MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Preview
Published: 7th June 2017 | Source: MSI | Price: |
With this much technology crammed onto the PCB it isn't a surprise to see the packaging groaning under the weight of trademarked logos and feature sub-sections. Most of us don't buy our hardware from physical stores any more, but it is still nice to see the manufacturers taking the effort to explain why you should pick this particular one from the virtual shelf.
We don't know if ASUS have trademarked the idea of a built in IO shield, but we expect they must have as it's such a great idea we would hope to find it on every motherboard around. When you build systems as often as we do your fingertips will thank you for not having to press another sharp piece of aluminium into an unforgiving space. WiFi has taken over the planet and it's great to see the Carbon coming with two antennae and built in WiFi support. It's amazing how much freer you are when your PC isn't tied to the corner of your room nearest the phone jack.
The Carbon itself looks freaking epic. We've seen the gradual introduction of steel reinforced slots throughout the past couple of generations but here it reaches its zenith with everything getting the reinforced treatment. We absolutely love the carbon highlights too. It is easy to go too heavy on a Carbon effect, as anyone who has been near a teenagers car will know, but this is just a beautiful detail touch on an already excellent looking motherboard, rather than the lipstick on a pig it could otherwise become.
As systems grow ever more powerful so our cooling requirements become even greater, and the MSI Carbon has dedicated pump headers, umpteen fan headers and the all important heatspreaders on the dual M.2 slots to ensure that you can keep your rig working at peak efficiency no matter how harsh the load placed upon it.
Just look at the work put in around the CPU socket and how clean it is. We're so used to capacitors looking like they were placed on the PCB with the same care at which a child plays pin the tail on the donkey, or even a blind man plays darts, so to see all the black CAPs lined up in perfect formation warms our cold cold hearts.
Around the back you can see how USB 3.0, and even 3.1, is quickly relegating USB 2.0 into the history books. As people who have every USB port filled and even need to make decisions about what we want plugged in all the time and what can be plugged in on a need basis, the more USB ports the merrier for us and we laud the decision to go with so many high bandwidth, higher power USB 3.0 ports on the new X299 chipset.