MSI Z390 MEG Ace Review
Published: 19th October 2018 | Source: MSI | Price: |
Any time a manufacturer decides to take a famous model from their range - in this case the MPOWER - and throw it away and start with a brand new model name it's always a dangerous route. All eyes are upon them to discover how the new one fares. If that product is successful then all is well and good and we'll quickly forget the older model as we're wowed by something new and shiny. Otherwise known as the "what Wii-U? Look, a Switch" concept. If, however, it isn't a roaring success then everyone is left bitter at what they've lost and wondering why anything has to change. This is known as Grand Turismo Sport syndrome. With the X399 MEG Creation MSI absolutely knocked it out of the park, producing a motherboard which was easily the equal of anything else on the market. That boded well for the Z390 MEG Ace. Was it a success? We'd have to say an unqualified one.
If you've been enthusiastic enough about the launch of the 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9900K CPU and the Z390 chipset to have read all of today's content then you'll know that the performance across the board is a seriously consistent thing. Whether stock or overclocked the results in every test, every benchmark, have been so tightly grouped that we'd almost say they were within error tolerance. Equally everything from the little Strix ITX to the full on MSI MEG Ace managed to squeeze 5 GHz on all eight cores from our i9-9900K. Thus if you're in the mood for some overclocking fun and games you're covered whatever you buy. However, just like the Maximus XI Extreme had AI Suite overclocking that let those of you with less experience or confidence obtain those overclocks, so the MEG has the OC Dial which lets you gradually turn up the heat without needing to delve into the BIOS. Naturally you have to make sure that you've got a good cooler - AIO a must - but it's nice to get free performance and the MEG Ace delivers it in spades. If you're willing to put the time in with a manual overclock the results are even better. Okay 40 MHz isn't going to set the world alight, but world records have been broken with less and throughout our testing the MSI Z390 MEG Ace found itself at the top of the graphs. Once or twice could be a lucky run, to do so all the way through speaks of excellent build quality and consistent performance.
If you're the type of person who can't sleep at night unless your system has plenty of future-proofing built into it then you'll happily zed the night away if you have the MSI Z390 MEG Ace. As well as all the new Z390 features - USB 3.1 Gen2, AC Dual WiFi - the MEG has extra slots and headers wherever you look. Not satisfied with giving you one USB 3.1 front panel header, the MEG has two. If you demand speedy storage then there are three M.2 slots available to populate with the 3GB/s beasts over which we all lust. Should you still have normal storage hanging around then there are six SATA slots for that too. Add to all that a Killer E2500 LAN, steel armour on all the slots from DIMM to PCI Express, plenty of RGB LED headers along with umpteen fan and pump headers so that your system stays as cool as it looks, and even the new Mystic Light Infinity in the combined IO shield and heatsink. Wherever you look on the PCB, whatever your requirements, the MSI Z390 MEG Ace can supply it.
Combining great looks, rugged build quality, easy and powerful overclocking tools and fabulous performance the MSI Z390 MEG Ace wins our OC3D Enthusiast Award.