MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Review

Written by Antony Leather

May 16, 2018 | 12:00

Tags: #am4 #motherboard #ryzen #wifi #x470

Companies: #amd #msi

Overclocking

As the X470 launch date fades away and we start looking forward to more CPUs further down the line, this also gives motherboard manufacturers the chance to improve their EFIs, and this seems to have worked wonders with the X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. Our sample was happy to get straight up to 3,000MHz RAM speed using Hynix memory courtesy of the XMP profile with everything else set correctly. Even more impressive was that we managed to hit 4.3GHz with our Ryzen 7 2700X - the fastest speed so far using our maximum vcore of 1.425V. This is only 50MHz higher than we've seen elsewhere, but it nonetheless gets the title of best overclocking board so far on the X470 chipset. You can see more on MSI's EFI and software here.

Performance Analysis

We'll dive straight into power consumption, as here the X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC was noticeably better than the Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi, drawing around 14W less at idle and 9W less under load. However, the X470 Gaming M7 managed even lower load power draw at stock speed. Applying our overclock saw the X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC draw the least load power at 267W, though, which was 25W less than the Gigabyte board despite a slightly higher overclock. 

The extra 50MHz saw it gain the top result in PCMark 10's photo editing test as well as Cinebench and 3DMark Time Spy, while it also won in the storage performance graphs too, although none of these results were significantly quicker than the competition. The M.2 heatsink shaved 14°C off the load temperature of our Samsung 960 Evo SSD too, so it's definitely worth using, even if it's unlikely to improve performance. The audio performance was practically identical to the X470 Gaming M7 AC, too, with a dynamic range of 112.4 dBA and noise level of -113.6 dBA.

Conclusion

There are obviously cheaper X470 options out there at the moment, and we'll be taking a look at more soon. However, for £160 the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC makes a compelling case for itself with a solid set of features, few cutbacks compared to more expensive boards, and the best overclocking performance we've seen so far from an X470 board. The sheer mass of features and powerful cooling control on offer by the Gigabte Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi means it remains our favourite if money is less of an object, but if it's out of your budget range yet you still want a powerful, well-featured board for your 2nd Generation Ryzen CPU, the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC gets our vote.


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