Test: MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi

MSI wants to be on the train regarding the new platform Z690 from day one and there is a lot of news to cover this time.

The Z690 is finally here and unlike previous years and platforms, the Z690 is a relatively major update this time around, much thanks to Intel and their 12th generation Core processors.

There is so much new that it almost feels like Intel kept all this news for a year, but now we have finally got them and the performance surprises in some cases but feels unnecessary in others. In any case, the Z690 is definitely worth calling the next generation this time and we will go through some of the news that the MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi actually offers.

MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi


One of the BIG news with the MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi is clearly DDR5 which is a real boost from DDR4. Now in the beginning we have had to “satisfy ourselves” with RAM clocked at 5,200 MHz, but it comes faster and according to MSI, specifically the MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi can handle up to a full 6,666 MHz which is extremely fast and apparently just the beginning for DDR5 .

With DDR5, we also got XMP 3.0 to work with, completely new possibilities to clock our RAM. Several of the major manufacturers such as Corsair, Crucial, Kingston and others are on the train from day one and MSI wants to make the overclocking of DDR5 in the safest possible way. MSI has built in what they call “Enchanced Voltage control” and that we have “Dynamic Memory boost” to ensure and get as much as possible from RAM.

MSI Z690 MPG motherboard

Worth thinking about is that you can not combine DDR4 and DDR5, these are completely different slots (DIMMs) so it is important that you decide before you buy a motherboard for the 12th generation. However, Intel’s 12th generation supports both DDR4 and DDR5, but the motherboard rules there.


Other very nice news that really should have been included several years ago is that the MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi offers 2.5G LAN ethernet, you simply can not complain online via cable this time. If you run via LAN, you have a LAN Manager to work with, which among other things makes it possible to change “priority” on different programs / games, do different network tests and see how much data has been used, simply keep track of the network to and from from his PC.

MSI Z690 MPG and manager

But if you want to drive wireless, this has also now become a standard and the MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi comes with Wi-Fi 6e built-in, which should support as much as 2,400 Mbps. Bluetooth 5.2 is also now standard on the Z690 and this almost feels like a must today, not only in laptops but also with these new motherboards.

The USB ports have once again been given a lift, a real lift. Now we finally have USB 3.2 to work with. MSI Z690 MPG thus has support for USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2 20G, so we have up to 20 Gb / s to work with via ONE port, in addition to having it on the back of its can, there is also support for having a USB Type-C on the front, if the chassis supports this.

MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi


PCI-express has also received a boost and a real one, thanks to the new PCIE 5, this port will support 128GB / s and this via x16 interface, this seems to be needed more and more considering the graphics card’s performance and that the resolutions increase, 4K is starting to become standard but 8K is not far away.

MSI has chosen with the MSI Z690 MPG to settle for a total of three PCI-E slots, but only two of them are Gen 5, which I think is enough for most people.

Where MSI has really not skimped is when it comes to M.2 sites, we have a total of five sites, of which as many as four of these support Lightning Gen 4 and mean up to 64 Gbps. For some reason, there is an M.2 of 32 Gbps should the need arise. If you drive over Sata, there are a total of six gates, but for our tests there was full focus on M.2.

MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi

Just like previous motherboards from MSI, they have chosen to hide all M.2 SSDs under their M.2 Shield Frozr solutions, which is good IF you do not have an SSD with built-in heatsink, then it can be a problem but otherwise a really excellent solution. According to MSI themselves, the M.2 Shield Frozr will, among other things, help to maximize performance over longer periods, higher SSD speeds and that the temperature will not set it. I can already say after a few tests that M.2 Shield Frozr does its job of keeping the temperature down, during heavy loads, in our case stress tests, you saw the temperature go up but not past different limits, this only at heavy loads.

Fan control

Something that the MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi has become significantly better at than before is that MSI has invested significantly more in the cooling of its PC, there are several different fan and temperature controls. Either you use MSI AI Engine to keep track of this or you can choose to set everything yourself. Our tip is to clearly take advantage of the MSI AI Engine in this case, both the chassis and the CPU are controlled very well and ensure that everything in the chassis is kept cool. It is worth mentioning, however, that much of these settings can be made in both the BIOS and the operating system (Windows 10 in our case) which shows and explains everything very simply.

MSI Z690 MPG fan controller

Better at everything

MSI has simply managed to take full advantage of the Z690 platform in the MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi. A motherboard that will last a long time and a lot thanks to securing most things for the future, such as RAM, PCIE, networks, connections in the form of USB-C. The only thing that could be problematic for some is if three PCIEs are not enough, but if you do not use PCIE much more than your graphics card, the MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi is definitely worth investing in.

One detail that I personally like is that MSI has started to make its motherboards more stylish, but chooses to “hide” a lot of components that are directly on the card and this by simultaneously cooling components such as M.2 SSD under these “shields”. Smart solutions make the card look nicer and cleaner.

MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wifi