Review: MSI MPG Z390I GAMING EDGE AC [7C04-001R]

MSI MPG Z390I GAMING EDGE AC [7C04-001R] is a small (Mini-ITX, 17 × 17 cm) and at the same time quite nice MPG Z390I Gaming Edge AC board on the Z390 chipset, which belongs to the overclocking class. In addition to the “gentleman’s set” of a PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot, a pair of DDR4 DIMM connectors (with support for DDR4-4600 modules) and four SATA 6 Gb / s ports, two M.2 Key M slots are wired on the PCB connectors, Realtek ALC892 controllers (8-channel audio) and RTL8111H (10/100/1000 Mbps network). The MPG Z390I Gaming Edge AC chipset cooler is located under the slot for one of the two M.2 drives, which is cooled by a heatsink. The second connector M.2 Key M 32 Gbit / s is soldered on the back of the PCB.

You can buy MSI MPG Z390I GAMING EDGE AC for the price 145,90 Don’t forget to use discount coupon on computeruniverse.netFWNNROU (How to use it?).

Specifications

  • mini-ITX motherboard
  • socket LGA1151 v2
  • Intel Z390 chipset
  • Supported Intel 9th ​​/ 8th Gen Core / Pentium Gold / Celeron Processors
  • Memory: 2 x DDR4 DIMM slots, 2133-4600 MHz up to 32 GB, work in dual channel mode
  • number of SATA 6Gb / s connectors: 4, RAID: 0, 1, 5, 10 based on Intel Z390
  • Rear panel connectors 6 USB, optical output, DisplayPort, HDMI, Ethernet, PS / 2 (keyboard), PS / 2 (mouse)
  • M.2 expansion: 2 x PCI-E / SATA 3.0 (Key M, 2260/2280)
  • 1xPCI-E x16 expansion slots
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth
  • 7.1CH Sound, HDA, based on Realtek ALC892
  • Ethernet 1000 Mbps, based on Realtek 8111H
  • Availability of 10 USB, 6 USB 3.1 interfaces (4 on the rear panel), S / PDIF output, HDMI, Ethernet, PS / 2 (keyboard), PS / 2 (mouse)
  • BIOS AMI
  • Type of cooling system: passive

Extra options

  • Multi-core processor support
  • EFI support
  • No SLI / CrossFire support
  • IDE no
  • RGB tape connection connector
  • PCI Express 3.0 support
  • Main power connector 24-pin
  • Processor power connector 8-pin

Motherboard’s Kit

  • 2 SATA cables
  • RGB LED extension cable
  • antenna kit
  • bridge SLI
  • screw for M.2
  • front hull rear ports

Comparison table MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus LGA1151 MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC MSI MPG Z390I Gaming Edge AC
Intel 9th/8th Gen CPU Support Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron
Chipset Intel Z390 Chipset Intel Z390 Chipset Intel Z390 Chipset
Graphics Interface 2 x PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots 2 x PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots 1 x PCI-E 3.0 x 16 slot
Display Interface HDMI / DVI-D DisplayPort / HDMI DisplayPort / HDMI
Memory Support 4 DIMMs, Dual Channel DDR4 4 DIMMs, Dual Channel DDR4 4 DIMMs, Dual Channel DDR4
Expansion Slots 4 x PCIe 3.0 x 1 slots 2 x PCIe 3.0 x 1 slots
M.2 / SATA 2 x M.2 32Gb/s; 6 x SATA 6Gb/s 2 x M.2 32Gb/s; 6 x SATA 6Gb/s 2 x M.2 32Gb/s; 6 x SATA 6Gb/s
SATA RAID RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; SATA1-SATA6 RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; SATA1-SATA6 RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; SATA1-SATA6
LAN Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN Realtek 8111H Gigabit LAN
Audio 8-Channel (7.1) HD Audio 8-Channel (7.1) HD Audio 8-Channel (7.1) HD Audio
Wi-Fi / BT Intel Wireless-AC 9560 Intel Wireless-AC 9462
Form Factor ATX Micro-ATX Mini-ITX

Review

MSI MPG Z390I Gaming Edge AC is not only the smallest MPG motherboard, but also the only mini-ITX size motherboard in the Z390 product line. Like other Gaming Edge AC boards, this board comes with integrated Wi-Fi Intel 9462 802.11ac adapter, which also includes support for the latest Bluetooth 5 standard.

As is the case with other mini-ITX motherboards, the MSI MPG Z390I Gaming Edge AC has one full-size PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, which is protected with MSI’s Steel Slot protective armor. There are two M.2 slots on the board, one of which only supports PCIe, and the other supports both PCIe and SATA; one slot is located in front, has a small radiator, while the other slot is located on the rear panel of the board. The board also has a total of four SATA ports at straight angle, the ports of which are paired on either side of two memory slots. Two memory slots support DDR4-4600 and support maximum capacity up to 32 GB.

Taking into account certain sacrifices that are usually a necessity for mini-ITX motherboards, the loosening touched the network adapter and the audio system this time, they are of lower quality than what is built into the Z390 / Z390M Gaming Edge. The model in this review uses a Realtek RTL8111H gigabit controller and ALC892 HD audio codec. The mini-ITX board includes two USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports with an MSI interface, without taking into account Type-C connectivity; there are also two USB 3.0 Type-A ports and two USB 2.0 ports on the board. Front panel connectors also allow you to use two more USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports if necessary. Like other Z390 Gaming Edge units, this motherboard also uses DisplayPort and HDMI video outputs.

Main Features

Full of sharp and salient lines reflecting gorgeous colors design, perfect balance between appearance and performance with Core Boost, DDR4 BoostTwin Turbo M.2, Turbo USB 3.1 Gen2 connector.

  • Supports 9th / 8th Gen Intel® Core™ / Pentium® Gold / Celeron® processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 4800(OC) MHz
  • Lightning Fast Game experience: 2x TURBO M.2, Intel Optane Memory Ready. Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2
  • Set Core Power Free: Core Boost, 8 pin CPU power connector, Game Boost, DDR4 Boost
  • AUDIO BOOST: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience
  • Dragon Center: A brand new software which integrates all MSI tools like GAME MODE, VOICE BOOST, LIVE UPDATE  with user friendly user interface.

PERFECT BALANCE: MPG Z390I GAMING EDGE AC

  1. Intel Wireless / Bluetooth
  2. Intel Turbo USB 3.1 Gen2
  3. DisplayPort
  4. LAN
  5. Golden audio jacks
  6. Gaming heatsinks for maximum cooling and performance
  7. Z390 chipset. Supports Intel 9th Gen processors
  8. DDR4 Boost. Optimized traces and isolated memory circuitry
  9. Twin Turbo M.2. NVMe support, up to 32 Gb/s using PCI-Express Gen3 x4, ready for Intel® Optane™ memory
  10. PCI-E Steel Armor. Protecting VGA cards against bending and EMI
  11. Audio Boost with amplifier. Optimized gaming audio using best components

DIY FRIENDLY

MSI motherboards feature tons of convenient and smart design, such as convenient pin-header keep out zone, friendly SATA & USB location and so on, so DIY users can pick and choose any gaming rig they want.

Cooling

STAY COOL FOR ULTIMATE GAMING PERFORMANCE

Cooling your PC is essential for reliable performance. MSI motherboards feature excellent power design with solid and heavy heatsink. We’ve made sure to include enough fan headers with full control to allow you to cool your system any way you want.

FULLY CONTROLLABLE IN BIOS AND SOFTWARE

MSI motherboards let you manage speeds and temperatures for all your system and CPU fans. Total Fan Control allows you check your primary system characteristics in a simplified graphical interface. You can also set up to 4 temperature targets for CPU and motherboard, which will adjust the fan speeds automatically.

AUTODETECT DC OR PWM MODE WITH HYSTERESIS

MSI fan headers automatically detect fans running in DC or PWM mode for optimal tuning of fan speeds and silence. Hysteresis also makes your fans spin up fluently to make sure your system stays silent, no matter what.

MSI:

  • Smooth fan speeds
  • Smooth sound levels

OTHERS:

  • Spiking fan speeds
  • Annoying sound levels

Hardware

USER FRIENDLY DESIGN

MSI motherboards feature tons of convenient and smart design for DIY users, countless system tuning and troubleshooting tools are at your disposal to push your system to new heights and satisfy even the most demanding tweaker. Makes it so easy to install your own motherboard and gaming rig without any issue.

XL CLIP

The enlarged PCI-E clip helps you swap or remove your devices easier. Keep the PCI-E slot stronger and safer.

EZ DEBUG LED

Run into trouble? Onboard LEDs for key components will indicate the source of the problem so you know exactly where to look to get up and running again.

 

Compability

MAXIMUM COMPATIBILITY

Every MSI motherboards are certified by strict mechanic that feature convenient pin-header keep out zone, friendly SATA & USB location for compatibility with the widest range of components and devices, so DIY user can pick and choose the components they want. More than that, we offer a dedicated Qualified Vendor List (QVL) for the most critical part – memory. Combining with MSI DDR4 Boost technology, we provide the maximum compatibility even over clocking, so you confirm and choose any gaming rig as you want.

9TH AND 8TH PROCESSORS SUPPORT

MSI Z390 motherboards perfectly support Intel® 9th and 8th processors, so you can still enjoy latest MSI motherboard technology if you use 8th processors. Combining MSI Core Boost, you can release maximum performance no matter what CPU you use.

EXTREME STABILITY & COMPATIBILITY TESTING

MSI conducts thorough memory testing with the most popular memory brands under extreme conditions to ensure your system runs stable no matter what. Our memory partners include brands like Corsair, Crucial, Kingston, G.Skill and many more to optimize memory modules, configurations and even improve overclocking.

Bios and Software

APPS TO GREATLY IMPROVE EFFICIENCY

With years of experience in creating performance enhancing tools that are easy to use, only the highest quality applications are at your disposal. Use these tools to get the most out of your motherboard and achieve victory when gaming. Moreover, we made sure our BIOS contains all the latest options and is easy to use for everyone. The extensive features let you fine-tune your system to deliver reliable maximum performance when gaming.

DRAGON CENTER

The exclusive and brand-new UI merges all the MSI software functions into one specific application – MSI Dragon Center. Not only integrates all the MSI software functions, but also sync all the MSI desktop products to work together, providing the best user experience. No more messy programs or ICONs, just one click and you can enjoy all the functions in Dragon Center.

Gaming Mode

MSI Gaming Mode provides the most suitable setting for your whole gaming system, bring you the best gaming experience with one click!

MSI APP PLAYER

Developed under an exclusive partnership with BlueStacks, the MSI APP Player brings seamless gaming experience between mobile games and PC platform, and leverages customized features as specific keyboard lighting and better graphics with multi-task works.

CLICK BIOS 5

We made sure our BIOS contains all the latest options and is easy to use for everyone. The extensive features let you fine-tune your system to deliver reliable maximum performance when gaming.

  • GAME BOOST Safely overclock your CPU with a single button for more performance.
  • XMP Extreme Memory Profiles which simplified RAM overclocking on Intel motherboards.
  • M-FLASH Allows user to conveniently flash, or upgrade the BIOS from the CMOS Setup Utility.
  • HARDWARE MONITOR Shows you critical hardware information in real-time; temperature, usage, clock speed, and voltage.
  • TOTAL FAN CONTROL Check and manage speeds and temperatures for all your system and CPU fans.
  • SECURE ERASE+ Using an optimized formatting algorithm, lets you enjoy your SSD at maximum speed, making your system feel brand new!
  • MEMORY TRY IT Best way to get maximum speed out of your system memory and gaming performance.
  • M.2 Genie Brilliant feature to make setting up RAID 0 for M.2 and U.2 much easier and less time consuming.
  • SEARCH & FAVORITES A permanent search & favorite option in the top right corner can be used to find what you need.

ENHANCED PERFORMANCE

MSI motherboards feature all the latest solution for enthusiast gamers and prosumers. CPU and memory enhancement and fast storage and USB transfer speed are ready to be on the battlefield.

CPU

LOOKING COOL WHILE KEEPING COOL

High quality materials and smart fan optimizations contribute to cooling all essential components, which is key to making sure your system runs stable and delivers the best performance at all times.

CORE BOOST

Core Boost technology combines MSI’s premium layout and optimized power design which allows for faster and undistorted current delivery to the CPU at pin-point precision. Not only supporting multi-core CPU, also creating the perfect conditions for your CPU overclocking. For Z390 Motherboards, MSI also adopt slightly boost technology under the Intel standard X.M.P to squeeze more performance on Intel Core series processors for gamers without damaging the hardware or adding the voltage.

1-SECOND OVERCLOCKING!

MSI Game Boost enables one-second overclocking, giving you the performance boost you need to get more FPS.

MORE FOR PERFORMANCE

LOAD-LINE CALIBRATION

What you set, is what you get. LLC makes sure your CPU voltage remains 100% stable under any load. This greatly improves stability when demanding more CPU performance.

OVERVOLTAGE PROTECTION

Prevents potential short-circuit damage to the CPU and other critical components.

DIGITALL POWER DESIGN

A fully digital power design allows for faster and undistorted current delivery to the CPU at pin-point precision. Creating the perfect conditions for CPU overclocking.

Memory

UNMATCHED MEMORY PERFORMANCE

Optimized layout design and a fully isolated memory circuitry ensures perfect stability and performance. you never have to worry about your system crashing during games with MSI DDR4 BOOST.

FOR HIGHER MEMORY SPEED: DDR4 BOOST 2

Besides optimized PCB design, MSI OC lab has also co-worked with world-known memory brands, pushing memory speed to a peak. MSI Z390 motherboards are going to free the these selected memories’ performance with stability.

A HUGE STEP OF DDR PERFORMANCE

MSI OC LAB does not merely work hard on extreme overclocking. Compare to Z370 motherboard memory support, MSI does have great improvement on performance and efficiency.

  • LOWER LANTENCY AND MORE EFFICIENCY
  • RELEASE HIGHER MEMORY FREQUENCY

EASY OVERCLOCKING WITH XMP PROFILE

The XMP (Extreme Memory Profiles) in MSI BIOS are tested and certified by MSI OC lab. It is easy to enable with auto power settings to get the best memory speed and stability.

Storage

FAST AND FUTURE-READY STORAGE

MSI motherboards support all the latest storage standards, which allows users to connect any ultra-fast storage device. Start games faster, load levels faster and have a real advantage over your enemies.

OPTANE: BOOST YOUR HDD TO PERFORM LIKE AN SSD

Gamers and PC Enthusiasts can now enjoy the performance of an SSD on their HDD by coupling it with the new Intel® Optane™ Memory device. Intel® Optane™ technology provides an unparalleled combination of high throughput, low latency, high quality of service, and high endurance.

STORAGE BOOST YOUR STORAGE PERFORMANCE

This great little tool is very simple to use and automatically detects your storage devices connected to the system. When enabled, Storage Boost optimizes your SSDs to keep your system fast and maximize storage performance, saving you a lot of time when loading or transferring data.

EASY RAID SETUP WITH M.2 GENIE

Looking to go all out in terms of raw data speed and put multiple SSDs in RAID 0? Setting this up can prove to be quite the challenge. That’s why we created M.2 Genie, a brilliant feature to make setting up RAID 0 for M.2 and U.2 much easier and less time consuming.

USB

MAXIMIZE YOUR USB DEVICE PERFORMANCE

Read and write your files over USB faster than ever. MSI offers a wide variety of options to connect and boost your USB devices, delivering lightning-fast transfer speeds up to 10Gb/s

MORE STABILITY WITH INTEL TURBO USB 3.1 GEN2

Featuring the Intel TURBO USB 3.1 GEN2, MSI motherboards offer never before seen USB speeds with more stability when connecting USB devices.

IN-GAME ADVANTAGE

MSI motherboards provide the most fascinating in-game advantages, allowing gamers to dominate any game anytime. Elevate your listening experience and network connection with MSI Audio & LAN. Enjoy extreme sound quality and uninterrupted online gameplay.

Connectivity

DOMINATE THE GAME WITH THE LOWEST LATENCY

Get ready to crush your enemies on the battlefield with MSI GAMING LAN. Featuring the highest quality components tuned to deliver the best online gaming experience without lag.

NEXT-GEN INTEL® WI-FI AC & BLUETOOTH

This next-generation Intel® Wi-Fi / Bluetooth solution uses smart MU-MIMO technology, delivering AC speeds up to 433Mbps without any cable limitation.

Audio

SOUND THAT PULLS YOU INTO THE GAME

Deliver the highest sound quality through the use of premium quality audio components and get the most immersive sound experience when gaming. MSI motherboards let you enjoy breathtaking, gaming-changing sound.

AUDIO BOOST

  • Dedicated high definition Audio Processor. Make sure you enjoy the purest sound quality in both stereo and surround sound.
  • High quality Audio Capacitors. A high fidelity sound experience with exceptional acoustics and realism for studio level headphones is ensured.
  • Golden Audio jacks with S/PIDF. Keep your sound oerfect by transmit your audio with pure digital signal.

ISOLATED AUDIO DESIGN

EMI-shielded HD audio processors let you enjoy the purest sound quality in front and rear connectors.

SEPARATED AUDIO LAYERS FOR CLEAN LEFT & RIGHT CHANNELS

Using separated layers in the PCB ensures equally pristine sound quality for both left and right audio channels.

DE-POP PROTECTION

Audio Boost protects your ears by eliminating those annoying loud popping sounds when you plug/unplug devices or turn your PC on/off.

EXHILARATING AND INSPIRING

Each MSI motherboard is built based on the specific topic in order to match different tastes and favors. Furthermore, MSI also adopts the modern style to design the heatsink through huge surface and sleek but simple cuts in order to make the heatsink and appearance looks ripped and powerful. Combined with neutral color, such as black, grey and silver, as the main background, MSI motherboard can perfect fit different RGB LED effects and strongly shows the gamers tunes.

Industrial design

GAME IN STYLE

As a new motherboard coming to customers’ eyes, the design of MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE is full of sharp and salient lines reflecting gorgeous colors in different angles, which presents a cutting-edge look & feel that shows the stereoscopic effect with forceful uniqueness.

LOYAL COMRADE

 MSI has developed the motherboard market for many years. With rich R&D experience and a long history, the company continuously creates the best performance and humanized motherboard to help users meet the pursuit of high quality components and the stable, reliable and long-lasting system performance.

Components

BUILT ON EVERLASTING QUALITY

Using only the finest quality components and integrating the latest technological innovations delivers the best possible professional experience. Rigorous quality testing under the most extreme conditions ensures a super reliable, long-lasting and high performance motherboard.

FORTIFY YOUR SYSTEM WITH PCI-E STEEL ARMOR

MSI PCI Express Steel Armor slots are armed with more solder points on the motherboard for a stronger hold, preventing any damage due to heavy-weight graphics cards. Steel Armor also protects PCI Express signals against electromagnetic interference for a pure gaming experience and even higher overclocking.

ULTIMATE MOTHERBOARD PROTECTION

We’ve made sure you can enjoy your system endlessly. MSI motherboards feature Double ESD protection with double layer grounding around the motherboard mounting holes, preventing Electrostatic discharge (ESD) surges from damaging the motherboard.

SUPER STABLE GAMING WITH THE HIGHEST QUALITY COMPONENTS

MSI uses the high quality components , which is shielded by the best protection to make sure your system runs smoothly under the most extreme conditions.

TITANIUM CHOKE II

Ti choke II is smaller in size and has improved a 30% power efficiency and power delivering, allowing for better overclocking and stability

HI-C CAP

Hi-C CAP is a very small, but super-efficient capacitor. Besides ensuring enough spacing around a CPU socket to install large coolers, it also allows for 93% energy efficiency.

SOLID CAP

With their aluminum core design and Japanese made quality, Solid CAPs are made for high-end design motherboard. Not only do Solid CAPs could provide lower Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR), but also work firmly for over-10-year.

HUMIDITY PROTECTION, TEMPERATURE PROTECTION, CIRCUIT PROTECTION, ESD PROTECTION, EMI PROTECTION

CERTIFIED FOR GAMING

Each model is tweaked to deliver the best FPS for a stutter-free gaming experience. Tested in 24-hour on- and offline gaming sessions with the most popular gaming gear by the world’s best eSports players, so you can enjoy top performance and reliability in the world’s most popular games.

WINDOWS 10 CERTIFIED

With MSI you benefit from great compatibility and a worry-free user experience when using Microsoft Windows 10.

With a true dedication to performance, our R&D team has made sure everything works as intended when using the latest version of Microsoft Windows on any MSI product.

Customer reviews

Doesn’t work for i5 9th gen
December 5, 2018 [Verified Purchase]

I got the mobo put everything together and it didn’t work. It kept telling me the cpu was failing. Then attempted to reset the bios and it said the ram was failing. Rinse and repeat, it now said the graphics card was failing. Again same process, it finally turns on for a few seconds and I get to see the something on the monitor.
I call amazon and get a replacement. They send me a used one with bent cpu socket pins. Call them again ask for a refund and just buy an Asus mobo (the one that’s $200 and more expensive than the MSI). It worked on the first try.

Honestly, I’m never buying anything MSI again. If you must get this one, do so knowing that you’ll probably get a used one even if you paid for a new one.

Negative customer feedback from Amazon

Very Impressed
March 13, 2019 [Verified Purchase]

Bought this z390i chipset for my first build. I was a little skeptical at first because of the lack of reviews. I ended up putting this board in the NZXT H200i case paired with an i3-8350k. This board really compliments my case. The build quality of this board is so beautifully functional. The bios is super easy to use. I have absolutely Zero issues or complaints about this board. I give it two thumbs up! Great work MSI

Update: 04/22/2019 I recently upgraded from a air cooler to a corsair liquid cooler and started tinkering with overclock settings in system bios. I was able to overclock my i3 8350k from 4Ghz stock, to 4.8Ghz super easy with auto settings. When I got to 5Ghz, I manually turn down the core voltage a smidge. Not because of stability issues, but to lower my cpu temps a bit. It was also super easy to activate XMP in system bios to utilize the full speed of my ram modules. I also was able to update the system bios super easy using a usb flash drive. I’ve had this motherboard for a while now. I still don’t have any complaints or regrets.

Review from a satisfied buyer

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