MSI has been in the forefront of motherboard technology for years, decades in fact. They also share a wonderful relationship with AMD and are usually the first to debut any new technology from them. In fact one of the very first MSI boards I ever owned was the pride of AMD’s first real chipset using DDR, the MSI K7 Master and it was a very solid board that was released during the time everyone was using SDRAM. It made a real big footprint before any other DDR motherboard even took debut. I had that board operating in my main gaming system, and then as a file server for many years and it very rarely gave me grief compared to others during that time. I’ve always had a fondness for products that can debut without growing pains and MSI seems fairly good at that, at least until AMD came out with their Ryzen CPU. Out of all the issues new builders were having MSI seemed to be mentioned more than the others. Of course they have a much greater availability compared to the other three, and their pricing structure has always been at the lower end of the scale in terms of affordability. Well I will just have to mention that MSI wants to change that perception, and what better way to change a critic’s mind such as my own then to send me one of their new flagship motherboards, the x570 MEG ACE. After testing and promptly making into my own case I can say I’ve changed my mind about them within regards to this motherboard. It is in all actuality one of the best motherboards I’ve ever owned. Its feature rich, powerful, and very easy to get up and running very, very fast, yet it runs very cool. So lets take a look at this new found product from them…

So whats in the box?

The MEG ACE has a fairly large “you know its gonna be good” box. I like that there isn’t a whole bunch of balloon captions stating a bunch of false claims about whats inside

Board Features

The MEG ACE comes very well equipped to do battle in its price range, as a matter of fact I have yet to see any refurbished or open box available which in some regards is a good thing, it tells you that the people that wanted it are not disappointed. The board has a nice copper/black look to it and minimal gimmicks, There is a RGB Screen above the main I/O panel and that’s about it as far as pretty lighting. Like almost all x570 boards this one has a fan with a special sticker to notate to the new to x570 owner that the fan doesn’t have to spin all the time. There’s a game boost knob in case you don’t want to use the BIOS or windows software (talk about redundancy!). My first reaction was you’ve gotta be kidding me, but it really does a number and every stage from 1-11 affects voltages, frequency, and load line calibration. I found it really nice at level 8. The nice part is you aren’t totally locked in when dialing in your game boost function, you can still manually input all your voltages and frequencies. Another nice attribute is the use of a heat pipe. Some of the flagship boards have done away with this so its nice to see it on this board, and I love how it works by keeping all the higher system temperatures in check making the board more stable and less prone to fluctuations in voltage and speeds. The MEG Ace is also PCIE 4.0 ready so its makes full use of its lanes offering 3 gen 4.0 NVME slot capability. Wifi 6.0, USB-C, Dual Intel LAN, Optical out, and others are also featured in the rear I/O…



Performance

Overclocking this motherboard was shockingly easy, I wasn’t used to the BIOS and the MSI rep asked me to try out the Game Boost so I tried it on 6, then 8 and hit my typical 4350 PBO but on all cores. I then tried it on 10 and was able to boost to 4450! Level 11 added too much voltage and just caused some chaos, hence the 11 part… After some tuning I was able to game and pass 90% of my benchmarks but Cinebench r20 was a no-go. After a few days and several cmos resets later I managed to get 4553mhz out of a so-so silicon 3900x! My 3600 CL16 b die was able to hit 4400 16-16-16-16-28-32 @ 1.57v!

So what does it all mean to me? Well first the bad, I didn’t like how the front case headers were so close to the edges of the board, I ended up bending pins on both headers, they need to be mounted a little closer in, the fan header location is also odd and just adds to the clutter to the front of the board were most if not all cables and plugs are going to go through, so it just contributes to the clutter making it difficult to manage, but my number one complaint is the newest BIOS. No matter how special you treat it, you make one mistake and it will not recover. At first it was a bother, but after awhile I got used to saving my Profiles to USB and loading them if I got it wrong. The BIOS is also kind of confusing when used with Game boost and manual multiplier input. You have to input your multiplier through the AMD Overclocking menu, which means going through the disclaimer, and then go into the overclocking menu to adjust voltage. Its very confusing at first, and awkward and bothersome after awhile. Voltage is what causes the heat to hurt your CPU not the speed. The latter two options should be in that AMD overclocking menu, or more easily accessible.

I found a few key things I liked and few things I didn’t like but to be honest its a very solid board and from a lifelong Asus owner that’s pretty high praise, MSI really outdid themselves with the overall engineering on this motherboard, particularly in the performance department. It was super easy to get that 90% performance of your components and get this I did it within minutes and by using the overclocking modes of the board! I have tried numerous boards and failed using that kind of feature, so hands off to MSI for engineering this properly. I didn’t even know it until after when I tried every trick I knew of to get a better overclock and nothing I did was as stable or user friendly without some serious effort. If you are new to the PC enthusiast world and want to get that 90% out of your system this board has it in spades. One key thing worth noting is how easy it was to get a good memory overclock out of this board, I was able to get my 3600Cl16 b die to 4400 CL16 with just a few bios adjustments, I highly recommend this motherboard, and hopefully by the time you read this a new BIOS will be out so if you get it wrong it comes back to tell you, or you can just save it to USB…