A Closer Look
MSI’s MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC is a standard ATX form factor board that features Intel’s LGA1151 socket, two metal reinforced PCIe x16 slots, four DDR4 DIMM slots, and a cohesive heatsink and board silk-screening theme that all flows together.
Intel’s LGA1151 socket sits near the center as usual, and is flanked by four DDR4 slots on the right with the 11-phase VRM above and left of it. An M.2 slot supporting up to 110mm drives sits between the CPU and the top PCIe slot.
Two metal clad PCIe x16 slots support x16/x0 or x8/x8 mode from the CPU. The lower PCIe x16 is connected to the Chipset along with the trio of PCIe x1 slots. Another M.2 slot sits near the bottom of the board.
Rear I/O is comprised of two USB 2.0 ports with a split PS/2 port. A Display Port and HDMI handle display duties from the CPU’s internal graphics solution if equipped. Four more USB ports are of the high speed 3.1 type and one is Type-C. A single Intel gigabit Ethernet ports accompany an Intel 802.11AC 2x2 solution for connectivity. The standard layout of gold-plated audio ports joins an optical output to round out the list.
Connectivity on the board is pretty extensive so we’ll go around the edge. A front panel audio header is followed with two RGB headers, three 4-pin fan headers, and a hardware UART based COM port.
Two USB 2.0 headers sit towards the front of the board next to the Thunderbolt controller header and front panel audio connections.
Going up the front edge are six SATA ports, a right angle USB 3.0 header, a USB 3.1 header along with another USB 3.0 header and the main 24-pin power connection. The upper edge has a series of diagnostic LED’s and a pair of 4-pin fan headers.
The top corner has two RGB connectors, one of which is made to interface with Corsair’s addressable systems. Another 4-pin fan header sits next to the heatsink. The CPU power 8-pin and extra 4-pin are towards the rear.
The rear of the board doesn’t have too much on it really. Along the front edge is a series of RGB LED’s that can be controlled by Mystic Light.