MSI Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC Motherboard Review

How We Test

Now that we have an adequate collection of Z370 test data, we’re ready to drop the previous boards from our tables. MSI’s Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC competes against larger models using the same oversized hardware, most of which would also fit into a portable gaming cube.

SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 382.53

Back during the X299 launch, we upgraded our test bed to handle the tremendous heat produced by the Core i9-7900X. Our award-winning Fractal Design S24 liquid cooler system sample serves the same purpose for the newer, lower heat Core i7-8700K. Cooler Master’s HAF-XB provides an optimal layout to blow the Celsius S24’s fans sufficiently over each motherboard’s voltage regulator.

Comparison Products

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Is the Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC strong enough to compete against the big boards in overclocking? We included all prior Z370 contenders to find out!

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613
Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0
Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21
CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4k Random Read, 4k Random Write
128k Sequential Read, 128k Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMO
OpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8
Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3
Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9
Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4
Blender Version 2.68a
BMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02
THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version 13.8.0.144
PCMark driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0. 20160603.r.88 x64
PCMark driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build 11.4.0.90 x64
PCMark 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
High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAA
Crazy Preset - 1920x1090, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, Rain
Medium Preset, No AF
xUltra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64
High Quality, 1920x1080, High Tesselation, 16x AF
Very High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252
Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AF
Ultra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF

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6 comments
    Your comment
  • hamza.the.networker
    I like it, thanks for this.
  • Crashman
    2631654 said:
    I like it, thanks for this.

    You're welcome :)
  • Lutfij
    The point with limited fan headers might also be due to the fact that you can source a PWM splitter that is molex/sata powered and you can use the breakaway's to manage more than one(upto eight) fan(s) in a case.

    The review is simple and spot on, bravo, Thomas! ;)
  • Crashman
    291971 said:
    The point with limited fan headers might also be due to the fact that you can source a PWM splitter that is molex/sata powered and you can use the breakaway's to manage more than one(upto eight) fan(s) in a case. The review is simple and spot on, bravo, Thomas! ;)


    I realize these are small boards for small cases and don't have much room for extras, but I only required three fan headers. One for the front of the case, one for the back and one for the CPU cooler. I don't think that's too much to ask :)
  • mortemas
    Where's the ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming-ITX/ac? I don't see much talk of it anywhere, let alone this review where it would have been a good apples to apples comparison.
  • Crashman
    1909051 said:
    Where's the ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming-ITX/ac? I don't see much talk of it anywhere, let alone this review where it would have been a good apples to apples comparison.
    Good question! I don't have one, and they haven't offered it yet.