Introduction, Design Features
AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper processors, plentiful with cores, are among a best CPUs we can buy currently for artistic pursuits. They are positively befitting to calm creation, yet they also have game. (See a examination of a AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, for one.) And no motherboard builder is going to skip an event to aim that remunerative community: PC gamers.
MSI’s X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, as a name implies, tilts heavily toward gaming use. There aren’t a lot of X399 motherboards on a marketplace during all, and all are pricey, in a $300-plus range; we saw only 6 models during a time of a Ryzen Threadripper launch, and we still see reduction than 10 for sale on Newegg.com during this writing. This indication provides an choice to a some-more puritanical (and somewhat reduction expensive) MSI X399 SLI Plus.
Now, Threadripper play only aren’t cheap, yet a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC’s cost tag was a towering $369.99 during Amazon. Even after a $20 mail-in remission on offer, a house is pricey—though not, we should indicate out, a many costly Socket TR4 motherboard on a market. Likewise, Newegg was charity a motherboard for $359.99, that will run we a (slightly some-more tolerable) sum of $339.99 after a mail-in rebate. Either way, a summary is clear: The X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is meant for critical gamers peaceful to compensate for a bells and whistles that make adult a oppulance motherboard. And while pricey, that’s a customary for a march with these play so far; a cheapest we saw on Newegg.com was $319.99 after rebate.
With a extra-large TR4 hollow and X399 chipset, a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC supports AMD’s vast new processors. As we get into in good fact in a 1950X examination related above, a Threadripper CPUs are good choices for content-creation systems, interjection to their support for multi-threaded applications, yet they also benefaction some hurdles to DIY builders. For one thing, installing a Threadripper processor is a some-more formidable endeavour than installing customary AMD or Intel processors. For another, your cooling options aren’t extended when installing a Threadripper. And what coolers we can find might not be means to hoop a heat, if we name to overclock one of these beasts.
Gamers and calm creators will find copiousness to like about a X399 chipset. Quad-channel DDR memory is supported—a contingency for any house confronting off opposite Intel’s latest chipsets. The chipset is also means of doing adult to 66 PCI Express Gen 3.0 lanes and 8 PCI Express Gen 2.0 lanes, and it goes vast with copiousness of USB 3.1 Gen1 and Gen2 ports and SATA ports.
For a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, MSI focused on those facilities that make for improved gaming, including a support for mixed video cards. The Gaming Pro Carbon supports adult to 4-way SLI or CrossFire, should we have a money and desire to collect adult 4 graphics cards. (Or in a box of Nvidia’s latest “Pascal”/10-series generation, dual cards, a many that are strictly supported.)
The MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC has a tough, capricious vibe going for it. The motherboard bristles with steel and steel-colored accents. Carbon fiber on a 3 opposite heatsinks pumps adult a board’s style, as does a Mystic Light RGB LED illumination. On looks alone, a house will interest to only about any gamer. As gamers who cite worldly designs and assuage bling, we consider a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC hits a honeyed spot.
The oversize “TR4” CPU hollow (the codename for a Threadripper socket), 13 energy phases, and a whopping 8 memory slots take adult many of a motherboard’s tip half. The hollow support is some-more formidable than prior consumer-board CPU hollow frames we’ve worked with, and we’ll plead a designation routine on a subsequent page. MSI covers a hollow itself with a customary tip and an additional cosmetic cover.
Thanks to a Ryzen Threadripper’s support for quad-channel memory, a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC has 4 memory slots on possibly side of a TR4 socket. All together, a slots support adult to 128GB of DDR4 memory (up to DDR4 3600), should we have a bill for a matched quad-channel set. MSI wrapped a memory slots in steel for improved support. It also opted to put a non-moving add-on during a bottom of any memory slot, to forestall hit with your video card. The ride tabs during a tip of any memory container pivot to lock/unlock a memory modules.
The reduce half of a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is also crowded, interjection in partial to M.2 slots. Motherboard makers have been cramming their play with M.2 connectors, infrequently shortening a series of customary PCI Express slots in a process. MSI manages to fist three M.2 slots of several lengths onto a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC while still anticipating room for dual PCI Express x1 slots and 4 PCI Express x16 slots. With a genuine estate reduced, due to a stretch of a AMD Threadripper-chip socket, that’s a lot packaged onto an ATX motherboard.
All told, a motherboard has 3 M.2 connectors for PCI Express 3.0 x4 NVMe storage or other devices. The dual M.2 connectors that strike adult opposite a dual PCI Express x1 slots support inclination adult to Type-2280 (80mm long), while a core M.2 connector can hoop inclination adult to Type-22110 (110mm).
All 3 of a M.2 connectors underline shields over a tip that will cover any drive. Each defense has a thermal pad underneath that provides additional cooling for your storage device.
Like we’ve seen on many high-end play of late, MSI wrapped a PCI Express x16 slots in steel sheathing to strengthen them opposite a weight of your video label (or cards). As we noted, a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC can hoop adult to 4-Way AMD CrossFire or 4-Way Nvidia SLI setups, yet we think that many gamers, carrying already forsaken outrageous chunks of their bill into a pricey motherboard, CPU, and complement memory, won’t max out a video label slots. Indeed, with a latest Nvidia cards singular to a span in SLI, and AMD’s Vega cards in such brief supply, dual cards is approaching to be a unsentimental tip extent for many buyers who don’t possess a contingent or party of previous-gen cards.
It’s value observant that make-up a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC with all of these facilities has resulted in some formidable pattern choices. MSI puts a initial PCI Express container only millimeters divided from a left-hand bank of memory slots, and about a same stretch from a six-pin energy connector…
Board energy connectors like this one can be a pain to insert and remove; perplexing to bond one with memory DIMMs and a video label circuitously is even some-more challenging.
The X399 chipset is one of a few facilities on a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC that has copiousness of room. MSI bills a heatsink as a “gaming heatsink,” means of doing complicated loads. As we mentioned earlier, MSI gave a heatsink a carbon-fiber strip. The MSI trademark is vast and easy to mark by a box window, supposing your perspective isn’t blocked by video cards. And MSI combined a light that shines into a defect in a heatsink, that creates for a really slick, forked accent. Interestingly, we can also barter certain heatsink covers with opposite covers enclosed in a accessories package.
MSI also commissioned RGB LED lighting in a audio heatsink and a cover of a I/O panel’s shield, as good as underneath a motherboard, down by a SATA and USB 3.0 ports. All of a lights are governed by MSI’s Mystic Light package, that works with a giveaway Mystic Light program for Windows, as good as a giveaway Mystic Light Android and iOS apps. Your customization options are myriad: You can name from mixed animations and probably any color, as Mystic Light supports 16.8 million tone choices. Want a lighting intrigue to simulate a heat of your CPU? No problem. The program also allows for coordination with other Mystic Light-compatible components.
The X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC also supports joining dual RGB lighting strips, giving we copiousness of options to extend a Mystic Light animations elsewhere in your PC case. Both frame headers are during a bottom-left dilemma of a motherboard, and both support RGB LED light strips, yet one header is designed privately for RGB rainbow strips. You’ll wish to compensate courtesy to a primer when environment adult your lighting, and deliberate it before shopping any. Because a dual headers have opposite voltages, we can repairs certain lighting strips by attaching them incorrectly.
MSI, like Asus, has gotten into a 3D-printed accessories game, and it provides a skeleton for several 3D-printed tools for a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, including a M.2 fan cooler and a sharp SATA wire cover. The box also includes screws for ascent 3D-printed accessories.
The behind of a motherboard is mostly unremarkable…
It has a large, stout backplate for a TR4 CPU socket, as good as screws for a X399 chipset heatsink. Above, we can see a 8 LEDs along a lower-left side of a board, in a line like enemies from Space Invaders, that hoop a lighting underneath a SATA ports.
The X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC has a loaded I/O panel.
As you’d expect, a distant right of a row is dedicated to audio ports. MSI uses particular PCB layers for left and right audio channels, and sticks with Chemi-Con golden audio capacitors and a Realtek ALC1220 Codec. The audio ports themselves broach 7.1 channel sound and S/PDIF-out.
Much of a rest of a I/O row is consumed by USB ports. The row facilities dual USB 2.0 ports, 8 USB 3.0 ports, and dual USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (one Type-A, and one Type-C). The Type-C pier is accessible for joining complicated devices, and it would be missed on a high-end house like a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC.
The row also facilities a Gigabit LAN port, corroborated by an onboard Intel I211 Gigabit Ethernet controller. A PS/2 pier is accessible for certain automatic (or legacy) keyboards. In a curtsy to gamers, overclockers, and tinkerers, MSI put a Clear CMOS symbol and a BIOS Flashback+ symbol during a other finish of a I/O row from a audio jacks. Being means to transparent a CMOS though opening a PC is handy. The Flashback+ underline helps we refurbish a BIOS from a peep drive, even before a complement is totally built.
Power smoothness to this motherboard is some-more endless than on any we’ve seen in new memory. Three of a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC’s 4 energy connectors lay only behind a I/O panel, around a left-hand bank of memory slots. Two of these connectors are a eight-pin units that yield energy to a CPU (most consumer play have only one of these!), while a third one, a six-pin connector that we forked out above, handles energy for a PCI Express slots. Guiding a PSU cables to these connectors can be a small wily (especially when it comes to reaching a PCI Express connector), yet MSI left an unrestricted channel alongside a memory, that creates for a true wire run from a tip of a board. The categorical 24-pin energy connector is right where you’d design it to be: on a right side of a motherboard.
The X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC sports 6 fan headers, including a CPU fan and water-pump headers. That’s a reasonable series of connectors for many builds. We don’t have any complaints about a locations of a headers. The CPU and H2O connectors lay nearby a top-right dilemma of a board, another fan connector sits only behind a I/O panel, and a remaining 3 are lined adult along a board’s reduce edge.
Because of a swarming layout, a right side of a motherboard is brief on space. MSI stranded to a common suspects here, putting a board’s 8 SATA 6Gbps connectors, a 24-pin energy connector, and a dual vast USB 3.0 header connectors on this edge.
We approaching to see an inner front-panel USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C connector on a motherboard as lush as a X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, and it is there—but not in a customary right-edge location. MSI opted to put this new-style header connector on a bottom dilemma of a board, nearby a right corner. You can see it here, only to a left of a Reset button…
So prolonged as a wire for a case’s front-panel USB Type-C connector can strech that far, a plcae isn’t a problem. That said, we’d rather have a customary front-panel headers (for a power/reset buttons, a activity LEDs, and so on) in a right corner, where they typically lay on motherboards. Because of a position of a USB Type-C connector and some other buttons, a front-panel headers are closer to a core of a board’s bottom edge.
The buttons in a right dilemma paint another curtsy to gamers. MSI put Reset and Power buttons here, creation it easy to get your complement going though a fine-wire front-panel connectors being made. The buttons are high adequate that we can simply strech them though bumping other components. The dial that sits subsequent to a buttons is noted “OC1,” yet is famous strictly as a Game Boost Knob. Once we configure a doorknob in a BIOS, we can spin it clockwise to name increasingly complete overclocking settings.
MSI tucked a few facilities only next a X399 chipset, including a debug LED readout, a “demo LED” symbol (sometimes used by retailers), and a Slow Mode Booting Jumper, that is designed to assistance maestro DIYers who use impassioned cooling methods while overclocking.
The remaining headers embody a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header, a common front-panel audio header, and dual USB 2.0 headers. MSI does a good pursuit of labeling a components, that will make environment adult your PC a small easier.