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MSI MEG X399 Creation – The best motherboard ever!

Headline Specification

Socket TR4 Ryzen Threadripper
Chipset AMD X399
DDR4 Memory Quad Channel memory supports 2133MHz to 3600MHz+(OC) in 8 DIMM Slots, maximum 128GB
Expansion slots
4 slots PCI-E x16 Gen3
1 slot PCI-E x1
3x M.2 Slots
RAID 0/1/10
Ethernet 2x Gigabit
USB 3.1 ports (Front) 1(Gen2, Type C), 4(Gen1, Type A)
USB 3.1 ports (Rear) 1(Gen1, Type C), 9(Gen1, Type A)
USB 2.0 ports (Front)
Audio 7.1-Channel High Definition
Form Factor E-ATX
Full specification HERE

There is no denying the MSI MEG X399 Creation has a high price tag when you consider the cheapest Threadripper motherboard on the market costs £275. Balanced against that the list of features is solid and you get a decent array of accessories in the package, including the M.2 Xpander-Aero housing. We reckon the M.2 RAID device is worth at least £50 but even so, you are paying top dollar for the MEG X399 Creation.

The feature that raises the MSI MEG X399 Creation above pretty much any level of criticism is the remarkable hardware that MSI has employed in the VRM system. The Vcore VRM controller is an IR35201 in 8+0 mode which is assisted by eight IR3599 doublers on the back of the board to give 16 true phases for the CPU. These are Infineon IR TDA21472 integrated MOSFET power stages that appear to be rated at 70A (data is scarce), making them the most powerful VRMs we have ever seen on a motherboard. Typically 50A is good going and 60A is high end so 70A is a completely different league.

MSI has used an IR35204 for the SoC VRM controller which has a maximum capability of 3+1 phases, and is used here in 3+0 mode with three of the same phases used in the CPU VRMs. That is a maximum 210A for the chipset which is completely unnecessary as you will never see a Threadripper with integrated graphics, however it adds a certain symmetry to the motherboard to see the same hardware used for CPU and SoC.

When it comes to the DDR4 memory, MSI has used a 2-phase controller on each side of the board, so each bank of four DIMMS has 2x 40A stages of power which is far more than you will ever need for DDR4.

As you will see in our video the Threadripper 2900WX is capped at 250W by default however this figure can be adjusted manually to any level you like. When you overclock any Threadripper motherboard by adjusting the clock multiplier the power limit is completely removed. Leaving the clock speeds on Auto and raising the power limit means you are only restricted by the quality of the cooling in your PC, along with the power that you are supplying.

You can expect your 32-core Threadripper to draw 450W under heavy load, with a total system power draw that is anywhere in the range of 650W-800W so there is good reason why we are putting so much emphasis on the ability of the MSI MEG X399 Creation to deliver sufficient power.

There is so much VRM hardware at the top of the board that MSI has effectively shifted everything down by one expansion slot. You still get four PCI Express graphics slots however the spacing is a bit peculiar as the CMOS battery has been housed between the top pair of slots and an M.2 goes between the lower pair. This leaves the second and third slots squeezed together in the middle. This is absolutely fine as few people will use two graphics cards, let alone three, but you may want to employ the M.2 Xpander-Aero in addition to your graphics. We consider one PCIe slot to be effectively redundant.

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