Intel have launched their 9th Generation Core processors with the Core i9 9900K being their flagship chip so far. With new chips generally comes new motherboards for those chips to sit on. We attended the MSI media briefing at rAge this year, where we got a better look at MSI MEG Z390 Godlike motherboard.
First off, we just need to clarify that these chips are specifically for the Z390 platform, and are not to be confused with the 900-ish series of Intel chips. While not confirmed yet, there is speculation that the new 9th Gen Core chips will work on Z370 motherboards, which we will only be able to confirm later on in the month. However, to get the most out of your Core i9’s, you should opt for the Godlike MB. My belief is that the Z370 will need some BIOS updates to fully support the i9’s, but the Z370 series motherboards should be able to house the new chips as the socket is the same (that we can see so far).
The Godlike motherboard, like the Core i9, is the flagship Intel chipset board from MSI, offering every feature you need, and some you didn’t know that you needed. It boasts a 16-phase power delivery system, translating into a super stable overclocking platform, allowing you to really push the new 8-core CPU’s past 5Ghz!
Before we delve into the more serious features, I am actually going to cover the fluff first. There are three M.2 shields, and while most high-end boards allow for two or three M.2 SSD’s, most don’t have dedicated shields for them. Plus, each M.2 shield offers Shield FROZR, MSI’s dedicated SSD cooling solution to reduce thermal throttling. There is also space for a single U.2 SSD connection.
There is a Dynamic Dashboard that you can custom code to reflect your personality (in the press event, MSI displayed a board that had an 8-bit image of Venom). In previous years, MSI used to colour code their boards, with Yellow being for overclockers, Blue for mainstream and general use, and Red was their gaming line; however, they have opted for a standard black-and-titanium look, giving the board a more premium feel. The Godlike board is littered with LED’s, offering 16.9 million colour RGB solutions, with an ‘Infinity’ look, which you can also customise exactly how you want it to be. In essence, on top of being an extremely powerful motherboard, it's pretty flashy as well.
Now, onto the performance. It supports Intel 9th Gen chipsets and lower, so long as they conform to the LGA 1151 socket shape. It offers four DIMM slots, supporting up to 4600 MHz RAM, which have been reinforced to prevent EMF bleed and just better socket stability. There are four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, and one PCIe 3.0 x1 slot, which I can’t really think of a use, other than a capture card (comes with the board). Thankfully, there is built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, which might not sound important, but at this price point (R10 499), you damn well want those connections.
MSI have realised that there is a benefit to overclocking a system to squeeze performance out, but they also know that not everybody is able to, whether they just lack the knowledge or don’t want to void warranties, manually overclock their systems in the BIOS. Therefore, they have added a little ‘overclock knob’ that will allow you to change presets to get some extra juice from your PC, without worrying about damaging any components. It’s great because it makes overclocking more accessible, and while the market that this board aims for might have knowledge on overclocking, it's much better to test it out on these markets in order to roll it out to other markets.
The Z390 is a dual-BIOS system, meaning you can run two different BIOS’s with the ability to simply switch between them at will. MSI have also added Power and Reset buttons onto the bottom heatsink, which is perfect for test benches or open-air cases. Just going back to the M.2 drives, MSI have included an expansion card for you to mount your NVMe drives, which plugs into a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, giving even better cooling options.
It looks like MSI have put a lot of R&D into this board, and we can’t wait to see what it can do in an actual build.
Loves games with deep character development and a rich storyline. Also, shooty-shooties. Loathes microtransactions. Likes to use sarcasm and metaphors.
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