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MSI Z690-A PRO - "Budget" Motherboard Review for 12th Gen Intel


MSI Z690-A PRO - Recently so called budget MSI boards are pretty darn good when it comes to the features, overclocking capabilites or power delivery. In this video i will be testing the MSI Z690-A pro motherboard, which should be interesting offer for people looking something cheaper. 

Without further ado, lets get started! As the manufacturer states the pro series boards provides not only longevity but also good compability with wide range of devices. The board is based on ATX format and is priced at around 210 dolars.

At the beginning let's see what we get in the package. Inside there is a motherboard, rear I/O shield, 2 SATA cables, m.2 screws and msi user manuals. The Z690-A PRO offers three physical x16 PCIe slots.

The top slot which is also reinforced offers PCIe Gen5 x16, the middle PCIe Gen3 x4 and the bottom PCIe Gen3 x1.

Also there is one PCIe 3.0 x1 slot if needed. At our disposal there are also four M.2 sockets. The top one which also has heatsink, supports PCIe Gen4 x4 and is connected to the CPU.

The others are linked to the chipset and the middle ones support PCIe Gen3 x4 and the last PCIe Gen4 x4. When it comes to memory, the board support ddr4 modules up to 128GB in total. 

Now let's move on to the bottom side of board, from the left there is front audio connector, 12v rgb, two pwm connectors, thunderbolt connector, USB 3.2 Gen1 socket, two USB 2.0, two SATA ports and front I/O panel connectors.

The right side of the board starts with 5v rgb connector, four SATA ports, usb type-c, usb 3.2 Gen1, 24-pin ATX power connector, debug leds for basic troubleshooting and two pwm connectors. 

At the top there is 5v rgb connector, three pwm connectors and two 8-pin CPU power connectors. Near the top m.2 socket there is also one more pwm connector.

The rear I/O panel has flash bios button, four USB 2.0, ps/2 port, displayport, hdmi, two usb 3.2 gen1, one usb type-c, usb 3.2 gen2, lan connector for intel 2.5Gb network card and connectors for realtek alc 897 soundcard.

The tested motherboard doesnt have any backlight on board, but there are two 5v rgb and one 12v rgb headers, which we can controll via mystic light available after downloading MSI center application. MSI Z690-A Pro motherboard has 7+1 power delivery configuration. 

The Vcore section has 7 phases, each phase has two 55amps powerstages. The iGPU section has one phase with one 55 amps powerstage. The vrm is controller by the rt3628ae controller.

The manufacturer equipped the tested model with good heatsinks, with a lot of dissapation surface which helps in removing the heat. The board was tested with intel i9 12900k cpu, there is full list of the test setup in the video description for interested. 

Let's move on to the benchmarks. As we could expect the tested motherboard offers quite good set of features, decent power delivery following by hefty heatsinks which allows to mount even the most powerful cpus without any issues.

What is more, good equipment of the rear i/o as well as configuration of slots and sockets on board makes this option to be interesting proposition for most users.

During overclocking the cpu achieved same results like on other boards with similar voltages. When it comes to the memory overclocking, achieved 4800MHz no problem, as usual even entry-level msi's boards have good memory oc. During testing didn't find any major problem with the board, 

I could say only about one thing that somehow the power consumption of the board is higher than the others with same configuration which cause higher temperatures of the cpu. That would be it for todays review, if you found this video to be helpful think about subscribing to the channel for more. Take care!