MSI Z370 GAM­ING pro CAR­BON AC

HWM (Philippines) - - Test -

MSI’S Z370 Gam­ing Pro Car­bon AC is the most af­ford­able board of the lot at just $349. It’s worth men­tion­ing that MSI does have higher-end Z370 boards avail­able, but we weren’t able to se­cure one for this shootout.

That said, the Z370 Gam­ing Pro Car­bon AC is more a mid-range board with a fo­cus on aes­thet­ics. There are lit­er­ally lights ev­ery­where, with LEDS built into the VRM and PCH heatsinks, un­der the board, and an LED light trail that traces the path of the au­dio cir­cuitry.

What’s more, the board fea­tures a to­tal of four RGB head­ers, in­clud­ing two that sup­port in­di­vid­u­ally ad­dress­able LEDS. One of the lat­ter was also de­signed specif­i­cally for Cor­sair LED strips, part of an MSI and Cor­sair col­lab­o­ra­tion.

There’s also a ded­i­cated fan header for use with Cor­sair’s Hy­dro se­ries cool­ers and their Cor­sair Link fea­ture. While MSI’S de­ci­sion to fo­cus on Cor­sair hard­ware can be ques­tioned, as it shoe­horns users into pick­ing a sin­gle brand. How­ever, at least it en­sures the pair­ing will work, es­pe­cially if you’re al­ready a Cor­sair fan.

Still, MSI has done a great job of cram­ming as much value as it can into what is a very at­trac­tive pack­age. For in­stance, the on­board Wi-fi is a nice touch, as some of the pricier boards don’t have this. It’s also equipped with plenty of USB ports on the back, in­clud­ing USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-c and Type-a ports, four USB 3.1 (Gen 1), and two USB 2.0 ports.

Stor­age ex­pan­sion op­tions are also on par with the com­pe­ti­tion, and you get metal-re­in­forced PCIE and DIMM slots and an M.2 heatsink as well.

Hav­ing said that, the Z370 Gam­ing Pro Car­bon AC isn’t the best board for en­thu­si­asts. Like the Asrock board, there are no power or re­set but­tons, and it’s also miss­ing a de­bug LED dis­play. There isn’t a USB 3.1 (Gen 2) front panel con­nec­tor ei­ther, so you’re out of luck if your case sup­ports this.

Fur­ther­more, over­clock­ing per­for­mance is de­cent, but it isn’t quite as good as what ASUS and Gi­ga­byte offer. Over­all, this is a good board for the mass mar­ket and those who can’t get enough of RGB LEDS, but not hard­core en­thu­si­asts.

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