MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Motherboard Review

I am not into gaming, but I know that many of you are so I wanted to share this latest computer hardware review.  The MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Motherboard looks like quite a beast.  I have had a couple of customers buy MSI gaming computers to use as desktop computers and the result is quite nice.  When you set up your Windows 10 installation on a SSD Solid State Drive and have a HDD to store you data on, You will get optimal performance.  10-15 second boot times are now a reality with this kind of a set up. I have shared this computer tip with a few other customers when they were looking to upgrade and so far everyone has been very happy.

We’ve been testing AMD’s Threadripper and Socket TR4 over the past couple of months in between our X370 and B350 motherboard reviews featuring the Ryzen processor.

 

We’ve come to realize the potential of the high-end desktop platform and its caveats, and it’s time to expose what we’ve discovered in this next series of X399 motherboard reviews. And so we begin. PCIe, cores, and memory capacity are Threadripper’s big selling points.

 

AMD touts this platform as ideal for streamers, content creators, and professionals looking to speed up and multitask workloads in high-end desktop PCs.

 

To get there, AMD pieces together two Ryzen die onto a single chip to form a dual-chip module (DCM). This DCM enables multiple bricks of CCX (CPU Complex), Infinity Fabric , and of course gobs of direct attach PCIe and quad-channel memory.

 

The X399 chipset handles remaining I/O, storage, and system needs. Because Threadripper is a massive chip with an abundance of built-in I/O, X399 has the straightforward goal of filling in the platform gaps. USB 2.0, native USB 3.1 Gen1, native USB 3.1 Gen2, large quantities of SATA3, and PCIe Gen2 can all be harnessed by motherboard manufacturers to provide additional device connections.

 

It will be very interesting to see how different vendors pick and choose these options. Specifications MSI X399: First Foray into the Core Counts On paper, X399 and Threadripper represent a potent combo.

 

Cut from the same cloth as MSI’s other Performance Gaming boards, the X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC ships with all of the bells and whistles we expect from a top-tier board. The contents of the box are abundant, and a bulk of the cabling is delivered in a drawstring bag rather than plastic.

 

Typical box contents include a driver CD, motherboard documentation, quick install guide, and SATA stickers. Unique to this MSI X399: a dual-card, high-bandwidth SLI bridge; an RGB splitter extension cable; mounting screws; USB extension; case badge; OC fan mounting hardware; and multiple sets of exchangeable covers for the various name plates around the board.

 

One item deserves its own five minutes of fame: A break-out PCIe card that houses the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 WiFi module and antenna headers. This solution occupies a lone PCIe x1 slot and a USB 2.0 header on the board.

 

We’d recommend populating it in the bottom x1 slot. If you’re using SLI or three dual-slot PCIe cards, you’re forced to put the card into the bottom x16 slot, which is less than ideal. However, you also don’t have to use it. And it can be used in any other PC you’ve got.

 

Don’t be fooled by the silver-lined PCIe slots, which aren’t all Gen3 x16. The first and third slots are wired for true x16 connections, while the second and fourth slots are wired for x8. As such, you should plug SLI or Crossfire into PCI_E1 and PCI_E4. Beyond that, you get two x1 PCIe slots.

 

Through some clever slot placement, creative builders can consider the potential for capture cards and additional high-performance network or storage controllers. Another feather in the cap for X399 is its ability to expose PCIe lanes for up to three native NVMe Gen3 x4 solid state drives.

 

These cards are housed beneath each of the top three x16 slots, and as an added bonus you get M.2 heat shield plates. We use the Toshiba RD400 in all of our test beds, so we can’t commit to any vendor’s cooling solution to verify the effectiveness of the shields, but they are removable using an interesting hinge mechanism. After getting the more prominent features out of […]

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