Micro ATX Review: MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC

Isaac Fernandez

What Is the MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC?

Widely recognized as the best Intel Micro ATX motherboard, MSI’s MPG Z390M is a modern, high-tech motherboard offering some impressive features, such as two M.2 PCle 4.0 slots for NVMe SSDs and the ability to overclock memory up to 4500MHz.

In addition to its high-end functionality, this micro ATX mobo has a cool, cutting-edge design full of sharp and salient lines reflecting bright colors from different angles. While many may consider it a bit pricey, its overall performance and appearance make the MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC one of the best motherboards available today.

About MSI

As one of the leading brands in gaming and eSports, MSI is dedicated to providing games and creators with the most modern and innovative technologies for their needs. MSI motherboards are designed with multiple smart, user-friendly features for easy setup and convenient usage.

Quick Summary

As one of the best Micro ATX motherboards, the MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC has a lot more pros than cons. While its drawbacks may cause a few gamers to turn away, we believe its superior features heavily outweigh the minor downsides.

Z390M Micro ATX Pros

  • Great overall performance
  • Excellent overclocking of two DIMMs
  • All features function simultaneously
  • Comes with Intel 1.73Gb/s Wi-Fi module
  • Compatible with SLI, Crossfire, or additional x8 storage card

Z390M Micro ATX Cons

  • Not great for heavy Core i9-9900K loads
  • Not the most affordable option
  • Four slots of space not enough for six slots of graphics cooling
Micro ATX Review: MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC 1

General Overview

The MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC is an excellent alternative to its standard ATX sibling. With a cool, sleek design, the MPG Z390M also offers a wide array of nice features, such as a Wi-Fi module, great CPU overclocking, and a brand new software called Dragon Center. It’s hard to find a real reason not to choose this motherboard, though it does have a few minor downsides, particularly the fact that its slots are only two spaces apart, making it impossible to pair up cards that are more than two slots thick. However, this is a limitation of Micro ATX boards that is not exclusive to this product.

As is the case with all other MSI products, the MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC comes with printed documentation and the company’s promise of reliable and supportive customer service. This Micro ATX motherboard also includes a driver/app disc, two SATA cables, an addressable LED cable, an RGB LED splitter cable, a legacy single-link flexible SLI bridge, a snap-in I/O shield, an MSI VIP card, a case badge, and cable label stickers.

Features

Extended Heatsink Design

With an extended heatsink and improved circuit design, this Micro ATX motherboard ensures full-speed even for high-end processors.

Core Boost

The MPG Z390M comes with a high-quality layout and completely digital power design that support more cores and provide improved overall performance.

Mystic Light RGB LED

With 16.8 million colors and 29 effects, this extension allows for the ultimate personalization of your PC. Mystic Light supports both RAINBOW LED and RGB strip.

Twin Turbo M.2

With 2 x M.2 slots. Running at PCI-E Gen3 x4 maximizes performance for NVMe based SSDs up to 32 Gb/s, ready for Intel® Optane™ memory.

Audio Boost 4

Experience an unparalleled auditory experience with isolated audio and a best-in-class processor that makes the MPG Z390M the ideal motherboard for an immersive gaming experience.

Intel Turbo USB 3.1 Gen2

Powered by Intel, the MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC ensures a high-quality, uninterrupted connection with improved levels of stability and unbelievably fast USB speeds.

DDR4 Boost

The most advanced technology of its kind designed to deliver high-quality data signals for the ultimate gaming performance and reliable stability.

Dragon Center

This brand new software is designed with a user-friendly interface and the most modern features, integrating all MSI tools like GAME MODE, VOICE BOOST,  and LIVE UPDATE. 

Takeaway and Final Verdict

If you want a top-quality Micro ATX motherboard that supports Intel’s newest Z390 chipset, look no further than this Micro ATX board from MSI. Compared to its competitors, the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge offers the greatest number of features at a reasonable price. Yes, at $200, it doesn’t sound like the most affordable option, but it remains one of the few options at this price point that allows users to overclock memory all the way to 4,500MHz.

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Isaac Fernandez

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Scores

Performance

5/5

DUrability

5/5

Value

5/5

Styling

4/5

Comfort

4/5

Price

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