MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Review
Published: 20th November 2017 | Source: MSI | Price: |
The MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC continues the trend of the MSI Carbon range proving fantastic looks and great performance at a very attractive price point.
We'll start with the performance, which initially seemed slightly disappointing. The overclocking results were good but our early benchmarks seemed to show a slight lack of leading edge speed at stock in the calculation heavy benchmarks. However, as we moved past the synthetic ones into those which have a basis more in the real world and the types of application that you'll be using the Carbon for the results improved tremendously. PC Mark, always a stern test of a system as a whole, showed excellent results with the MSI Z370 topping the graph in one of them, whilst Passmark - which tests the entire system in a manner akin to PC Mark but goes about it a slightly different way - had both stock and overclocked Gaming Pro Carbon ACs at the very peak of the graph. For the majority of users though the real task is gaming, and here the Carbon showed what a powerhouse it can be with the stock and overclocked results up amongst the heavy hitters.
So we know the performance is great, how about the aesthetics?
We don't think we're giving away any secrets to say that we've always liked the looks of the MSI Carbon range, and particularly their recent models which combine some tasteful silver accents to, ahem, accentuate the carbon effect. Additionally the Carbon has the MSI "Mystic Light" tech on board which provides support for RGB and Rainbow LED strips, whilst also having three distinct lighting sections on the PCB itself. All of which combine with the silver slot supports on the DIMM and top two PCI Express slots to have a motherboard which is very pleasing to the eye.
It isn't only in looks and performance that there is much to savour, as MSI have festooned the Carbon with plenty of connectivity options to cover your high bandwidth requirements. 3 PCI Express 3.0 slots are supported by dual M.2 slots for those blisteringly fast NVMe SSDs we all dream of, whilst 10 USB 3.1 ports split between Gen1 Type A and Gen2 type A and C help provide you with all the power and bandwidth that modern USB devices require. If you've got some older hardware that is less demanding then there are 6 USB 2.0 ports to help extend your connectivity options. It says a lot about how ubiquitous USB has become that we need so many to handle the plethora of peripherals at our disposal, and it's nice that MSI cater to those who own more than just a keyboard and mouse.
The MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC looks the part, performs very well and isn't going to break the bank, all of which is enough to win it our OC3D Enthusiast Award.