MSI joins the X470 party with a quartet of boards


Y'all whipping your credit cards out to preorder one of AMD's recently-announced second-gen Ryzen CPUs? Hold off just a second, then. There are new boards around with the X470 chipset from every major manufacturer, and that includes MSI. Let's take a look at the Dragon Army's offerings.

MSI's top dog for this round is the X470 Gaming M7 AC. This mobo powers its CPU through the standard ATX connector plus two eight-pin EPS power plugs. The VRM is topped with what appears to be a pair of chunky heatsinks, too. Shaped metal reinforces both the DIMM and main PCIe slots, while the two M.2 slots sit underneath a massive heatsink. A Killer E2500 controller handles Gigabit Ethernet duties, while a Realtek ALC1200 codec takes care of audio. Those who dislike wires for their networking needs can take advantage of the Intel Wireless-AC 8265 card and its 802.11ac Wi-FI and Bluetooth 4.2 support.

On the back panel, you'll find Type-A and Type-C USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, four USB 3.0 connectors, and two USB 2.0 ports. Additional niceties include CMOS-clear and BIOS recall buttons on the back and onboard RGB LEDs. Multi-GPU support is also around in both SLI and CrossFire flavors.

The next board in line is the X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. Much like the M7 AC above, this mobo uses two EPS eight-pin power connectors for supplying juice to the CPU. As it does on the Gaming M7, MSI reinforces the DIMM slots and main PCIe slots of this board with metal. There are two M.2 slots available, though only one has a heatsink on top. Networking duties are handled by an Intel Wireless-AC 3168 controller that sits on an E-key M.2 slot, coupled with an Intel I211 AT Gigabit Ethernet controller.

The back panel's port selection is generous, including USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports in both Type-A and Type-C format, plus four USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 connectors. There's a small CMOS-clear button that can be handy, too. Those lucky enough to afford two graphics cards can enjoy CrossFire and SLI support. Like any high-end motherboard in this day and age, the X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC has onboard RGB LED lighting.

Those with little interest in wireless networking can probably save a few bucks by going with the X470 Gaming Pro Carbon, which is almost identical to the board above but doesn't have 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The leanest member of MSI's X470 family is the X470 Gaming Plus. This trimmed-down offering still has a metal-reinforced PCIe slot, two M.2 slots, and CrossFire support. There are no Type-C USB connectors on this board, though—you get two USB 3.1 Gen2 connectors, but they're both in Type-A form. A Realtek 8111H Gigabit Ethernet controller handles networking comms, and a plain Realtek ALC892 codec generates sound waves.

For now, Newegg only has two MSI models up. The highest-end X470 Gaming M7 AC goes for $259.99, and the X470 Gaming Plus will set you back an affordable $139.99. According to the e-tailer, both models will be around by April 18.

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