MSI MAG Z690 Carbon WiFi Review


MSI MAG Z690 Carbon WiFi Preview


One thing that our testing has revealed is how close all of the Z690 motherboards are. This has been something which has been true of a lot of recent launches, which is beneficial for the purchaser as you get the opportunity to choose a product which fits your budget, feature and aesthetic requirements without feeling forced into a particular product.

The MSI Carbon range has long been a solid choice in the middle of the market. Not having quite the same flagship feature set as models in the MSI MEG range, but neither has everything been scrapped in the quest for a low MSRP.

As time has passed so MSI seem to be backing away somewhat from the Carbon effect which gives the Z690 Carbon WiFi its name, instead having just enough so that it's obvious, without dominating proceedings. On the Z690 it is really only there on the bottom of the chipset heatsink, and the IO shield section at the top left. We are fans of the removal of any colour at all too, as some earlier Carbons had either red or gold on them, the newest addition to the range is stark by comparison.

For those of you who want to get on board with the 12th Gen Intel CPUs without having to necessarily blow the budget on a motherboard you'll be pleased to see the comprehensive feature set of the MAG Carbon. One area that usually gets trimmed down is the amount of fan headers on board, but the Carbon has them liberally placed across the PCB. We count eight, and that's enough for even the most demanding user, before we take into account the idea of using a fan splitter to further increase your options. All the 'Gen 5' features are in place too. There are two PCI Express 5.0 slots as well as a single PCIe 3.0, and support for DDR5 of speeds up to a whopping, Revelations aping, 6666 MHz. Networking is available using either the 2.5G Intel I225-V LAN or the Intel Wi-Fi 6E, and that comes complete with the latest Bluetooth standard, 5.2, for long-range connectivity.

Performance as very much where we would expect, too. It's a very solid effort largely sitting in the middle of our graphs. Admittedly there isn't much between the top and bottom results we have, but the Carbon is consistent. The only title we found gave up a result outside of our expectations was Civilization VI Turn Time, and even that was related to a problem MSI were aware of and will have a BIOS fix available by the time the board is launched. Naturally we're limited by time in the amount of testing we can do, so we had to stick to what was available to us.

If the launch of the LGA1700 socket, Z690 chipset and 12th Generation Intel CPUs has whetted your appetite for a new system then you could do worse than consider the MSI MAG Z690 Carbon WiFi. It has all the connectivity you need, reliable performance and an unobtrusive aesthetic at a relatively affordable price tag and wins our OC3D Approved Award.

 MSI MAG Z690 Carbon WiFi Review  

Discuss the MSI MAG Z690 Carbon WiFi on the OC3D Forums.


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