In the great scheme of things the MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC does a good job, but it’s not all good news. The board has four PCI Express graphics slots, a massive number of USB 2.0, 3.1 Gen. 1 and Gen. 2 headers and rugged good looks. Unfortunately the understated black finish is then topped off with those unnecessary hints of fake carbon fibre that rather let the side down.
The Gaming heat sinks on the VRMs and chipset look good and seem to work well but you may struggle to install the CPU block as the mounting screws pass very close to recesses in the heat sink.
It is a similar story with the Game Boost knob which is a bit of a gimmick. We would have much preferred the developers had forgotten about this feature and instead worked a bit harder on the overclocking presets as the fastest clock simply did not work with our CPU.
Continuing with this theme, we like MSI’s Live Update 6 software but found the Mystic Light feature to be horribly frustrating. It’s almost as though the development team had a bunch of people doing good work and then one sorry individual comes along and tweaks things for the worse.
And we struggle to understand why the eight USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen1) ports on the I/O panel are red in colour. Blue would be the correct colour, however it seems that development person decided that MSI corporate colours are black and red, and it would therefore be a fine idea to relieve all that black with some red. It is a real shame that MSI couldn’t find space in the I/O for the Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi. This is a useful addition but looks rather like an afterthought when it is an add-in PCI Express card.
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- Good support for USB 3.1 Gens. 1 and 2.
- Three M.2 slots.
- Smart Fan Control works well.
- Extensive RGB.
- Overclocking is weak.
- The two 8-pin EPS connectors are next to each other.
- Mystic Lighting software has an awful user interface.
- Wi-Fi uses a separate PCI Express card.
- Game Boost speeds are not clearly explained
KitGuru says: A decent Threadripper motherboard that tries to be all things to all people.