Laptop MSI X470 Review – The Gaming Laptop Pro Carbon. AMD recently launched their new line of Ryzen 2 CPUs along with the X470 chipset, and I’ve got the x470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard from MSI here, so let’s find out what features it’s got to offer.
My first impressions of the board are that it like many other recent motherboards from MSI it’s nice and clean looking, the whole thing is a matte black and it’s got a carbon fiber texture on the heatsinks. There’s some RGB lighting around here too, as well as the chipset cover, and on the right hand side of the board, it’s fairly subtle and not very intrusive.
There’s about 15 effects which can be controlled through MSI’s Mystic Light Sync software, but you can always turn the lighting off if you prefer. It’s an ATX board and comes in at 30.5cm by 24.4cm. Starting with the IO on the back-, there’s a PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort, although you’ll need a Ryzen CPU with Vega graphics to use these, WiFi and Bluetooth antenna adapters, clear CMOS button, 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, Gigabit ethernet port, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A and Type-C ports, and audio connectors with S/PDIF.
There’s also red lighting for the ethernet port and USB port next to it while it’s powered on, and the IO shield is MSI’s usual black and red. At the center of the board is the AM4 socket which supports AMD Ryzen 1 and 2 CPUs, and I’m testing with the new 2700X here along with its stock cooler, the wraith prism. Next to the socket are the four RAM slots which run in dual channel and can support up to 64GB of DDR4 memory at up to 3,466MHz when overclocked. In my test system I’m just running 2 8gb sticks at 2,666MHz. As for the PCIe slots from the top down there’s a PCIe 3 16x slot, PCIe 2 1x slot, PCIe 3 8x slot, PCIe 2 1x slot, and PCIe 4x slot, with support for three way crossfire or two way SLI with a Ryzen CPU, but only two way crossfire if you’ve got a Ryzen CPU with Vega graphics as the speeds of the slots changes, so something to keep in mind if you’re buying an APU and plan on upgrading to high end graphics later.
There’s two M.2 slots available in between the PCIe slots, the one up the top has a heat spreader and supports 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110 drives while the bottom one supports the same except the biggest. They both use 4 PCIe lanes, however the top one is PCIe 3.0 while the bottom is PCIe 2.0, and the bottom PCIe slot will not be usable if you use the bottom M.2 slot. There’s also support for RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10 with both SATA or NVMe storage. Along the top of the board there’s two 8 pin power connectors, up from the single one in the x370 version, RGB header, a CPU fan header, and Corsair header. Along the right hand side there’s 6 SATA 3 connectors, internal USB 3.1 Gen1 connector, system fan header, 24 pin power connector, and system fan and pump fan headers.
Finally along the bottom there’s the front panel audio, second RGB header, TPM connector, system fan connector, two USB 2 connectors, a second USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector, two more SATA 3 connectors taking the total to 8, front panel connectors and another RGB connector. As this is the AC version of the board we’ve got built in WiFi support with Intel dual band 3168 wireless, which supports up to 802.11ac dual band with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, and up to Bluetooth version 4.2 is supported. There’s also a non AC version of this board which appears to be the same, except it’s lacking the WiFi support. To use it just screw in the two included antenna into the rear and you should be good to go.
My wireless access point is unfortunately a few years old and doesn’t support the newest standards, so I haven’t been able to benchmark this properly. I’ve just quickly used the thermal camera to take a look at the board at idle, and while under a full CPU and GPU load, it’s hard to really make too much out with the CPU cooler and graphics card in the way though, so not sure how useful this is, but I’ll take any excuse to use the thermal camera. To boot into the BIOS simply press the delete key during boot. Like other MSI motherboards I found it fairly easy to navigate through and make changes, and I had no issues at all using the current latest version noted here.
Overclocking worked well too, granted I don’t have any other X470 boards to compare the overclocks with, however I had no issues quickly getting the 2700X running at 4.25GHz on all cores at 1.3 volts. As for the pricing I haven’t yet been able to find it for sale yet here in Australia, I’ll update the video description once I’m able to find out, however as the non AC version is $319 AUD or $191 USD in the US, I can’t imagine that it would cost much more to get this version with the WiFi which is the key difference.
Compared to other x470 boards this one seems to be in the upper mid range area, there are both cheaper options like the gaming plus motherboard and more expensive options like the gaming M7, this one seems to be somewhere in the middle as far as x470 pricing goes. Overall I thought the x470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC was a nice board, I’ve previously tested the B360 gaming pro carbon and the conclusion is fairly similar to that, the board has some pretty good features available and in my opinion looks pretty nice.
Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, and let me know what else you want to see with the 2700X.