The Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is one of the flagship Z370 models from MSI; complete with AC Wi-Fi onboard, hence the AC moniker. It is also equipped with loads of RGB lighting options and is shrouded in a race car inspired design. Unlike most competing boards, the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC’s Wi-Fi comes on a PCIe/USB to M.2 Key-E adapter card.
MSI's Gaming Pro Carbon lineup of motherboards are positioned to be the go-to motherboard for gamers and enthusiasts alike. If we ask people what makes a motherboard a gaming product we get a few answers depending on what gamers expect.
The Gaming Pro Carbon AC is based on an all-black PCB using all black slots and ports. It is less flamboyant than the Godlike Gaming with gray stenciling on the board around the socket area and uncovered audio section, as well as the chipset area, but the PCH heatsink is redesigned and has a carbon fiber middle with the MSI name above the integrated RGB LED underneath. The audio separation line, the back panel shroud, and below the ATX 24-pin are where the RGB LEDs hide. Additional RGB headers can be found on the bottom portion of the board and all can be controlled by the Mystic Light App. Two of the three PCIe slots are reinforced, while all of the DIMM slots use the Steel Armor.
The Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC includes six four-pin PWM fan headers, and all six have voltage control modes available. In addition to automatic detection, the board provides the ability to manually force the alternative fan control method.
The Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon is packed with cables: Though SATA is limited to one straight and one right-angle cable, it also includes an 80cm RGB splitter cable, an 80cm Rainbow LED extension cable, a 50cm Corsair HD RGB LED extension cable, and a USB cable for the M.2-based Wi-Fi module. Buyers also get an HB-SLI Bridge, the Wi-Fi adapter card with installed module, two Wi-Fi antennas (the Brits will hate me for that), an I/O shield, a sheet of cable labels, a quick install guide, a full user manual, and a driver/application disc.
The back of the board shows us the PCI-E slot’s electrical properties. From top to bottom, we have a x16, x16, x1, x1, x8, x1 and a x8 PCI-E slot. That’s a total of 6 PCI-E slots.
The audio is separated from the rest of the components so we’re expecting good levels here as far as noise is concerned. As for the usual headers, we have plenty at the bottom together with a button for a LED demo. There are also two native SATA ports at the bottom.
The Gaming Pro Carbon AC is a well-rounded board with plenty of features and connectivity and gives enthusiasts a good option at the high-end without going all-out like the Godlike Gaming. If wireless connectivity isn't a necessity, the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon (non AC) is available and does not come with the PCIe wireless card.
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