MSI MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi Lightning Review: Blindingly Good-Looking Board

MSI isn’t a stranger when it comes to the subject of making high-end motherboards and other components. I should know, the MEG X570 GODLIKE was my defacto testbench for the lifespan of the AMD Ryzen 3000 and 5000 Series CPUs. Now, with the Ryzen 7000 Series more or less settled in, the brand has provided me with one of their high-end X670E motherboards. Specifically, the MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi.

What Is It?

Let’s go through the laundry list of this product. The MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi is a Socket AM5 motherboard, designed to work with AMD’s latest Zen 4 processor lineup, the Ryzen 7000 Series. The motherboard also marks the first time – or second, if you’re inclined to include the brand’s Threadripper HEDT series – the brand is officially moving away from the Pin Grid Array (PGA) design and using the Land Grid Array layout, where all the pins are installed on the motherboard, instead of the CPU itself.

Is It Any Good?

Like all high-end AM5 motherboards, the MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi is an ATX board, loaded with a basket of premium components and design. Sporting a sleek, all-black server-grade PCB, the entire board is thickened and reinforced with a layer of copper. I’ll answer this part of the review quickly: yes, the motherboard does have RGB LEDs integrated into it, but only underneath the brand’s iconic dragon emblem, which is visible on the cooler shroud that sits on top of the rear I/O.

Speaking of cooler shrouds, the MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi is littered with a variety of heatsinks, one of which sits on top of the board’s 12+2+1 VRM Power phase chips, while the detachable ones are clearly visible on the bottom half of the motherboard, which are essentially the heatsinks for the four M.2 SSD slots of the board,

On the subject of M.2, two of the slots on the MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi fully support the new PCIe 5.0 standard, while the other two support PCIe 4.0. Likewise, the two main PCIe interfaces are PCIe 5.0 ready, while the third slot only supports PCIe 4.0. Still on the subject of the M.2 slots, I think it is neat that the top-most M.2 slot employs a completely tool-less heatsink, making it even easier to install an SSD. For that matter, the stand-offs are also tool-less and hold said components down with a plastic latch.

For the rear I/O, you get a healthy number of USB 3.2 Gen2 ports in both USB-A and USB-C flavours, the obligatory DisplayPort and HDMI ports because of the integrated graphics that now come with Ryzen 7000 Series CPUs, the usual CMOS and BIOS buttons, and a single 2.5 Realtek LAN port. Oh, and there’s also the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antenna ports, which are Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 ready, respectively.

The Bad Stuff. Tell Me.

Perhaps one of the main caveats of the MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi would be its asking price. At an SRP of RM2440, it’s not the cheapest X670E motherboard on the market, but to be fair, it’s not the most expensive I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.

My second gripe would be the number of LAN ports MSI has decided to install on the MPG X670E Wi-Fi. While one port is obviously the standard, other high-end motherboards usually come with two LAN ports, all in order to facilitate multiple data transfers. That being said, the board does already support Wi-Fi 6E, so maybe the presence of a second ethernet port on the board may have been made redundant.

Should I Buy It?

At this rate, if you’re looking to build a premium, top-of-the-line desktop PC with AMD components, you’re pretty much spoilt for choice and  MSI’s MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi just so happens to be one of those premium motherboards that are readily available to you. For another matter, the motherboard is clearly a solid performer and offers plenty by way of rear and internal I/O, so at the very least, you’re guaranteed a rig that is up to date with modern specifications. Plus, once future products like PCIe 5.0 are more readily available, at least your board will be ready for the swap for more near “godlike” transfer speeds.


Photography by John Law.

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