Introduction

Not that long ago, Intel introduced its 10th generation desktop PC segment processors. We reviewed the Intel Core i9-10900K and Intel Core i5-10600K. As is Intel’s way, we also got a new chipset and socket to go along with them. Today we are taking a look at a fully custom retail add-in-board partner motherboard based on the new Z490 chipset, MSI’s MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi motherboard, which is one of two motherboards we got access to alongside the CPU prior to the embargo date. This motherboard is built for high performance and supports 10th Gen Intel processors. The MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi was used for all of our review testings in the Core i9-10900K CPU review.

The MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi represents what I’d call a low to mid-range motherboard in the Z490 lineup. It’s not the most expensive offering from MSI or the market as a whole, but it’s not the cheapest either. Given that some of these motherboards exceed $700, it’s not even to the halfway mark on that. This motherboard can be had for around $269.99.

In my opinion, MSI has made it confusing on the naming front as its naming scheme has become overly complex and way too long. MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue too easily. That said, we care a lot less about what the marketing department calls it and how it performs. On that front, this motherboard has a lot going for it as this gaming motherboard supports 10th Gen intel core CPUs. So, we’ll get right into it.

The MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

The MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi is based on Intel’s Z490 chipset. It uses Intel’s brand new LGA 1200 socket and thus supports Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake CPU’s.

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi Motherboard Specs Table

The motherboard has quite a bit going for it despite being relatively inexpensive as far as Z490 based motherboards go. It has a solid feature set with a few extras that I wouldn’t necessarily have expected given the heights Z490 motherboards can be priced at.

Packaging

The motherboard packaging is what we’ve come to expect from the motherboard industry. It’s essentially the same type we’ve seen for decades. The board ships in an anti-static bag with a carboard protector to make sure it doesn’t move around inside the box.

Inside the package, you’ll find the following accessories: User manual, quick installation guide, MSI case badge, product registration card, 1 to 2 RGB LED extension Y cable, driver DVD, case screw guide, corsair RGB LED extension cable, 2x SATA cables, 1x Rainbow RGB LED extension cable, promotion card, and an MSI product catalog.

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