready, and excellent overclock support.

Supported Processors

Fortunately, the MPG Z390 Pro has a wider range of supported processors than some of its MSI siblings. The MSI Z370 Gaming Plus, for one, is famous for its limited CPU socket. 

The LGA 1151 socket allows for both new and old CPUs. Budget DIY builders will love this as it allows them to build a rig according to their budget. 

As Core i9’s are saturating the market, their price has dropped, making it a fantastic companion to this motherboard. 

If you’re one of those people who don’t use Intel processors, head on over to our MSI B450i Gaming Plus AC review. It’s an equally powerful AMD motherboard that won’t disappoint.

RAM

This board is topped at a massive 128GB of system memory and with overclocking speeds of up to 4400MHz. It offers far better performance than the mere 64GB found on the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC

While it may not sound like a lot, the real-world implications are pretty profound. If you render videos, this increase in RAM will make everything go faster. Hardcore gamers can also expect a dramatic frame rate improvement with more RAM.

Peripherals

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon comes with all the essential peripheral support. Besides the 6x standard SATA 3 ports, we also get 2x M.2 connectors. This is more than enough for the average user, allowing plenty of solid-state storage to keep your computer fast. 

A good number of USB ports, 15 in total, should also be enough to connect any external devices. This borders on excessive, as we can’t think of any configuration where the average user will need more the 10. On the plus side, you could use them to host the world’s largest hotseat Worms game.

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

Graphics

We get 3x PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots to use in either an NVidia SLI or an AMD CrossFire environment. 

Using multiple graphics cards make this motherboard future-proof, which makes it a valuable investment that can keep you going for a good few years at least.

Not only does this keep your motherboard useful for years to come, but the SLI arrangement also massively boosts graphical fidelity and processing power. You’ll see a noticeable improvement in screen-tearing and frame rates.

Audio and Networking

This motherboard is decked out with some of the best audio around. Once again, MSI relies on the Realtek ALC1220 codec to provide quality audio. It delivers HD sound across 7.1 channels.

Aesthetics

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of MSI’s carbon fiber design. Use the Mystic Light software to beautify your rig further. The sharp-edged heatsinks pop with a bit of RGB color coordination. 

Conclusion

MSI proved us wrong and showed us that the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon is a great motherboard. It provides users with exquisite looks and incredibly rock-solid performance. 

If you have the budget and are brave enough, check out the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi which is even bigger.

Pros

  • Beautiful carbon fiber design
  • Mystic Light compatible
  • Excellent overclocking
  • Stylish heatsinks
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

  • BIOS is clumsy
  • Expensive

Common questions about MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard

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

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC comes with onboard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It’s also slightly more expensive than the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon. If you look at performance, they are both mid to high-end motherboards.

How many fan headers does the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon have?

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon has 7 fan headers. The fan headers let you connect various fans and coolers to keep your rig operating at lower temperatures.

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

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

Customer Reviews

“I bought the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon because of its great reviews, and it lives up to them. Easy to install, and everything is working fine.”

NIK.

5/5 Stars

“The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon is a fine motherboard, if not overpriced. It was also an LED disaster. I had to struggle to find out how to switch off the RGB LEDs.”

Nelson

3/5 Stars 

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