MSI has collaborated with EKWB to combat the excessive heat generation of the new 10th-Gen Intel Comet Lake-S chips by coming up with the MPG Z490 Carbon EK X motherboard.
A 12+1+1 Phase Power Sub-System and EKWB Monoblock
The motherboard comprises a complex 12+1+1 phase power delivery subsystem for the CPU, and an EKWB monoblock, along with useful RGB goodies. Each of these features helps to boost the overall power and efficiency of this motherboard, making it stand out from the rest.
If you’ve been eyeing the 10900K processor but have been apprehensive about potential overheating problems, you’ll be pleased to know that the Z490 is specially built for overclocking.
As for the EKWB monoblock abroad, not only does it help to enhance the MSI’s design, but cools the CPU and VRM circuitry too. While it’ll become mandatory for you to use the motherboard in a custom loop, it still isn’t a deal-breaker. Also, the board has an EKWB leak testing kit that pressurizes the loop with air for testing purposes.
Moreover, the standard Z490 design features four DDR4 memory slots, up to two graphic cards support, and a high-end audio circuitry. In addition to this, you also get a Wi-Fi 6 AX support, 2.5G Ethernet, and an ASmedia 3241 USB 3.2 Gen2x2 controller.
The DDR4 RAM slots have been optimized to support the 128 GB memory and more than 4800 MHz memory speeds. Plus, there are several USB options as well.
The motherboard comes with two USB 3.2 Gen Type-A ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, and two USB 2.0 ports. You get one USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port, and in case you want additional USB port connectivity, there is an option for that too.
On the audio front, it uses the Realtek ALC1200 codec to ensure a high-definition 7.1-channel audio experience via the single optical S/PDIF port and five 3.5 mm audio jacks.
Fair Pricing Strategy
The MPG Z490 Carbon EK X Motherboard costs $400, but when you take into account the top-notch features as well as the fact that the monoblocks themselves are priced between $150-$200, it’s certainly a sweet deal.