MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon Review
The MSI Gaming Pro Carbon is a seriously affordable take on the Z270 formula, but without cutting out any of the big features. Indeed it is one of the great boons about this latest iteration of the Intel chipset that so very much of the featureset is built into the chipset that manufacturers are free to pare it to the bone to make it affordable to the masses without compromises the end user experience.
The Carbon has plenty of things to excite the gamers in the audience. Besides its obvious affordability it looks fantastic with the all black PCB and heatsink design, utilising mock carbon fibre which actually suits it well, rather than the Halfords car accessory style you got off an Aunt for xmas. In addition to this MSI have really pushed the boat out with the lighting on the Carbon. More than perhaps any other motherboard we have seen there are loads are sections of the Carbon which light up, in any colour you like and any combination of your choosing. It's fantastic, and if you want a motherboard that looks spectacular when it is on and really brings excitement to your internals then we think this is the one to have.
Performance is plenty good enough for all but the most demanding users. With any of the modern Intel motherboards even the basic options still provide a lot of heft thanks to the consistent chipset performance and the MSI Carbon is no exception. No it probably wont win any overclocking competitions, but you'll also never feel that it is the part of your system that is letting you down.
There are only a couple of negatives, but both of them are easy fixes. Firstly we were very annoyed that the fan profile only allowed us to go down to 50%. 50% is about as fast as we ever run our fans, so having that as a baseline was a disappointment. Secondly the BIOS on our pre-release sample had the issues that one would expect to find on a very early offering. If MSI's history is anything to go by this will get rectified eventually but we have always prided ourselves on being honest with our experiences and can only go on what we've tested. So although it may not be an issue by the time yours arrives through the post or fixed soon after, we have to mention it.
The MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon is a great buy if you're looking to get onto the Kaby Lake train for a modest investment, having all the key Z270 features backed up by some pretty good on-board lighting.