MSI X299 MEG Creation Board Lures Creatives With Thunderbolt Support

MSI's release of the new X299 MEG Creation motherboard came alongside Intel's announcement of its 9th generation processors and the controversy surrounding certain benchmarks that compared the CPUs to AMD's offerings in a questionable manner.

But with so much going on this week, that doesn't mean the X299 MEG Creation should be overlooked. The board is essentially the X299 equivalent to the X399 MEG Creation that was revealed at Computex 2018 and released in August. That means it's made specifically for CPUs with multiple cores, features a "unique look and feel inspired by the concept of element explosion" and is "tailor-made for designers and content creators," instead of catering specifically to gamers.

The X299 MEG Creation's focus on creative professionals primarily manifests in its support for multi-core processors and large amounts of storage. Creative tools often utilize multiple cores better than most games, for example, and have to manage huge files with as little delay as possible. That's why the X299 MEG Creation is equipped with three onboard M.2 slots and support for another four with the M.2 XPANDER-AERO accessory.

Keeping all those M.2 drives cool are 8x PWM fan control, a dedicated thermal sensor and thermal solutions via M.2 SHIELD FROZR. The M.2 XPANDER-AERO is also equipped with its own MSI TORX Fan with the promise to offer "strong cooling performance while remaining incredibly silent, not only increasing the storage capacity but also keeping M.2 devices cool with maximum performance."

The X299 MEG Creation boasts 2.5Gb LAN, Intel's gigabit Ethernet and dual-band Wi-Fi. It's also equipped with a bandwidth management tool that "supports prioritization for applications to provide maximum data transfer experience." Again, given the sizes of the files creative professionals often have to work with, that makes sense. Nobody wants to wait around forever while they download or upload massive files they need to do their jobs.

Aside from that, MSI said the X299 MEG Creation features a 14-phase digital power and heat-pipe design, triple 8-pin connectors for the power supply and support for the Mystic Light Sync platform for RGB-equipped products. The board also supports Thunderbolt connectivity--a definite boon for creative professionals--but only via the company's ThunderboltM3 add-on card. It'll be interesting to see how many people spring for that.

MSI hasn't revealed the X299 MEG Creation's other specs, pricing information, or a release date. We expect it to be similar to the X399 MEG Creation, which costs $500, but that doesn't include the cost of unlocking the board's full potential with the M.2 XPANDER-AERO and ThunderboltM3 accessories. Still, at least it's clear that MSI is committed to expanding the MEG line to help make creative professionals' lives a bit easier.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • rantoc
    My bet is that this will be a good mgpu board, most so called sli/cf boards today have 3 slots spacing between the primary 16x slots and when running a 2.5-3.0 pci slots large card a MB with 3 slots spacing just isn't optimal for air cooled cards.

    The primary card get suboptimal airflow because it's fans are to close to the secondary card back.
  • jpe1701
    Kind of surprised they went with a 2.5GB Ethernet for this. I would've expected the 10GB. I noticed that some of the ASRock z390 boards that were less than$160 have the 2.5.
  • Mpablo87
    Well, but what about price??
    I think, only professional can feel the difference, but let's wait for the results!
  • Dogbites
    I won't buy MSI boars anymore, the power factor all seems low. I don't know about the new boards like this one. But I have bought a few in the past and I was always disappointed in some way.
  • alan_rave
    It supports RGB +10% for price.