Review: MSI MPG Z790 Carbon Max Wifi

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PCB and connectors:

Clocker tools :

Let’s start with the PCB and IO inserts that can be interesting tools for overclockers. They are quite varied on this motherboard, given its price.

  • Qcode: reads train sequence and error codes on a two-character display.
  • SMART Button: once set in the Bios, allows you to either restart the configuration, access the Bios directly or start up in safe mode
  • Clear CMOS Button : clears the Bios configuration
  • Flash-BIOS button: to flash Bios without a compatible CPU or RAM.
  • Status LEDs : depending on their color, they can be used to identify a problem or determine the voltage level of a component (CPU – DRAM – VGA – BOOT).

PCB:

This MSI MPG Z790 Carbon Max WiFi is pretty straightforward in terms of the PCB, we’re here on a well-designed and well-made motherboard, but with a real identity. On the PCB side, we’re on an 8-layer PCB.

The power supply stage is based on a 19-phase power supply for the CPU.

MSI MPG Z790 Carbon Max Wifi - PCB VRM

The controller used would be a Renesas RAA229131 capable of managing all phases. The 19 CPU phases are all 105 A Renesas RAA22010540s. The 19 VRMs are capable of outputting 2000 A, whereas the CPU only requires 300 A, even at 400 W. This is pure marketing hype. We then have the same configuration for the VCCGT (IGP) and VCCAUX (PCIe and IMC), each with an 80 A MPS 87670 phase.

Connectors :

The rear panel features the following elements. Firstly, the bios / clear CMOS flash buttons and Smart Button. Then there are 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and 6 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports. For USB C ports, we have a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port and a USB 3.2 Gen2x2 port. On the network side, we have an Intel-based 2.5GbE Ethernet port and Wi-Fi 7. The audio section features five jacks for microphone and line outputs, as well as an SPDIF out on a Realtek ALC4080 chip.

MSI MPG Z790 Carbon Max Wifi - IO shield

This motherboard’s connectivity could not be more complete for all types of use. With its additional USB 4 PD 100W bundle card, this is more a professional than a gaming motherboard. We regret the presence of a single Ethernet port and the absence of a 10 Gbps network card.