Board Features

The MSI MEG Z590 Ace is a premium ATX motherboard that sits just below its flagship MEG Z590 Godlike model in the product stack and is aimed at content creators, gamers, and enthusiasts using Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake processors. The Z590 chipset is also backward compatible with the previous 10th Generation Comet Lake processors. There are plenty of features, including two full-length PCIe 4.0 slots that can operate at x16 or x8/x8, with a third full-length PCIe 3.0 slot electronically locked to x4, and two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. For storage, MSI includes a total of four M.2 slots, with one PCIe 4.0 x4, two PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA, and one PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot. There are also six SATA ports that feature support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. In regards to memory support, there are a total of four slots that can support up to DDR4-5600, with a maximum capacity of up to 128 GB. Looking at cooling compatibility, the Ace has eight 4-pin headers in total including one dedicated to a CPU fan, one for water pump, and six for chassis fans.

MSI MEG Z590 Ace ATX Motherboard
Warranty Period 3 Years
Product Page Link
Price $500 ($470 at Amazon)
Size ATX
CPU Interface LGA1200
Chipset Intel Z590
Memory Slots (DDR4) Four DDR4
Supporting 128 GB
Up to DDR4-5600
Video Outputs 1 x HDMI 2.0b
Network Connectivity Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE
Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC4082
ESS Sabre 9018Q2C DAC
PCIe Slots for Graphics (from CPU) 2 x PCIe 4.0 (x16, x8/x8)
PCIe Slots for Other (from PCH) 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4
2 x PCIe 3.0 x1
Onboard SATA Six, RAID 0/1/5/10 (Z590)
Onboard M.2 1 x PCIe 4.0 x4
1 x PCIe 3.0 x4
2 x PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA
Thunderbolt 4 (40 Gbps) 2 x Type-C
2 x Mini-DisplayPort Inputs
USB 3.2 (20 Gbps) N/A
USB 3.2 (10 Gbps) 2 x USB Type-A (Rear panel)
1 x USB Type-C (One header)
USB 3.1 (5 Gbps) 4 x USB Type-A (Rear panel)
2 x USB Type-A (One header)
USB 2.0 2 x USB Type-A (Rear panel)
4 x USB Type-A (Two headers)
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin Motherboard
2 x 8-pin CPU
1 x 6-pin PCIe
Fan Headers 1 x 4-pin CPU
1 x 4-pin Water Pump/chassis
6 x 4-pin Chassis
IO Panel 2 x Antenna Ports (Intel AX210)
1 x HDMI 2.0 output
2 x Thunderbolt 4 Type-C
2 x Mini-DisplayPort inputs
2 x USB 3.2 G2 Type-A
4 x USB 3.2 G1 Type-A
2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x RJ45 (Intel)
1 x BIOS Flashback button
1 x Clear CMOS button
5 x 3.5 mm audio jacks (Realtek)
1 x S/PDIF Optical output (Realtek)

The rear panel of the MSI MEG Z590 Ace has a wide variety of premium input and output, including dual Thunderbolt 4 Type-C with two mini-DisplayPort inputs, two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. MSI also includes more USB capacity through front panel headers, including one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C (one header), two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A (one header), and four USB 2.0 (two headers) ports. Integrated audio is also impressive, with five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical powered by Realtek's latest ALC4082 HD audio codec and an ESS Sabre 9018Q2C DAC. For network connectivity, the Ace includes one Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE controller and the latest Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, which also offers BT 5.2 connectivity. Users looking to use Intel's integrated graphics will find the HDMI 2.0b video output very useful.

Test Bed

With some of the nuances with Intel's Rocket Lake processors, our policy is to see if the system gives an automatic option to increase the power limits of the processor. If it does, we select the liquid cooling option. If it does not, we do not change the defaults. Adaptive Boost Technology is disabled by default.

Test Setup
Processor Intel Core i9-11900K, 125 W, $374
8 Cores, 16 Threads 3.5 GHz (5.3 GHz Turbo)
Motherboard MSI MEG Z590 Ace (BIOS 7D04v11)
Cooling Corsair iCue H150i Elite Capellix 360 mm AIO
Power Supply Corsair HX850 80Plus Platinum 850 W
Memory G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3200 CL 14-14-14-34 2T (2 x 8 GB)
Video Card MSI GTX 1080 (1178/1279 Boost)
Hard Drive Crucial MX300 1TB
Case Corsair Crystal 680X
Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64-bit: Build 20H2

We must also thank the following:

Hardware Providers for CPU and Motherboard Reviews
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix
BIOS And Software System Performance
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  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    That's a LOTTA money for a motherboard without 10Gbe and limited to either 10 coffee lake cores or 8 rocket lake cores.
  • YB1064 - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    Yes, I agree. No 10GbE in a premium board = no buy!
  • ballsystemlord - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    I also agree. I can't order even 0.5G Ethernet but I defiantly need that 10GbE port!
  • lmcd - Friday, May 28, 2021 - link

    Aside from defiantly being unable to spell, the point of 10G Ethernet is connection to a local NAS, among other things.
  • kpb321 - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    The Mini DP in for supporting the USB-C display port alt mode with a discrete video card has always felt like a pretty clunky solution. That's why I've always felt like that was much more useful on laptops, SFF etc where there is no support for changing a dedicated GPU and you just build that into it. I wonder if they could built Display port signaling into the PCI-E slot using some reserved pins or an extra section of connectors or something like that to make it simple with a dedicated GPU
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    You can already do video signaling through PCI-E. That's how laptop GPUs have worked ever since the first iterations of optimus.
  • Jorgp2 - Thursday, June 3, 2021 - link

    Pretty sure it's actually built into windows nowadays.
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    "with a flagship motherboard model costing nearly double that. It comes down to..."

  • Questor - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    All this connectivity and still a shortage of PCI express lanes.
  • GNUminex_l_cowsay - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    I think the next high end motherboard review needs to have a feature comparison table. Post time and idle power are impossible to interpret without knowing what is on the board and these high end boards have a lot of things.

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