- Socket: LGA 1151
- Chipset: Intel Z390
- RAM Slots: 4x DIMM
- RAM: 64GB @ 4,500 MHz (OC)
- Connectivity: Intel Wireless-AC 9560, Killer E2500 Gigabit LAN
- Ports: 9x USB Type-A, 1x USB Type-C (Rear)
- Others: Audio Boost HD, Game Boost, Mystic Light Infinity
- Size: ATX
- Mystic Light Infinity
The MSI MEG Z390 ACE is one of the latest motherboards from MSI to use Intel’s 8th Gen 9000 series processors. It will be slotted between the other motherboards within the MEG series, but judging by what it offers, it can also be placed in between the GODLIKE and Gaming series. Speculations aside, let’s just dive into what this motherboard offers. We tested it with the Intel Core i7 8700K processor, so our scores will vary compared to those that use it with the more powerful Intel 9000 series processors.
Once unboxed, the first thing you would notice is probably the new Mystic Light Infinity I/O shroud along with the ACE logo on the right side of the board. Mystic Light Infinity most likely incorporates a few mirrors in the build to show off the RGB to simulate a sort of endless lighting on the shield – definitely a unique and new take on the regular RGB lighting that we have nowadays. The board also features a black and metal design philosophy to give it a more classy look.
That aside, you have your regular offerings in four DIMM slots and three PCI-E slots that are all reinforced. The board is also fitted with three turbo M.2 slots that are Intel Optane ready. To assist you with gaming, the board supports AMD 3-Way Crossfire and NVIDIA SLI. If that amount of power is insufficient to you, MSI provided Core Boost and Game Boost as well that allows for easy overclocking with just the turn of the knob. Manual overclocking is still safer, but if you wish to explore more overclocking, then that option is there. Audio Boost HD is also present, allowing you immerse yourself in the game with high quality sound right out of the box, without any need for external DAC or AMP.
In the package, you can also find a Wi-Fi antenna that you can use to save yourself the hassle of laying out a LAN cable. However, you won’t find the I/O Shield in the box as it is already fixed onto the board itself. If you wish to fit the board into a new chassis that has access to USB Type-C ports, you can do so too, as the board has two front USB Type-C controllers.
Firing up the motherboard was easy enough, with clear cut labels on the side of the components and on the board. You can also spot a power and reset button that helps with people that prefer to store their motherboards in the open. From what we can gather, the board offers plenty of features for those that want a powerful gaming motherboard that does not look too gaudy, while allowing access for easy overclocking with no fuss – all you need is a turn of that knob.
CHIP CONCLUDE: A great motherboard with a stylish design and decent amount of overclocking features that allows for easy overclocking via Game Boost.
(to be published in issue October 2018)