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MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Motherboard Review

How We Test

Our CPU reviewer initially experienced some performance issues with the Core i9-7900X on MSI firmware that weren’t present in the Core i7-7800X. MSI sent a new firmware on Friday, so I included both of these processors on both motherboards. Since I’m testing in a different hardware configuration than our CPU reviewer, the Core i7-6950X sets the baseline.

Test Hardware

SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
Software
OSWindows 10 64-bit
GraphicsGeForce Game Ready 382.53

Due to the tremendous heat of modern six and ten core processors, I was forced to upgrade from my previous Big Air cooler to our award-winning Fractal Design S24 liquid system. We could call that “putting our money where our words went.”

I needed something to hold that cooler; something that would point air towards the hot voltage regulators of each motherboard, yet I wasn’t prepared to cut open the restrictive fan grills of our previous Lian-Li platform. I found what I needed in an old review sample of Cooler Master’s HAF-XB.

Comparison Products

Benchmark Suite

Benchmark Settings
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4k Random Read, 4k Random Write128k Sequential Read, 128k Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMOOpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4
BlenderVersion 2.68aBMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version 13.8.0.144PCMark driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0. 20160603.r.88 x64PCMark driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build 11.4.0.90 x64PCMark driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark driven routine
Game Tests and Settings
Ashes of SingularityVersion 1.31.21360, DirectX 12, GPU-FocusedHigh PresetCrazy Preset
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, RainMedium PresetUltra High Preset
Metro Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 64-bitHigh QualityVery High Quality
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252, 64-Bit, DirectX11High Preset, Max Render 1920x1080Ultra Preset, Max Render 1920x1080


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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.