MSI MEG Z690 ACE & MAG Z690 Tomahawk Motherboards Review – High-End & Mainstream Tier In Action!

The MSI Z690 motherboard lineup features a range of families. These include the MEG or Massive Enthusiast Gaming lineup which focuses on the enthusiast gaming segment, MPG which stands for Massive Performance Gaming and carters the high-end market, MAG, or the Massive Arsenal Gaming which focuses on the mainstream and budget segment while the PRO series is designed with content creators in mind.

MSI is back with its flagship MEG ZCE, this time featuring the Z690 chipset and design that is much powerful than ever. The MSI MEG Z690 ACE hosts a stunning gold-plated design & is powerful than ever.

The MEG Z690 ACE rocks a Direct 22 Phase All-Digital VRM with 105A Amp Smart Power Stages. Power to the VRM and CPU socket is provided through a dual 8-pin connector configuration.

MSI MEG Z690 ACE Motherboard Features:

  • Supports 12th Gen Intel Core / Pentium Celeron processors for LGA 1700 socket
  • Supports DDR5 Memory, Dual Channel DDR5-6666+MHz(OC)
  • Genuine 24K Gold: Premium aesthetics with its dark black finish and genuine 24K-gold foil heatsink perfectly show off the concept of beauty.
  • Dual Thunderbolt 4 ports: Thunderbolt USB-C at true 40 Gb/s speeds, 8K display support, Daisy-Chaining, and Multi-Port Accessory Architecture provide reliable connectivity and better user experience.
  • Quintuple M.2 Connectors: Onboard 5x M.2 connectors for the maximum storage performance with quad Lightning Gen 4 solution. Double-sided Shield Frozr design keeps M.2 SSDs safe while preventing throttling, making them run faster.
  • Extreme Power Design: Premium digital PWM, direct 19+1+2 phases with 105A Smart Power Stage, Titanium Choke III, and dual CPU power connectors to unleash the true power of your processors.
  • Outstanding Cooling Solution: Aluminum Cover, VRM Heat-pipe, 7W/mK thermal pads, Double-sided M.2 Shield Frozr and Aluminum Backplate ensure the extreme performance with low temp.
  • Dual 2.5G LAN with latest Wi-Fi 6E: Onboard dual 2.5G LAN with LAN manager and latest Wi-Fi 6E solution which supports 6GHz spectrum delivering the best online gaming experience.
  • Lightning Fast Game experience: PCIe 5.0 slots, Lightning Gen 4 x4 M.2, Dual Front USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 20G.
  • 8 Layer PCB with 2oz Thickened Copper: Provides higher performance and long-lasting system stability without any compromise.
  • Audio Boost 5 HD: Ultimate audio solution with the latest premium ALC4082 audio processor combining ESS audio DAC and amplifier delivers the breathtaking experience.

The MEG Z690 ACE also features support for four DDR5 Rams with speeds of up to 6666+ MHz (OC) and a capacity of up to 128 GB. The board features 6 SATA III ports and two USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 front-panel header. Before we talk about I/O and expansion on this motherboard, let’s look at the design itself.

MSI has gone with a stunning black and gold design on its ACE motherboard this time. Gone is the flashy RGB design and we get a more elegant look that people should expect from a high-end Z690 motherboard.

Now coming to the expansion slots, the MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi motherboard features three PCIe slots (2 x Gen 5 & 1 x Gen 4), and five M.2 slots (3x Gen4x4, 1x Gen 3×4, 1x Optane), all of which are cooled by the M.2 Shield Frozr heatsinks.

For I/O, you get dual Thunderbolt 4 40 Gbps Type-C ports, 8 USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI + DP ports,  dual 2.5G (Intel I225V) Ethernet LAN ports, Intel WiFi 6E (BT 5.2) functionality, Audio Boost HD and to top it all off, a button for flashing the BIOS. The board has a listed MSRP of $699 US making it the most expensive MSI Z690 motherboard so far.