Review: MSI MPG Z790 Carbon Max Wifi

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Overclocking CPU:

Our CPU overclocking section will focus on the performance of the i5-14600KF. It’s important to stress that this Z790 Carbon Max is not intended for advanced overclocking. But we’ll see that it does manage quite well, despite its layout, which doesn’t put it in the best conditions for this exercise.

Reference scores and effective frequencies :

Let’s take a look at the results obtained under Cinebench R20 and R23, taking care to note the voltage (vcore), max temperature during the benchmark, power consumption and, of course, the score obtained.

We’re taking advantage of this test to take a look at effective frequencies, voltages and temperatures. As we can see from the Benchmate window, the effective frequency is very close to the maximum frequency. Here, we’re at 99.73 Mhz at BCLK level, which has a negative impact on processor and RAM frequency. Fortunately, there’s an option in the BIOS to force the BCLK to remain at a constant 100 MHz. You’ll need to activate it to take full advantage of component performance.

Overclocking under watercooling:

To start with, I leave the BIOS on auto, setting the RAM to XMP, i.e. 7800 CL36. I therefore opted for a starting frequency of 5600 MHz with a multiplication coefficient of 56, a BCLK of 100 and a voltage of 1.25 volts. The Ecore and cache are set at 4500 MHz and 4900 MHz. The idea is then, in the OS, to test stability on several runs of multithreaded Cinebench R23.

As you can see, it’s quite stable on Cinebench R23. Temperature is fairly contained at 79°C for a load voltage of 1.24V. We can therefore push the frequency even further, this time with 5900 MHz on the Pcore, 4500 MHz on the Ecore and 4900 MHz on the cache.

As we can see, the motherboard easily manages to keep up with this frequency. The actual frequency is on a par with the requested frequency. It’s worth noting that our I5 14600KF example is particularly good – many won’t hold such frequencies. The temperature is quite high, however, and the Vcore seems quite high under load. We’ll have to look further afield to gain in temperature, but the result is acceptable for moving on.