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Simon B.

Simon B.

Joined on 09/04/10

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Product Reviews
product reviews
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Most Favorable Review

Outstanding Upper-Mid-Range Ryzen Board!

MSI PERFORMANCE GAMING X470 GAMING PRO CARBON AM4 AMD X470 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
MSI PERFORMANCE GAMING X470 GAMING PRO CARBON AM4 AMD X470 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: - Comes with a PS/2 connector for those tricky Windows 7 installs (the USB 2.0 ports are handled by a 3.1 chip on modern boards, so they still won't work at first) - Extremely stable, *very* overclockable (VOLTAGE OFFSET IS NOW AVAILABLE, as of UEFI version 25! Yay!) - Supports up to 3466MT/s memory officially (note that many others in this price range do not.) - Better-than-average VRM, powerful enough to handle anything you throw at it that doesn't require liquid nitrogen... and even then, it'd probably still put up a good fight. The heatsinks are understated, but beefy & effective, with a very high thermal mass (RAM Test all night long -> 66°C MAX. Intel Burn Test @ High x 30 (a very demanding test) -> 101°C MAX.) - M.2 heatsink was redesigned from the X370 version, and is now actually functional instead of purely decorative. - Excellent, no-nonsense sound & networking. - Pretty lights, snazzy black colour scheme (looks much slicker IRL... cameras can't appreciate this board's awesome dark sheen.) - UEFI is extremely practical and easy to navigate, with a simple, clean, professional-but-still-cool-looking red/black theme. - An almost silly number of rear USB ports, and two onboard 3.1 front-panel headers. - 8 SATA ports. - The external, impossible-to-accidentally-activate Clear CMOS button is a handy little time saver. - The UEFI has an extra (completely unnecessary but amusing & slightly practical) feature that lets you see a top-down view of your motherboard and mouse over it to see not just what ports/headers are where, but also what exactly is connected to them. No more tracing SATA cables back and forth across your case to see which one to unplug! - ALL of the fan headers (+ the pump header) can do temperature curves based on selectable inputs (CPU, VRM, external, etc) in either PWM or variable-DC mode (for 3-pin fans/pumps.) There's also a few different RGB-LED headers, too, if you're into that sort of thing. - Super sweet rainbow dragon boot logo. *Infinitely* better than squinty eyes or a fist-pumping eagle. (This one thing alone almost made the entire decision for me. I sure am glad all the other features were desirable, too!)

Cons: - No 'power connected' LED, for some reason (only 'power ON'.) - The pump fan header & second CPU fan header (as I use it) would be nicer over by the CPU fan header, instead of on the other side of the DIMM slots. - The UEFI fan controls only has 4 points for each curve; no more, no less. Also, there's no capacity to turn fans completely off (my only real remaining disappointment, now that offset voltage has been implemented) and the cursor is SUUUUPER sensitive, despite it being the only way to adjust the curve. A low- or adjustable-DPI mouse is pretty much a requirement, here. - For some reason, once I exit the UEFI and boot Windows, all of the fans suddenly develop a 20-degree offset. That is: 30°C in the UEFI is 50°C in Windows. Not a huge issue... just... weird. Clearing CMOS/reinstalling/upgrading didn't help. - The much more expensive flagship model (M7) has a far, far more awesome-looking M.2/Southbridge heatsink on it. This is the very next model down... why can't I have a dragon on MY board, too!? (Even if it were a bit smaller or less dramatic... just NOT the weird chibi/Charizard version.) - The available motherboard software is ... juuust *terrible*. But you don't need to use it anyway, except to set the LEDs. The Control Center may very well screw with up settings in various ways (this might actually even be the source of my strange temperature offset problem), frequently spazzes out and sets off the fan failure alarm (scaring the absolute hell out of me the first time) and also doesn't bother to mention ANYWHERE that it DOESN'T ACTUALLY APPLY ANY SETTINGS PERMANENTLY. Mystic Light (for the LEDs) is ... functional, but still needs a lot of work, since the LED profiles are inconsistent, laborious to set, and unexpectedly cancel each other out, depending on their mode (my entire LED profile also just disappeared altogether after a few reboots, too. Dunno if that was a one-time thing.) - Why does Load-Line Calibration count down from 8? Every other manufacturer counts up from zero, which... just makes sense. MSI's non-conformance here just causes confusion and/or lengthy addendums when describing UEFI settings.

Overall Review: Very highly recommended board, if the price fits your budget. You don't need TWO 8-pin power rails for this thing, by the way. Like, ever... one is fine. Two just FEELS better. I combined this with 2x8GB Flare X 3200 sticks, and currently have them running rock-solid at 3333MT/s 14-14-15-14-28-42, with the termination, drive strengths, and tWR having apparently been the most critical settings for me while trying to make it past 3266. Without ProcODT 60, Nom 34, Wr Off, Park 40, 30/30/40/60 drives, and tWR >10, I would *inevitably* get an error after testing for a while (several hours, even. I once got Karhu RAM Test up to >16,000% and *still* found an error!) 53/Off/Off/48 did NOT work at all for me past 3266, not matter what else I changed. For the sake of (relative) completion, I set my SoC @ 1.075V w/ LLC 6 (3 if you count up from 1) & DDR @ 1.39V. Oh, and tFAW >24 miiiight be important, too... and that tRCDRD of 15 might not be necessary; it just *helped* before I managed to dial those other ones in. I'm'a test again tonight with it back at 14. My tRC is stable at 288, but not lower. ...and all of this, of course, is only what works in MY setup... but the standard DRAM Calculator for Ryzen settings didn't, sooo... Have fun.)