MSI MEG X570 Unify Motherboard Banner

Introduction

Today, we are taking a look at the MSI MEG X570 Unify. This is a mid-range, low frills X570 motherboard targeted towards the enthusiast market. Specifically, it offers a blacked-out aesthetic and absolutely no RGB LED lighting.

I’ve been writing motherboard reviews now for many years. Since the advent of RGB LED lighting on motherboards, I’ve seen comments from many readers who absolutely hate RGB LED lighting for one reason or another. Motherboard makers have almost always allowed the end-user to turn these lights off. That should be enough right? Well, as it turns out things aren’t that easy. The reality is that most motherboards don’t give you much if any control over the lighting in the UEFI BIOS.

Most motherboards do allow you to turn the LED’s off in the BIOS even if they don’t allow any functionality beyond that. ASUS’ offerings are like this. However, not all do and as a result, some people have to look at colors that can only be described as what you might see if you were to throw a clown into a wood chipper. RGB LED lighting is certainly popular. However, the people that hate them tend to hate them with a passion that borders on fanatic.

If you point out that you can turn these LEDs off once you’re in the BIOS and save that configuration, that still isn’t enough. At that point, you will hear two arguments. 1.) They didn’t want to see unicorn puke colors at all and are offended they did even once. 2.) The bigger and more logical argument is that they are paying for RGB LED’s they didn’t ask for and didn’t want.

It doesn’t matter how cheap the feature actually is on a production level, they are offended that they may have inadvertently paid for LED. I think most are simply angry that they never were given the choice. There are some segments where RGB LED lighting is minimal to non-existent, but not so in the gaming or enthusiast space where the higher end your motherboard is, the more it looks like the Vegas strip at night.

MSI has heard your complaints and at least in the X570 space, it has a solution! MSI’s MEG X570 Unify has absolutely no RGB lighting and a blacked-out aesthetic design. That’s right, this is an all-black motherboard and an X570 no RGB motherboard. The MSI MEG X570 Unify’s monochromatic theme has the perfect visual style to compliment a blacked-out computer build. So let’s get into our MSI MEG X570 Unify review.

MSI MEG X570 Unify Specs

MSI MEG X570 Unify Motherboard Specs
(Click to Enlarge)

The MSI MEG X570 Unify utilizes AMD’s X570 chipset and supports all AM4 compatible CPU’s. At the time of this writing, the MSI MEG X570 Unify costs roughly $300 from various sources. That puts this roughly in the mid-range for the X570 motherboard market.

Packaging

The packaging for the MSI MEG X570 Unify is basic. It’s the same elegant, but simple box we’ve been seeing used for motherboards over the last several decades. Box art is certainly there but tasteful. There are no gaudy robots, race cars, or large dragons on it.

Inside the box, you will find the following items: User guide, product registration card, product catalog, driver disc, SATA cables labels, 4x SATA cables, WiFi antenna, MSI case badge, cloth cable bag, RGB extension/splitter, Addressable RGB cable, and one Corsair RGB LED cable.

The bundle is relatively basic and there aren’t a lot of extras despite what seems like a long list. Everything has a purpose that centers around the initial build, such as the RGB cables and that sort of thing. The rest is just some paperwork you’ll likely only see when you first open the box. The bag the cables come in is a nice touch and it will keep the miscellaneous cables you don’t use together if your the type of person to throw the box away.

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16 Comments

  1. On Page 2, where you take a shot of the mobo layout – it appears you still have the protective sticker on the chipset HSF (“Play Hard, Stay Silent”). Was that intentional, or is that not a sticker and part of the intended aesthetic of the motherboard?

    1. No, it wasn’t intentional. It was something I realized at the end of the review process and didn’t have time to go back and reshoot the photo. Even if I had, it might not have matched the others in terms of lighting. I didn’t want to redo all the board shots as a result of my own OCD.
  2. @Brian_B That is a sticker that is there that you need to take off before use.

    And isn’t this one of the MSI boards reported to have poor overclocking because of the VRM configuration running hot?

  3. Also, I left a comment via the Leave A Reply block in the article. I had expected it to link back to this thread, but it doesn’t appear to have. Was that intended to link back to this discussion forum, or is it it’s own thread/discussion separate from the forum?

    I’m cool either way, just didn’t know what the expectation was. Just to clarify, I am logged into the WP front end, the comment does show as coming from my account, so it wasn’t that I was not logged in.

    Bloody buggy integration. It un-configured itself for no apparent reason. If I’ve fixed it, then this comment will show up both in the forums and on the article page. Not sure we can sync back the missing ones – sorry about that!

  4. I’d love to review the MSI TRX40 Pro 10G. Unfortunately, AMD never sent us a Threadripper CPU. We buy stuff as we need it, but sadly, Threadripper’s price point makes it cost prohibitive for us at this time. That said, I have seriously contemplated buying a Threadripper 3960X, using it for a couple of reviews and throwing it into my own system but I’ve had more pressing financial concerns.

    Ok, well if I pick one up or some other board I will post short review/tests here. Maybe late next month.

  5. Good review, thanks. But this guy will not spend more than $200 on a motherboard, and I would like to aim for much less than that. $150 is ok, $100 is even better. Not talking about Threadripper or exotic stuff.
  6. Good review, thanks. But this guy will not spend more than $200 on a motherboard, and I would like to aim for much less than that. $150 is ok, $100 is even better. Not talking about Threadripper or exotic stuff.

    We’re looking at doing a couple of budget X570 boards up next, so that may be relevant to your interests. Depends what @Brent_Justice can drum up for Dan…

  7. What does MEG stand for? MSI’s Extremely Greedy?

    Given the price point of motherboards like the Unify, that doesn’t really fit. If the "MEG" prefix was tied to motherboards like the GODLIKE exclusively, then you’d be right.

  8. Nice review, and nice MoBo!

    I’m thinking of going MSI for the next overhaul (R7 3700X).

    Here would be my typical usage scenario:
    – Use the AMD Wraith HSF
    – No CPU OC’ing (primarily gaming, so I’m more focused on the GPU)
    – All DIMM slots populated (4x8GB single rank modules)
    – Single GPU, and nothing else populating any other expansion slots

    Any thoughts on the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus?

  9. Nice review, and nice MoBo!

    I’m thinking of going MSI for the next overhaul (R7 3700X).

    Here would be my typical usage scenario:
    – Use the AMD Wraith HSF
    – No CPU OC’ing (primarily gaming, so I’m more focused on the GPU)
    – All DIMM slots populated (4x8GB single rank modules)
    – Single GPU, and nothing else populating any other expansion slots

    Any thoughts on the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus?

    I have some thoughts……………..

    -The Wraith is a bare bones, I don’t want to spend any money type of heat sink. If we were back in the old days when CPU clocks were fixed and it got the job done while making an awful racket (as stock coolers tend to do) you would be fine. That’s not how things work today. Clocks are variable and adjust based on thermals and other variables. If you use a low end cooler, your CPU will not boost as often or even clock as high as a better cooled CPU will. Getting a better quality air cooler will pay dividends in performance. Even on a "stock" CPU.

    -Overclocking doesn’t matter in this context. There are only really two kinds of overclocks with Ryzen 3000 series CPU’s. Manual all core overclocks and per CCX complex overclocks. Since you’ve chosen a Ryzen 7 3700X, you are in luck in that you only have a single chiplet rather than two. One of these tends to be substantially worse than the other, limiting overclocking potential. You won’t be held back by one "****let" on a 3700X. You also won’t need quite as much in the way of power delivery to overclock. Even so, you will find that overclocking a single CCX probably won’t benefit you that much. Manual all core overclocking on a 3700X can be potentially useful as you have much lower boost clocks than you would on a 3900X or 3950X.

    -This is a bad idea. Don’t do it. Stick with two DIMMs and two DIMMs only. Ryzen 3000 series CPU’s love higher memory clocks and tighter timings. You will not achieve this with four DIMMs. There is a point of diminishing returns after 3800MHz as Infinity Fabric clocks and memory clocks require a divider at that point. So, you don’t need ultra-expensive RAM, but going to four DIMMs means your limiting your RAM speed to DDR4 2933MHz or DDR4 2666MHz. Some people will achieve better, but you won’t be doing it on that board more than likely. While MSI’s do clock RAM fairly well, you need one of their better ones. I’ll get to that in just a moment.

    -This is fine. No one uses SLI anymore. Not even me. And I’ve used SLI from the 6800 Ultra days all the way through the GTX 1080 Ti. I used AMD’s Crossfire whenever I went AMD during that time as well. If I thought for a second I could get some extra performance consistently out of a second RTX 2080 Ti, I’d have a second one and I’d be running SLI. So you are good on this front.

    -To be blunt. MSI’s cheaper motherboards for X570 have VRM’s that run way too **** hot. To the tune of about 30-40c hotter than they should in some cases. MSI’s MEG X570 Gaming Ace and MEG X570 Unify are about as low as you really want to go if your going with MSI. Yes, that’s right. You need to be at about $300 or better with MSI or you aren’t getting what you are paying for. Hardware Unboxed did a good job of covering this. Eventually, MSI even admitted that the design of their lower end VRM’s were pretty bad.

    In other words, I wouldn’t go with such a low end motherboard from MSI. If you are looking to spend less than $250 on a motherboard, stick with GIGABYTE or ASUS.

  10. Dan, you got my hopes up and I go try to buy it and everyone is out, Both New Egg & Amazon say unavailable and do not know if they will get any more in stock. o_O
  11. I keep wondering should I buy one of these boards when they come in stock since I plan on upgrading to the 4000 series eventually or should I wait? Not sure what’s going to happen with supply and demand in the future.

    Edit: I bought one of these boards off Amazon to "fiddle" with. Won’t be here until June. I plan on possibly going to Zen 3 when those come out so due to the shortage now on boards I wanted to get one in hand.

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