MSI Z490-A Pro

Looking at MSI's entry-level Z490 model, the MSI Z490-A Pro which is designed for more professional users and content creators, it's interesting to see that MSI has included a single Realtek 2.5 G NIC. Also included are two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, six SATA ports, and support for up to 128 GB of DDR4-4800 memory across four slots.

Similar to the aesthetics of the MSI X570-A Pro, the overall design of the MSI Z490-A Pro has been revamped with its beefier 12-phase power delivery. It drops the integrated RGB LEDs of other MSI Z490 models and goes for a more subtle and professional design with black heatsinks, and a black and grey accented partnered PCB. Its core feature set includes two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16+4, with three PCIe 3.0 slots. For memory, there are four slots with support for up to DDR4-4800, with a maximum capacity of 128 GB.

In terms of storage support, there are two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, with four right-angled SATA, and two straight angled SATA ports bringing the total of SATA ports to six. Only the top M.2 slot has a heat sink included, with the six SATA ports garnering support for RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 arrays. 

On the rear panel is a basic set of IO, with one USB 3.2 G2 10 Gbps Type-C, two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. There is a Realtek RTL8125B 2.5 G powered Ethernet port and a pair of video outputs consisting of a DisplayPort and HDMI output. For onboard audio, there is five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output controlled by a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec, with a single PS/2 keyboard and mouse combo port for users with legacy peripherals. 

Overall the MSI Z490-A Pro caters more to professional users but includes more premium networking with a Realtek 2.5 G Ethernet controller which is a bump over previous versions of the A Pro. The two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots support dual AMD Crossfire graphics card setups, with a decent looking power delivery on a budget-focused model. MSI hasn't provided pricing information as of yet.

MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk Supermicro C9Z490-PG & C9Z490-PGW
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  • stevenfindley - Monday, June 8, 2020 - link

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  • Shinkiro - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    A lot of people don't upgrade every consecutive generation. My 3570k and 980ti have been serving me well for half a decade, but now that it's time to get new gear I'm happy to see higher maximum speeds and lower temperatures than the previous generation. The fact that gen10 requires a different socket than Gen 9 is completely irrelevant to me, aside from choosing a compatible board. Reply
  • Orange_Swan - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Exactly, my i5-4690k has served me well for just under 6 years (brought Nov. 14), I tend to buy a new CPU and Mobo every 5ish years. Reply
  • althaz - Saturday, May 2, 2020 - link

    The point is though, that you need to buy a new motherboard, which means you'll probably consider AMD's Ryzen 3000 line-up (generally, AMD will give you better productivity performance, upgradability and lower power, but worse gaming performance, which is why I went Intel last year). If Intel weren't such dicks in forcing people to buy new motherboards, maybe you would be able to just drop in a new CPU (actually in your case it really is irrelevant, a new motherboard was *actually* needed for 6th gen, everything since then would work on the same boards if Intel weren't dicks, but the point stands in general). Reply
  • Tabalan - Sunday, May 3, 2020 - link

    Intel i5 3570k was released 8 years ago, while i5 4690k is 6 years old. Wanting to upgrade build after 6 years with 3 years of mobo backward compatibility (like with AMD, Ryzen 1000 to 4000) means that you either buy 3 years old CPU or buy new mobo + new CPU. In latter case, it doesn't matter if you go with Intel or AMD, because it's down to same thing. Reply
  • bronan - Saturday, May 16, 2020 - link

    Indeed my point exactly every year new stuff gets launched and loads of people jump onto the newest toys just because the cpu is maybe 0.1 Ghz faster if your lucky.
    Because that boost does not work constant at all, i saw that with several friends who bought the 8700k which claims to boost to 4.7 Ghz. Reality is that only 3 out of 28 of these cpu did boost up to 4.7 the rest only gets between 4.4 and 4.6 at the highest and to be honest only in certain tasks.
    So if you follow the baseline of the cpu usage you see during some tasks a few spikes but most of the time it hangs around the baseclock speed.
    I actually still was using my 6700k till 2 months ago on a z170 motherboard then i saw somebody selling his 8700k for a nice price and i switch over.
    The performance increase is close to 0 in almost every task besides when i am packing and unpacking rar and zip files. In the games i do i see hardly any performance gains as well.
    The only thing i am planning to update now is my graphics card, so i am kinda waiting for a very cheap AMD VII or if AMD releases the new big navy.
    But the people who own the AMD VII tend to want to keep them because there had not been one for sale in many months for a reasonable price. The only one i saw was sold at a price above the release price when they came to market.....
    So those who bought the cards seem to be content enough to not sell them at all.
    So i am still stuck at my gtx 1070 and have no plans to pay a premium price for a next gen GPU.
    @Orange_Swan i tend to buy only when i see a huge improvement for the tasks i do, if its below 3% increase i will not buy anything at all. So i sometimes keep running the same stuff sometimes even up to 12 years.
    I got a huge amount of people who i help with their pc hardware and problems and almost everyone of them relies on my expertise to give them proper advise when they want some kinda upgrade.
    Often i can asure them that even though the bragging bonus can be fun, they often will see no improvement at all if they buy a new system. So they wait till i tell them their system can be upgraded or replaced. In almost any case its the gpu which gets replaced by a second hand one in very rare situations i have to ask them to order a new one.
    What i am saying is that even though they keep releasing new stuff, most people do not have a need to upgrade/update anything.
    Actually for now there is absolute no need to have something faster at all for any game at all in the near future, because all will run fine with your current stuff.
    I actually have several who have at least a titan from recent generation and still can not run their games at highest settings in 4K.
    Reply
  • RealBeast - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    All of my builds since my Athlon have been Intel, but no way they'll suck me in on this Z490 1200 pin build, when their next decent CPUs will require something like a Z491 with 1201 pins. ;) Reply
  • Andrew LB - Saturday, May 9, 2020 - link

    Intel has already said the next gen will still use LGA 1200 socket. Reply
  • WaltC - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Can't see much "exciting" about this...;) Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    It seems like a poster child for a Powerpoint on the inefficiencies of capitalism.

    Literally making another iteration of products "just because".
    Reply

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