Specifications and Design
MSI’s MEG X570 Ace launched at $370 (and £360 in the UK), but it’s been tough to find in stock in the US in these early days after the Ryzen 3000 launch. But if you do manage to find it in stock and snatch one up, you’ll be rewarded with an overload of features, a large CPU voltage regulator, solid overclocking and a bunch of onboard RGB lighting and various cable headers.
MSI MEG X570 ACE Specs
|Voltage Regulator||14 Phases|
|USB Ports||10Gbps: (1) Type-C, (3) Type A5Gb/s: (2) Type A; (2) USB 2.0|
|Network Jacks||2.5GbE, Gigabit Ethernet, (2) Wi-Fi Antenna|
|Audio Jacks||(5) Analog, (1) Digital Out|
|Legacy Ports/Jacks||(1) PS/2|
|Other Ports/Jack||BIOS Flash, CLR_CMOS Buttons|
|PCIe x16||(3) v4.0 (x16/x0/x4, x8/x8/x4)|
|PCIe x1||(2) v4.0 [1-active (shared)]|
|CrossFire/SLI||3x / 2x|
|DIMM slots||(4) DDR4|
|M.2 slots||(1) PCIe 4.0 x4, (2) PCIe 4.0 x4 / SATA|
|SATA Ports||(4) 6Gb/s|
|USB Headers||(1) v3.x Gen2, (2) v3.x Gen1, (2) v2.0,|
|Fan Headers||(7) 4-Pin|
|Legacy Interfaces||System (Beep-code) Speaker|
|Other Interfaces||FP-Audio, TPM, (2) ARGB LED, Corsair LED, RGB LED|
|Internal Button/Switch||Power, Reset, OC / ✗|
|SATA Controllers||Integrated (0/1/10)|
|Ethernet Controllers||RTL8125AG PCIe, WGI211AT PCIe|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||Intel AX200 802.11ax (2.4 Gb/s) / BT 5.0 Combo|
|HD Audio Codec||ALC1220|
In a market where $300-plus has become the entry point for enthusiast-class products, MSI’s MEG X570 Ace needs only outdo Gigabyte’s recently-reviewed X570 Aorus Master by a mere $10 in value to score a victory--at least in the US. Prices are flipped in U.K., where the MSI board is £20 cheaper than Gigabyte’s entry. But when everyone is pushing the same basic hardware in slightly different packaging, how does a brand or board stand apart?
The similarities between these early X570 boards are plentiful, from the triple M.2 slots to the 2.5GbE/Gigabit Ethernet combo, to the Intel WiFi 6 adapter and even the three metal-reinforced x16-length PCIe 4.0 slots that, in both cases, automatically switch from x16/x0/x4 to x8/x8/x4 modes when a card is detected in the center slot. And while the MEG X570 Ace has only four SATA ports, its Gigabyte competitor only has four active SATA ports when its third M.2 slot is filled. Heck, both boards even have a pair of buttons on the I/O panel to clear firmware settings and initiate flash mode.
The MEG X570 Ace has the same four USB3 Gen2 ports and two USB3 Gen1 ports on the I/O panel and the same selection of five analog audio jacks with one optical S/PDIF output as its Gigabyte competition, but the boards diverge in how they treat your legacy peripherals: MSI adds a PS/2 port to its pair of USB 2.0 jacks, whereas Gigabyte offered four USB 2.0 jacks. While people who do everything including printing and scanning might prefer the extra USB, those with a legacy keyboard or mouse will likely prefer the PS/2, leaving us no way to differentiate value here.
The 14 chokes that surround the CPU socket lead to 14 60A MOSFETs, 12 of which feed the CPU core: While this is technically better than the 50A MOSFETs on the competing board, we doubt users will actually be able to differentiate between the MEG X570 Ace’s 720 possible amperes and its competitor’s 600A. Those MOSFETs are cooled with a pair of machined-aluminum sinks rather than the competitor’s stacked-fin design, but using oversized electrical components assures that the voltage regulator will always be at a lower percentage of its capacity.
Perhaps that’s why MSI is also the first brand we’ve seen to connect its PCH heatsink to the voltage regulator via a heat pipe: As the lowest component on the chain, the PCH should receive the best cooling and may not even need its fan if the board is oriented upright in a traditional tower case.
Two of the MEG X570 Ace’s seven four-pin fan headers are found on the bottom edge, with one of the two ARGB cable and front-panel audio headers to the left, with two USB 2.0, USB3 Gen1, and USB3 Gen2 headers to the right. The second ARGB header is found in the front corner of the bottom edge by jumping past the Power/Reset buttons and the OC button that can select between eight Ryzen overclocking profiles.
Moving up that front edge, we find a legacy beep-code speaker and Intel-style button/LED headers, a two-digit status code display, the previously mentioned four SATA ports, and the board’s other USB3 Gen1 front-panel header.
Those USB3 ports on the bottom edge are the toughest problems we see with this layout, as both Gen1 and Gen2 cables are too stiff to tuck under the heatsink of a graphics card. Then again, we wouldn’t likely build with a third high-end card in the bottom x16-length slot, but would more likely put a storage adapter or NVMe drive there. And speaking of slots, this is where we find the board’s final hurdle: Both of its PCIe 4.0 x1 slots share a single lane, so that only one can be used--compared to the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master, which only has one PCIe 4.0 x1 slot. At least here you have x1 card placement options.
The MEG X570 Ace’s box includes four SATA cables, an RGB LED splitter cable, Corsair RGB and ARGB extension cables, a Corsair RGB header to ARGB adapter cable, a 2T2R Wi-Fi antenna, M.2 screws, user manual and quick start guide, a sticker pack and a driver/application disc.
MORE: Best Motherboards
MORE: How To Choose A Motherboard
MORE: All Motherboard Content
Edit: What do you think of using this board for memory evaluations? It has less bandwidth on our overclocked DDR4-2933, but it hits higher data rates and scales smoothly from DDR4-3733 to DDR4-4333. The other boards won't do that.