MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
Rip those threads
NPRICE $ 639 www.msi.com.au ow that AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper is tearing up tasks with its 16 cores and 32 threads, we’re starting to see more compatible X399 motherboards with the requisite TR4 socket hit store shelves. The latest is MSI’s X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, and it delivers everything a Threadripper owner could need without charging the Earth.
This an ATX motherboard that comes with four full length PCIe x16 lanes and twin single length PCIe x1 lane. Thanks to the X399’s vast PCIe 3.0 lane count, MSI has been able to included three M.2 SSD slots, each one nestled between the full-length PCIe lanes. They all come with a heatshield, but only the centre one will take the longest SSDs, with the other two limited to 2280 form factor.
Like most high-end boards, there’s no need to install the I/ O cover during install, as it’s already mounted. It covers a mass of USB ports, w ith eight Gen 1 type A, one Gen 2 Type C and one Gen 2 Type A. If you’ve got peripherals, this board can handle them all. There’s also another header for extra USB ports if you need even more. Alongside these is a clear CMOS button along with a BIOS flashback button, as well as five 3.5mm stereo minijacks and a single S/PDIF output.
These audio ports are powered by MSI’s ‘Audio Boost 4’ solution, but there’s no mention of which Realtek codec it’s based on. We’re guessing it’s the latest version though, as the version 3 of this solution used the Realtek ALC1150. As with every other motherboard manufacturer, MSI has loaded with this high-end amps and capacitors to ensure the cleanest sound, and also exclusively uses Nahimic 2 software to deploy virtual surround and allow for different sound profiles. It’s also loaded to the brim with different RGB lighting zones, which MSI calls the ‘Mystic’ lighting system, and works with most competing lighting solutions.
An Intel Gigabit LAN port is used f or connectivity, but there’s no integrated Wi-Fi, a shame at this pric e point. MSI includes its own QoS software to ensure game and video traffic ge ts the lion’s share of the bandwidth. When it comes to overclocking, this board has a superb range of f eatures. Onboard power and reset buttons are included, next to the rotating dial that automatically adjusts the CPU multiplier. When compared to the Asus board used in our initial testing of the X399, the MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC came out on top by
when it comes to overclocking, this board has a superb range of features
around 5%. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to test overclocking, but we’re confident it’ll do well given MSI’s reputation.
At just $640, this board is very affordable for such a powerful platform. It just goes to show that when AMD steps up to the plate, huge advances in price versus performance can be made, and the MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is a fine example.