If you've been looking into buying one of the new 10th-Generation Intel Comet Lake-S chips, then you almost certainly know that they can be quite power-hungry, which means tons of heat will be generated. To manage this, MSI has partnered up with EKWB to build the MPG Z490 Carbon EK X motherboard, which comes with a purpose-built EKWB monoblock installed from the factory.
At the heart of the motherboard resides a complex, 12+1+1 phase power delivery subsystem for the CPU, and with all the RGB goodies aboard it's clear that this is not a motherboard for the faint of heart. If you're planting anything but a 10900K in here, you're doing something wrong because this is a board built for overclocking, and the 10900K's come with the best silicon.
The EKWB monoblock aboard is themed to MSI's looks, and cools the CPU and VRM circuitry. This means that you pretty much have no choice but to use this motherboard in a custom loop, but that's not so bad -- just buy another board if you aren't planning on doing this.
Beyond all that stuff, MSI's new board follows a pretty standard Z490 design, featuring four DDR4 memory slots, support for up to two graphics cards, high-end audio circuitry, 2.5G Ethernet and WiFi 6 AX support, along with ASmedia 3241 USB 3.2 Gen2x2 controller to keep up with the latest standards.
Intriguingly, the board also comes with EKWB's leak testing kit, pressurizes the loop with air to test it.
Pricing is set at $400, which is actually quite reasonable for a board of this caliber, considering that Monoblocks by themself often cost between $150 and $200, already.