A mere six months have passed since MSI told us that there would be no cheap X570 motherboards. But at just $160, MSI’s MPG X570 Gaming Plus certainly seems cheap. Or perhaps six months of higher prices have changed our perspective? We do remember a time when the cheapest boards to use an enthusiast-class chipset were priced around $120.
Regardless of how we define cheapness, this board still gets you a voltage regulator with eight 46A MOSFETs for the CPU core on a board that undercuts the other “value-priced models” we’ve tested by a wide margin. That voltage regulator should be adequate to run the full range of Ryzen 3000processors at stock settings. Since our test CPU is a middle model, we’ll push it a bit with overclocking.
|Voltage Regulator||10 Phases (8+2)|
|Video Ports||HDMI 1.4|
|USB Ports||10Gbps: (1) Type-C, (1) Type A; 5Gb/s: (4) Type A; (2) USB 2.0|
|Network Jacks||Gigabit Ethernet|
|Audio Jacks||(5) Analog, (1) Digital Out|
|Legacy Ports/Jacks||(1) PS/2|
|Other Ports/Jack||BIOS Flash|
|PCIe x16||(2) v4.0 (x16/x4)|
|PCIe x1||(3) v4.0 (second excludes first)|
|CrossFire/SLI||2x / ✗|
|DIMM slots||(4) DDR4|
|M.2 slots||(1) PCIe 4.0 x4, (2) PCIe 4.0 x4 / SATA|
|SATA Ports||(6) 6Gb/s|
|USB Headers||(2) v3.x Gen1, (2) v2.0,|
|Fan Headers||Fan Headers|
|Legacy Interfaces||Serial COM Port, System (Beep-code) Speaker|
|Other Interfaces||FP-Audio, (2) RGB LED, TPM, (2) ARGB LED, Corsair LED, RGB LED|
|Internal Button/Switch||✗ / ✗|
|SATA Controllers||ASM1061 PCIe 2.0 x1, Integrated (0/1/10)|
|Ethernet Controllers||RTL8111H PCIe|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||✗|
|HD Audio Codec||ALC1220|
The MPG X570 Gaming Plus has very little going for it outside of the adequate-capacity voltage regulator, though it does a fair job with the basics. We still get PCIe 4.0 to all the board's slots, and the audio codec is the same ALC1220 we would expect to find on $200+ models. And that audio codec still feeds five rear-panel audio jacks and a front-panel HD Audio header, because there wouldn’t be much value to crippling it with cheaper connectors.
Zooming in, we also find a tiny button for flashing the firmware which, lacking the ASIC that allows certain pricier boards to update firmware without certain hardware, seems only a little out of place on a model this inexpensive. We also see a PS/2 port for legacy keyboards and mice, two USB 2.0 ports that we’ll assume are for contemporary keyboards and mice, four USB3 Gen 1 ports (5Gbps), Type A and Type-C Gen 2 ports (10Gbps), Gigabit Ethernet via a low-cost Realtek controller, and a digital optical audio output.
With four of the CPU’s PCIe 4.0 lanes going to an M.2 slot and four more to the X570 PCH as AMD intended, all sixteen remaining lanes go to the top PCIe slot in fixed fashion. You won’t be running SLI on this board, but you might be tempted to use the second x16-length slot to feed a second card in a CrossFire array, though that would be in x4 mode through the chipset.
The three x1 slots are even more limited: Not only do they compete with everything else on the chipset for bandwidth, but the top x1 slot gets disabled whenever a card is detected in the second x1 slot. And that automatic selection explains why we see only one PCIe pathway diverting switch on the entire board, behind the first PCIe x1 slot.
Users have told us (via Newegg reviews) that SATA ports 1 and 2 are to be avoided, as these are the two that are fed by the board’s PCIe 2.0 x1-to-SATA adapter. Ouch. While that part is listed in both the web specs and user manual, neither of those official sources would even tell us that much.
Builders hoping to use the money saved here to splurge on a case might want to hold back a little, as the MPG X570 Gaming Plus has no Gen2 front-panel USB header. On the other hand, those retaining an old high-end case might appreciate that this board has two USB3 Gen1 front-panel headers.
The MPG X570 Gaming Plus’s bottom edge is lined with headers for front-panel audio, one (of two) RGB cables, TPM, four (of six) PWM fan headers, serial COM port, two dual-port USB 2.0, one (of two) dual-port USB 3.0, and an Intel-spec front-panel LED/button group. Above those are a factory (reserved) header, chassis intrusion, PC speaker/buzzer, and one (of two) ARGB headers. The other RGB and ARGB headers are located near the board’s upper-front corner.
Capable of supporting either PCIe/NVMe or SATA interfaced drives, the second M.2 header is to the left of the PCH fan.
The MPS X570 Gaming Plus includes a printed manual in the box, along with a snap-in I/O shield, driver/application disc, two SATA cables, a case badge, an M.2 heat spreader, quick installation guide, and several other pieces of documentation.
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