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MSI Meg x570 Ace Review

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Introduction

For many years, Intel has been the industry leader for high-end CPUs with little to no competition. That all changed when AMD released its new Ryzen architecture, which brought huge improvements over Bulldozer and put them back on the map for high-end computing. Ryzen is now on its 3rd generation of architecture changes which boosts 7nm chiplet design, IPC improvements, improved power consumption, PCIe 4.0, and a new x570 chipset.

If you are looking to get everything x570 has to offer, MSI has you covered with their new motherboard, the MEG X570 ACE. The MEG ACE brings features such as a server-grade PCB, PCI-e / DDR4 Armor, 12+2+1 IR digital power, DDR4 support up to 5000+ MHz, Dual 2.5G LAN ports, and 3 x PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots with Frozr M.2 shields all for an MSRP of $369.99.

 

MSI’s Take on MEG X570 ACE

Unique infinity and high-class golden design with rich specifications. Win games and set records with 12+2+1 IR digital power, Mystic Light Infinity, Triple Lightning M.2 with Shield Frozr, Audio Boost HD, Game Boost, and dual LAN with 2.5G gaming LAN plus WIFI 6 solution.

  • Supports 2nd and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ / Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics and 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Graphics Desktop Processors for AM4 socket
  • Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 5000+(OC) MHz
  • Mystic Light Infinity: Customize and set up your own color scheme with MSI Mystic Light, combining exclusive mirror reflection to generate the special endless light effects; the ACE makes your system come alive and infinity.
  • Lightning Fast Game experience: PCIe 4.0, Triple Lightning Gen4 x4 M.2 with M.2 Shield Frozr, StoreMI, AMD Turbo USB 3.2 Gen2.
  • Dual LAN with the latest Wi-Fi 6 solution: Onboard 2.5G plus Gigabit LAN with gaming LAN manager, combining the latest Wi-Fi 6 solution which supports MU-MIMO and BSS color technology, delivering the best online gaming experience.
  • Frozr Heatsink Design: Designed with the patented fan and double ball bearings to provide the best performance for enthusiast gamers and prosumers.
  • Extended Heat-pipe Design: Enlarge the surface of heat dissipation, connecting from VRM heatsink to chipset heatsink.
  • Audio Boost HD: Isolated audio with dedicated processor combining ESS audio DAC with an amplifier deliver the breathtaking, game-changing sound to create the most exciting gameplay.

Features and Specifications

SOCKETAM4
CPU (MAX SUPPORT)RYZEN 9
CHIPSETAMD® X570 Chipset
DDR4 MEMORY1866/ 2133/ 2400/ 2667/ 2800/2933 /3000 /3066 /3200 /3466 /3600 /3733 /3866 /4000 /4133 /4266 /4400 /4533 / 4600/ 4733/ 4800/ 5000+ Mhz by JEDEC and A-XMP OC MODE
MEMORY CHANNELDual
DIMM SLOTS4
MAX MEMORY (GB)128
PCI-E X163
PCI-E X12
SATAIII4
M.2 SLOT3
RAID0/1/10
TPM (HEADER)1
LAN1x Intel® WGI211AT Gigabit LAN controller
1x Realtek® RTL8125 2.5 Gbps LAN controller
USB 3.2 PORTS (FRONT)1(Gen2, Type C), 4(Gen1, Type A)
USB 3.2 PORTS (REAR)1(Gen2, Type C), 3(Gen2, Type A), 2(Gen1, Type A)
USB 2.0 PORTS (FRONT)4
USB 2.0 PORTS (REAR)2
AUDIO PORTS (REAR)5+ Optical S/PDIF (Realtek® ALC1220 Codec)
DIRECTX12
FORM FACTORATX
SLIY
CROSSFIREY
OPERATING SYSTEMSupport for Windows® 10 64-bit

 

Packaging and Unboxing

MSI’s MEG X570 ACE arrives in an entirely black box with gold accents. The front of the box sports a futuristic backdrop with the MEG X570 ACE on the right. Toward the lower part of the box, we see that the MEG ACE is Ryzen 2000 and 3000 series compatible and also is PCIe Gen 4.0 ready.

Looking to the back of the box, we get our first looks at the full MEG ACE board showing off its infinity RGB mirror and steel-reinforced PCIe / DDR4 slots. On either side of the photo are some of the MEG’s features, which include:

  • Onboard 2.5G plus Gigabit LAN with the latest Wi-Fi 6 solution
  • Mystic Light Infinity
  • Lightning Gen 4
  • Core Boost
  • Game Boost
  • Frozr Heatsink

At the bottom is also a list of the MEG’s specifications, as well as a photo of its I/O.

Opening the box, we find the MEG ACE enclosed in an anti-static bag, which is stored in a cardboard tray.

Lifting the tray, we find a bunch of goodies that include:

  • User guide
  • Registration card
  • Driver CD
  • Warranty guide
  • Cable labels
  • Bag of accessories

Emptying the contents of the MSI branded bag reveals a Custom MSI Wi-Fi / Bluetooth antenna, MSI Badge, and various SATA/RGB extension cables.

After taking the MSI X570 ACE out of the bag, all that is left is removing the protective film from the board and getting it on our test bench.

A Closer Look

Now that we have unboxed the MSI X570 MEG, we can fully appreciate its black and gold aesthetic. Normally I’m not a fan of gold, but the MSI X570 MEG has just the right amount that doesn’t go over the top.

One of the standout features of the MEG is that it includes custom heatsinks for all 3 of its M.2 slots and a custom Frozr cooler for the X570 chipset. Adding to the overall look of the board, the chipset cooler is nicely accented with a gold MSI dragon.

The MEG ACE is built with three PCIe 4.0 slots with the top being 16x, middle one 8x, and bottom x4. To the left of the expansion slot, is the MEG audio which is covered with some black/gold armor.

At the top of the board is the heatsink for the MEG’s 12 + 2 phase power delivery with the heat pipe extending to the Frozr cooler covering the x570 chipset. The only RGB feature of the MEG ACE can be found attached to the power delivery heatsink which includes an infinity mirror for some added flair.

Like most high-end boards the MEG ACE includes an attached I/O plate with red text identifying each port. The I/O included on the MEG ACE going from left to right are:

  • Clear CMOS / Flash BIOS buttons
  • Wi-FI / Bluetooth antenna connectors
  • PS/2 port
  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen1 ports
  • Gigabit 2.5G Lan port
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A + C ports
  • Gigabit 2.5G Lan port
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports
  • Audio interface including an Optical S/PDIF out

On the side of the board, we find 4 x SATA ports and a side-mounted USB 3.0 connector.

Taking a closer look at the PCIe 4.0 slots, we can see that MSI has reinforced them with steel armor, providing a little extra support for your GPU.

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Also, receiving the armor treatment is the for DDR4 slots, which helps with the stress on the PCB when installing your memory.

Just below the X570 chipset cooler are some added extras, including a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C connector, power/reset button, Game boost knob with 11 positions, and an RGB header.

Nothing much to see on the back with the exception of the pre-installed AM4 bracket that is compatible with AMD Ryzen’s stock cooler.

Once the MEG ACE is installed and powered on, we get our first look at the RGB infinity mirror look, which looks great next to AMD’s Wraith cooler.

System Configuration & BIOS

Outfitting the MSI MEG X570 ACE with an AMD Ryzen 3900x and 16GB of G.Skill Ripjaws V, we booted the board into the MSI Click BIOS 5. If this is your first time entering the BIOS, it defaults to easy mode. In easy mode, you have quick visuals of your current Game Boost setting, whether A-XMP is on/off, specifications of the system, and boot priority. To the left of the screen, we find a navigation menu that includes menu items for CPU, Memory, Storage, Fan Info, Help, M-Flash, Favorites, and Hardware Monitor. Finally, at the bottom of the screen are some quick toggle/indicators for LAN Option ROM, CSM / UEFI, ErP Ready, ACHI / RAID, Indication LED Control, and RGB Light Control.

Starting from the top of the navigation, the CPU menu item displays the current clock of the processor as well as various settings such as CPU base clock, CPU ratio, core count, and CPI core voltage.

Moving to the Memory menu item, much like the CPU, this section displays the setting of your memory modules such as speed, voltage, and timings. It also indicates which slots the memory is installed in on the MEG ACE, with ours installed in DIMMA2 and DIMMB2.

The next section, “Storage” displays what the current storage mode is and which SATA / M2 ports are in use.

In the “Fan Info” section, we can see the configured fan profile as well and the current temperatures/fan speeds for the CPU and motherboard.

On the “Help” menu, we can see the current configuration of the Game Boost knob.

Click the M-Flash button asks you if you wish to reboot the system into “flash mode,” which enables you to update the current BIOS of the board.

If you want quick access to various BIOS settings, this can be done through the “Favorites” button. After clicking “Favorites,” you’re presented with 5 favorite lists that can be used to organize various settings that you may use on a regular basis.

The last button, “Hardware Monitor,” is where you can configure your CPU/System fan speeds and monitor various system temperatures.

If you’re looking to do some overclocking, you can get to the “Advanced” mode by pressing F7. Once there, you have 6 navigation items, which include Settings, OC, M-FLASH, OC Profile, Hardware Monitor, and Board Explorer.

Diving into the “Settings” menu item, you’re presented with 5 additional sections: System Status, Advanced, Boot, Security, and Save & Exit.

Under “Advanced,” you find another menu list to configure settings such as PCI subsystems, ACPI, and Power Management.

In the “PCI Subsystems” section, you can your PCI link speed as well as your chipset gen switch.

Under “ACPI Settings,” you can configure the power LED and CPI over-temperature alert.

Looking at the “Integrated Peripherals” section, you can configure your LAN, SATA, and Audio settings.

Moving to “USB Configuration,” you can enable/disable XHVI Hand’s Off and Legacy Mode.

Under “Power Management,” you can set up various power features such as “Restore after AC Power Loss.”

In the “Windows OS Configuration” section, you can select UEFI or CSM mode for your BIOS.

Under “Wake Up Event Setup,” you can configure your wake-up settings.

The last menu item, “Secure Erase+,” can be used to securely format a given drive.

Moving to the “OC” menu item, which is where you can configure OC settings such as CPU clock speed, CPU voltage, DRAM frequency, and DRAM voltage.

Under the “Advanced CPU Configuration,” you can change various settings for your Ryzen chip such as Precision Boost Overdrive and SMT Control.

Looking at “Clockgen Features” allows you to change various settings of your BCLK.

In the section “Advanced DRAM Configuration,” you can adjust your memory main/sub timings.

Under “DigitALL Power” you can configure various power-related settings such as Load Line Calibration, Over/Under voltage, and VRM temperature protection.

In the “CPU Specifications” section is a readout of all the specifications of the installed CPU with ours being the AMD Ryzen 3900x.

Looking at “Memory-Z” you get the current settings of your installed memory.

Under the “CPU Features” section you can find various CPU settings such as AMD Cool n’ Quiet and Power Supply Idle Control.

Moving over to the next menu item “OC Profile,” you can load any of your saved profiles as well as save/load them to/from USB.

One of the cooler features of the BIOS is the “Board Explorer” that displays which ports/sockets are in use.

Software

To get the most out of your MEG X570 ACE MSI, it provides you with its Dragon Center software, which allows you to tweak your CPU, LAN, Monitor, and other aspects of your PC. If you don’t already have MSI Dragon Center installed, you can download it for free at MSI website: https://www.msi.com/Landing/dragon-center .
The first menu item from the “Main” menu is “Gaming Mode” which allows you to optimize/configure each installed game individually.

From the “User Scenario” section you can overclock your GPU with various presets or apply your own overclock with the “Custom” icon.

Under the “Monitor” section you’re presented with the current status of your PC, such as CPU frequency, GPU core clock, and various temperatures/voltages.

Moving to “True Color” you can adjust the color/brightness over your monitor with a few presets or customize it yourself.

If you wish to tweak your network connection, you can do so using the “LAN Manager.” From here, you can assign priorities to certain applications, view network usage, run a network test, and block certain IPs.

The last item in the list, “Mystic Light” allows you to customize the MEG ACE’s RGB infinity mirror with various pre-loaded effects.

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The next icon on the left is the “My Device.” This allows you to register the MEG ACE with MSI, which provides you with quicker service/product support.

Under the “Support” icon, it gives you a list of currently installed drivers/utility as well as the latest available version number. If some drivers/utilities are out-of-date, you can use the Dragon Center to install the newer version.

The last menu item “Tools” lets you adjust the fan of your GPU using the Zero Frozr setting and Cooler Boost.

Testing & Performance

To test the MSI MEG X570 ACE, we will be running it through various benchmarks that will test all aspects of the board. These tests will include CPU, Memory and gaming benchmarks, which will give us the overall performance.

The MEG X570 ACE is installed in a Corsair 465X chassis and the build will include the following components:

⦁ AMD Ryzen 3900x with Wraith Cooler
⦁ 2 x 8 GB G.Skill Ripjaws V 3200MHz DDR4
⦁ MSI RTX 2060S Gaming X
⦁ Crucial P1 1000GB M.2 NVMe SSD
⦁ EVGA P2 750W PSU

General Performance Testing
PCMark 10
PCMark 10 is the complete benchmark for the modern office. It is the ideal test for organizations that are evaluating PCs for a workforce with a range of performance needs. The tests in this benchmark cover a wide range of activities from everyday productivity tasks to demanding work with digital media content.

PCMark 10 uses a modular approach to build relevant benchmark tests around common end-user scenarios. A Test Group is a collection of workloads that share a common theme or purpose. There are four test groups in PCMark 10, and we use three of them.
Essentials: covers the common, everyday ways that people use a PC. The workloads include Web Browsing, Video Conferencing, and App Start-up time.

Productivity: measures system performance with everyday office applications. This test group includes the Spreadsheets and Writing workloads.

Digital Content Creation: This test group’s workload reflects the demands of working with digital content and media. The tests include Photo Editing, Video Editing, and Rendering and Visualization.

The MEG ACE takes top spot beating out the AORUS Pro by 10 points.

CPU Performance Tests
Super PI
“In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr.Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environments such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.”

The MEG ACE took the top spot for our AMD systems with a time of 8 minutes and 51 seconds.

Cinebench R15
“CINEBENCH is a real-world cross-platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and much more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.”

With the 12 core AMD Ryzen 3900x, the MEG ACE put up an impressive score of 3077.

7 Zip
The benchmark shows a rating in MIPS (million instructions per second). The rating value is calculated from the measured speed, and it is normalized with the results of an Intel Core 2 CPU with a multi-threading option switched off. So, if you have a modern CPU from Intel or AMD, rating values in single-thread mode must be close to real CPU frequency. There are two tests, compression with the LZMA method and decompression with the LZMA method. Once the total passes reach 100, the score is takenIn 7-Zip, we see the MEG X570 ACE take another top spot with a score of 104198 MIPS.

Memory Performance Testing
AIDA64 Engineer Edition
“FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users, and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises. The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand-new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and NVIDIA graphics processors.”

The MEG ACE doesn’t disappoint in the memory bandwidth test, with it deadlocked with the other top boards.

We find the MEG ACE sitting with its AMD counterparts with a latency of 75.8ns.

Passmark Performance Test – Memory Mark – Threaded
“Fast, easy to use, PC speed testing and benchmarking. PassMark PerformanceTest ™ allows you to objectively benchmark a PC using a variety of different speed tests and compare the results to other computers.”

The MEG X570 ACE posts a great score of 38814, besting our other test AMD boards.

SiSoft Sandra – Memory Bandwidth
“SiSoftware Sandra provides a robust package of diagnostic tools for testing your system and teasing out its problems–or potential headaches.”

In the SiSoft memory bandwidth benchmark, we get another set of solid scores placing the MEG ACE 3rd in all the motherboards we have tested.

Storage Performance Testing
ATTO Disk Benchmark
“As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware utility to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid-state drives, RAID arrays as well as connections to storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark”

In ATTO, we see our Crucial P1 drive relatively close to its rated 2000 MB/s read and 1700MB/s write speeds.

CrystalDiskMark
“CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows measuring sequential, and random read/write speeds.”With the CrystalDiskMark benchmark, we score pretty much exactly the rated speeds of the Crucial P1 1000GB.

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AS SSD
The AS SSD benchmark determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains six synthetic and three copy tests.

The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are performed without using the operating system cache. In the Seq test, the program measures how long it takes to read and write a 1 GB file. In the 4K test, read and write performance is determined for randomly selected 4K blocks. The 4K-64 Third test is equivalent to the 4K procedure, except that the read and write operations are distributed to 64 threads. This test should show differences between the IDE operating mode where NCQ is not supported and the AHCI mode for SSDs with Native Command Queuing (NCQ). The additional compression test can measure the performance of the SSD as a function of the compressibility of the data. This is especially important for the controllers that are used to increase the performance and life of the cell compression.

AS SSD is known to score lower than most other benchmarks and the MEG ACE benchmarks right where I would expect it to be.

Game Testing
3DMark – Fire Strike

“Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today’s high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today.”

The MEG ACE coupled with the MSI RTX 2060 Super Gaming X posts an awesome score of 20167 in Fire Strike.

3DMark – Time Spy
“3Dmark Time Spy is a new DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PCs. Time Spay is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built “the right way” from the ground up to fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers. With DirectX 12 engine, which supports new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal test for benchmarking the latest graphics cards.”

Our testbench was able to crack 9000 in Timespy with an excellent score of 9203.

Ashes of the Singularity
Planet by planet, a war is raging across the galaxy. The technological singularity has given humanity the power to expand further than they ever have before. Now, they compete with each other and their sentient artificial intelligence adversaries for control of newfound worlds.

Running Ashes of the Singularity at 1080p with the “Extreme” preset, we easily pass our 60 FPS goal with an average framerate of 71.2.

Far Cry 5
Anything can happen. Everything will.
Welcome to Hope County, Montana, land of the free and the brave, but also home to a fanatical doomsday cult—known as The Project at Eden’s Gate—that is threatening the community’s freedom. Stand up to the cult’s leaders, Joseph Seed, and the Heralds, as you spark the fires of resistance that will liberate the besieged community.

Our setup crushes Far Cry 5 with an impressive average framerate of 114.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Experience Lara Croft’s defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara must master a deadly jungle, overcome terrifying tombs, and persevere through her darkest hour. As she races to save the world from a Maya apocalypse, Lara will ultimately be forged into the Tomb Raider she is destined to be.

In Shadow of Tomb Raider, the benchmark was silky-smooth with a minimum frame rate of 81 and an average FPS of 107.

Overclocking

Now that we have completed all our stock testing let’s see how far the MSI MEG X570 ACE can push our Ryzen 3900x. Below are the stock settings for my 3900X and G.Skill Ripjaws V memory.

Applying known voltages for my 3900X, the MSI MEG ACE had no issues holding the clock of 4.3GHz on all 12 cores at a voltage of 1.35v. I was unable to go any higher than 4.3GHz because temperatures were creeping up to 95C and were unable to complete even a Cinebench R15 run. With the memory, we were able to up the frequency from 3200MHz to 3600MHz, which matches the infinity fabric perfectly for optimal performance.

Now that the system has been overclocked and proven stable, let’s see how much more performance we were able to achieve.

In AIDA64, we saw an impressive leap in performance with an increase between 8-12% in write/read/copy and a much better latency of 67.9ns.

In Cinebench, shatter our old score by over 200 points with a final number of 3324.

In Time Spy, we bested our original score by 99 points but looking at the CPU score; it had substantial gains with an increase of 800 points.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

This was the first MSI motherboard I have had the pleasure to review and I must say the MEG X570 ACE did not disappoint. From its aesthetics to its raw performance, the MSI MEG ACE fires on all cylinders and provides you with a visually stunning board with the power to back it up. Everything about this board feels high-end from the reinforced PCIe/DDR4 slots, the included M.2 heatsinks, RGB infinity mirror, and the included custom Wi-Fi/Bluetooth antenna.

Now, normally gold isn’t my preferred color for builds, but MSI has done an amazing job balancing it with its mostly black motif. Even if your other components don’t have any gold, the MEG ACE will have no issues blending in. This coupled with the silver reinforce PCIe/DDR4 slots and the visually stunning infinity mirror makes for a great-looking board.

From a performance point of view, the MEG ACE handles my Ryzen 3900x like a champ allowing me to push it to its limits. With a final overclock of 4.3GHz on all cores, I saw an increase in performance of 5-10% across the board which enabled us to achieve a blistering score of 3384 in our last Cinebench R15 run. Even in the Timespy benchmark, we saw an impressive increase of 800 points on the CPU Score.

The MSI MEG ACE has been one of the best boards that have graced my bench, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get the most out of their hardware.

Amazing job, MSI!

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