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With the launch of the B560 chipset from Intel there has been a lot of discussion about how expensive the Z590 chipset is in relation to its stablemate, and whether the Z590 even has a place in the future.,Whilst we agree that many of the Z590 motherboards seem to be priced a little high once we had clapped our eyes on the B560, nonetheless there are always things that the full chipset can do which the cut-down version can’t. Anyone who spent any time comparing the AMD X570 and B550 motherboards will know what we mean, and the situation is similar in the Intel camp.,Going with the Z590, even a very affordable one, brings you a small amount of futureproofing – manufacturers always update their main products first for any CPU revisions – and also the knowledge you’re getting the uncut chipset controlling all your PCI Express lanes and USB bandwidth.,The MSI Z590-A Pro clearly takes inspiration from the majority of B560 motherboards in its pricing, rocking up at retail at the scarcely believable price of £169. We know that the previous range of MSI Pro motherboards had a lot of bad blood in the community, lessons MSI learned and applied to their Tomahawk range. These have been carried on into the Z590-A Pro, which gives you the full Z590 experience without breaking the bank. If you’ve had your eye on one of the hugely impressive Intel Core i5 Rocket Lake processors then this could be the very platform upon which to build your gaming exploits without busting the budget. Let’s take a look.,Technical Specifications,Obviously at this price you’re not going to have a motherboard with thousands of accessories and niche technologies in place. With the move away from multi-GPU setups though we don’t really need more than a single PCIe 4.0 slot, nor have most of us got the money to have more than a single NVMe Gen4 M.2 drive. Certainly if you’re seeking a motherboard at a sub-£200 price point it’s unlikely you’ve got an 4TB M.2. So in terms of a product which can do all that we require of it – PCIe 4.0 NMVe and GPU alongside fast USB ports – the MSI Z590-A Pro ticks all the important boxes.,unnamed file 2580  unnamed file 2579,Up Close,We’ve often spoken about minimalism as something which only exists in super cheap or super expensive product packaging. At the lower end of the market they understand you don’t care about the box but the contents, so why waste money on flashy box art, whereas at the other end of the scale they trust you’re discerning enough to not be swayed by glitzy boxes. The MSI Z590-A Pro sticks rigidly to this marketing ethos.,unnamed file 2582
unnamed file 2583  ,The top side looks way nicer than many of the affordable motherboards of ye olden days. The curved heatsink, subtle MSI branding and all black aesthetic tick all the modern motherboard boxes.,
unnamed file 2584  ,Three M.2 slots – the PCI Express 4.0 one being under the heatspreader – is more than we would expect to see at a motherboard costing less than two hundred pounds. Sure this shot in particular shows off the many humbug-style stripes, but with drives and a GPU in place you’ll barely notice them (should you take against them) and you should be looking at your monitor anyway.,
unnamed file 2585  ,Between the two main heatsinks sits the 8+4 ATX 12V CPU power inputs. Naturally at this price point you’re probably running a Core i5 or Core i7 at most, but it’s nice to know you can flood them with power even at this end of the market.,
unnamed file 2586  ,The top right corner brings us all the usual headers we’ve come to expect on modern motherboards in the form of dedicated AIO ones and the RGB headers that form the backbone of all the manufacturers own takes upon glitzy lighting.,
unnamed file 2587  ,In the middle we have the first of our Type-A USB front panel headers, sitting alongside the Type-C header. As anyone who has built a system will attest, the robust nature of the Type-C front panel connector is something that we’re all grateful for when compared to the rather delicate pins of the Type-A header.,
unnamed file 2588  ,Lastly at the bottom corner there are four horizontal SATA ports below the USB Type-A front panel connector. Read on as we continue our trip around the Z590-A Pro.,
unnamed file 2589  unnamed file 2579,Continuing the Tour,The right hand corner has some fan headers for sucking cold air into your system without enduring cable spaghetti, as well as a couple of vertical SATA ports should you be overwhelmed with storage needs.,unnamed file 2591  ,As well as some fan headers and the USB headers there is also the Mystic Light RGB LED Strip and Addressable LED strip headers.,
unnamed file 2592  ,Zoomed in like this the lines on the 6 layer PCB do seem a little busy, but once you’ve covered them up with hardware it’s not a problem at all. These are the non-heatsink covered Gen 3 M.2 slots, for three M.2s in total.,
unnamed file 2593  ,Around the back you get a bit of an idea about the price point of the MSI Z590-A Pro but that doesn’t mean you’re missing anything important. There is still a 20Gb/s 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type C port, a couple of 3.2G2 ports and some USB 3.2G1 ports. The LAN is the Intel I225-V 2.5G LAN which is a hallmark of all the newest Intel motherboards, and there are display outputs for those of you who run iGPUs.,
unnamed file 2594  ,The curved nature of the VRM heatsink does an awful lot to help the looks of the CPU section appear way more expensive than it actually is. It is a blend of the full IO/Heatsink merged item you get on hugely expensive motherboards and the simple heatsinks you get on similar cost-effective models.,
unnamed file 2595  ,The heatsinks remind us of those we saw recently, being a nice curvaceous number that leaves plenty of room for airflow on the west side, whilst the northern one is a simple style reminiscent of the old days. Simple but effective.,
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unnamed file 2597  unnamed file 2579,Wrap Up,There is no doubt that the MSI Z590-A Pro punches above its weight when it comes to connectivity. The main difference between a B chipset motherboard and the full Z is usually found in the amount of things you can plug in, and this also applies to the comparison between products such as the Z590-A Pro and, for example, the MSI Z590 MEG Ace. However, we were pleasantly surprised with what the Z590-A Pro brings to the party, particularly when you consider that it costs the same price as the Core i5-11400 we love so much.,When the Rocket Lake was first mooted the idea of being able to get a hugely capable gaming CPU and put it into a full fat Z590 chipset equipped motherboard for under £350 seemed like madness. Hell the MEG Ace alone costs more than this i5-11400/Z590-A Pro and some decent DDR4 would cost. Yes the Ace has more features, but does it have more that you’d actually use? For a gaming platform we seriously doubt it, and although the looks might be a little divisive we’ve at least come a long way from the days when the affordable motherboards came with 7 different coloured plastics on a bright blue PCB. Once it’s stuffed full of hardware you won’t notice anyway, should you be in the “not my cup of tea” camp.,The MSI Z590-A Pro proves it’s possible to get all the benefits of the latest Intel Chipset and all it’s PCI Express 4.0 speed without scratching the bank, let alone breaking it.,

作者 frank

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