MSI Launches the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC: Going Micro-ATXby Joe Shields on August 17, 2017 8:30 AM EST
MSI has announced a new Micro ATX motherboard added to the X299 lineup in the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC. Based on the ATX sized X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, it has a similar I/O cover shape as well as the painted carbon pattern on the black board. MSI states it shares nearly all features the bigger brother offers, such as multiple PCIe x16 slots for multi-GPU, the same amount of SATA ports, dual M.2 slots, and even the same 10 phase DrMOS PWM make their way onto the smaller X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC.
The X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC supports up to 64GB of quad-channel DRAM, and using MSI’s DDR4 Boost Technology should allow the board to support memory speeds up to 4200 MHz, a full multiplier more than the ATX sized Gaming Pro Carbon AC - this is typically down to better performance potential when using 1 DIMM per channel. Another difference is visible in the available PCIe slots: the mATX version has a total of three PCIe x16 slots, two using Steel Armor and one without, to support x16/x16/x8 using a 44-lane CPU and x16/x8/x4 with a 28-lane CPU, although to use all the bandwidth a user would need to invest in single slot solutions. Under the guide overclocking, MSI claims that its features such as an external clock generator for more BCLK flexibility, an 8-Layer PCB, and a fully digital power design for its 10 phase Military Class 6 power delivery (among other features) contribute to the overclocking performance.
On the storage side, the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC comes with eight SATA 6 Gbps ports, who of which can share bandwidth with the two M.2 slots when using SATA based M.2 drives. The M.2 ports also support PCIe 3.0 x4 drives, in which case this will not affect the SATA ports.
USB connectivity starts with USB 3.1 Gen 2 via an ASM3142 controller: Type-A and Type-C ports on the back I/O panel, as well as another Type-C using an internal header. There are four more USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports on the back, as well as two USB 2.0 ports. More can be found when using the internal USB headers.
For networking, the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC comes with two Intel Gigabit LAN controllers (one more than the ATX Gaming Carbon Pro AC), the Intel I219-V and the Intel I211AT. Wireless features are handled by Intel’s dual band Wireless-AC 8265 module pre-installed in the WIFI1 slot. It supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz) up to 867 Mbps, as well as dual mode Bluetooth 4.2. Audio duties are handled by the Realtek ALC1220 codec supporting 7.1 channel HD Audio. MSI updated its audio software on select boards in the X299 platform to Nahimic 2+, using their collaboration with Nahimic for advanced audio features.
RGB LEDs can be found on the I/O cover as well as on the audio separation line on the PCB that is meant to separate digital and analog signals. Two other small RGB strips are on the right side of the board. All the RGB LEDs (and external RGB LEDs that are supported) are controlled by MSI’s Mystic Light application. To further the aesthetic charm, if the default look isn’t what the build theme is looking for, MSI includes three different 'Gaming Pro' heatsink covers in Carbon, Gold, and Silver, which can be swapped around to achieve the most appropriate look for the build. It also has mounting points available, which MSI named 3D X-Mounting, to use for additional modifications for 3D-printable parts. MSI states that the cable covers, M.2 fan stand, SLI bridge, and more can be used to personalize the board even further.
|MSI X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC
|Memory Slots (DDR4)
Up to 4200 MHz
|1x Intel I219V GbE
1x Intel I211AT GbE
|PCIe Slots for Graphics (from CPU)
|3 x PCIe 3.0
- 44 Lane CPU: x16/x16/x8
- w/ 28 Lane CPU: x16/x8/x4
|PCIe Slots for Other (from PCH)
|Eight, RAID 0/1/5/10
|Onboard SATA Express
|2 x PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA
|ASMedia 3142 Chipset:
1 x Gen 2 Type-A (Back Panel)
2 x Gen 2 Type-C (Back Panel)
1 x Gen 2 Type-C (internal connector)
Intel X299 Chipset:
4 x Gen 1 Type-A via Back Panel
2 x Gen 1 Internal Headers
|Intel X299 Chipset
4 x Gen 1 Type-A via Back Pane
2 x Gen 1 via Internal Headers
|1 x 24-pin ATX
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V
1 x 6-pin PCIe
|1 x CPU (4-pin)
1 x Water Pump (4-pin)
3 x System Fan (4-pin)
|1 x Clear CMOS button
1 x BIOS FLASHBACK+ button
1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse combo port
2 x USB 2.0 Type-A ports
2 x Wi-Fi Antenna connectors
4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports
2 x LAN (RJ45) port
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port
1 x Optical S/PDIF OUT connector
5 x OFC audio jacks
Pricing information was not mentioned in the press release. However, the $279.99 price listed above was found on gigparts.com. It is selling for $399.99 on ncix.com.
*MSI's website states that the board supports 128GB of DRAM, although that would mean using 32GB UDIMMs which do not exist. We fully suspect this is a typo on MSI and have reached out for clarification - we expect the support to be 64GB (4x16GB).
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