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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  • plonk420 - Sunday, May 3, 2020 - link

    noice! thanks for the VRM information! amusingly (to myself), i look at VRM stuff before i look at I/O :D Reply
  • kwinz - Monday, May 4, 2020 - link

    I genuinely don't know why this new chipset exists. It bringa virtually nothing new. DMI 3.0 in a new chipset is a disgrace. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, May 7, 2020 - link

    "I genuinely don't know why this new chipset exists."

    Smoke and mirrors is fun?

    Landfills are hungry?
    Reply
  • mrvco - Monday, May 4, 2020 - link

    Gotta keep those mobo mfgs busy I guess. Hopefully Intel’s Groundhog Day antics don’t distract them too much from the B550 boards I’m waiting patiently on. Reply
  • MadAd - Monday, May 4, 2020 - link

    Not again, yet another tired selection of ATX clunkers, with a few mandatory ITX thrown in .When on earth are we/the industry going to move on from this prehistoric outdated form format! Reply
  • AdditionalPylons - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    Very glad to see 2.5GbE finally becoming more common. Hopefully this convinces network switch manufacturers to get out some cheaper 2.5+ GbE switches soon. Reply
  • DarkAndHungryGod - Thursday, May 7, 2020 - link

    The Intel Smart Sound support is duplicated in the first table, Intel Chipset Comparison, and there is one difference between both entries. Reply
  • duploxxx - Friday, May 8, 2020 - link

    conclusion: an amazing high count of motherboards for a wasted CPU generation….

    who ever believes that this is a platform to buy think twice. Knowing Intel I would not fall into the Multi generationCPU / chipset support..... i am sure the super turbo will look nice from benchmark perspective….
    Reply
  • nonoverclock - Thursday, May 21, 2020 - link

    I'm upgrading from an i7 4770 and want to get the latest, so for me, I'm quite interested in this gen. Reply
  • joshw351 - Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - link

    I like how these mobo manufacturers think they can charge 1k for a motherboard when you can throw a 150-200$ waterblock from EK on a regular mobo. Reply

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