The MSI Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC (mITX) Motherboard Review: Balanced Gaming Diet

The back panel IO is fairly devoid of most colors that are not black or red which fits MSI’s Gaming theme but does little to visually separate the ports. That said, we are able to see a legacy PS/2 port for mouse and keyboard, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports (red below the NIC), and two USB 3.1 ports (Type-A and Type-C). The board includes HDMI (1.4) and DisplayPort (1.2) connectivity used for the integrated GPU on the Coffe Lake CPUs. Next, we can see a simple CMOS reset button, the Wi-Fi stack, as well as a 5-jack audio stack and SPDIF connections. Overall, it covers the gamut well and should have plenty of ports for most users.

The price for the MSI Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC comes in at $168 (Amazon). That price point has it slotting in nicely between the other Mini-ITX sized boards. The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming costs $179 (Newegg), the ASRock Fatality Z370 Gaming-ITX/ac $180, the SuperO C7Z370-CG-IW at $186, and the GIGABYTE Z370N WiFi at $150. The price point places it in the middle of its other Mini-ITX sized cousins and in the end, selecting an appropriate board will come down to the features, appearance, and cost, with few differences (M.2 slot count, USB support, etc) between them.

MSI Z370 Strategy
MSI brings a total of 13 motherboards to the table ranging in size from Mini-ITX to ATX and pricing starting off around $110 and ending up well over $200. MSI more than likely has a board for everyone here as they have the Enthusiast, Performance, and Arsenal Gaming lines represented well here along with a couple of options in the Pro Series. The flagship of them all is the Z370 Godlike Gaming which also happens to be a limited run board (no price as it is not found online) but there are many boards below it in the product stack that has the right features, look, and price tag for a wide range of users.

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