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MSI X370 CARBON PRO GAMING AM4 Motherboard Review

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MSI X370 CARBON PRO GAMING AM4 Motherboard Review. MSI debuted their Carbon series on Intel, and now it’s time to expand over to the freshly launched, AM4 X370 chipset. With a sleek and clean visual appearance, decent feature set, and very respectable price tag. Is the board worth your cash?

Being a launch product, pricing will vary from region, and day to day, but today as we write,  it is £174  $ 199 99. Feature wise we have a lot on offer including 3 WAY AMD Xfire, two-way SLI, dual M.2 slots, DDR4 up to 3200, Steel Armor, RGB and more…




  • Supports AMD® RYZEN Series Processors and 7th Gen A-series / AthlonTM Processors for socket AM4
  • Supports DDR4-3200+(OC) Memory
  • DDR4 Boost with Steel Armor: Give your DDR4 memory a performance boost
  • VR Ready and VR Boost: Best virtual reality game experience without latency, reduces motion sickness
  • Mystic Light and Mystic Light Sync: 16.8 million colors /17 effects controlled in one click with GAMING APP or mobile devices.
  • Lightning Fast Game experience: Turbo M.2, M.2 Shield, Lightning USB 3.1 Gen2
  • Audio Boost 4 with Nahimic 2: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience
  • GAMING LAN with LAN Protect, powered by Intel® : The best online gaming experience with lowest latency and bandwidth management
  • Military Class 4, Guard-Pro: Latest evolution in high quality components for best protection and efficiency
  • MULTI-GPU: With Steel Armor PCI-E slots. Supports NVIDIA SLI™ & AMD Crossfire™
  • In-Game Weapons: Game Boost, GAMING Hotkey, X-Boost, Xsplit Gamecaster
  • EZ Debug LED: Easiest way to troubleshoot
  • Click BIOS 5: Award-winning BIOS with high resolution scalable font, favorites and search function
  • GAMING CERTIFIED: 24-hour on- and offline game and motherboard testing by eSports players
  • WHQL certified for Windows 10


Courtesy of MSI Want to see full detailed specs?

Taking a look at the bundle now in no particular order, you’ll find the following:

  • User’s manual
  • 2 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
  • 1 x Driver/Software DVD
  • 1 x SLI BRIDGE
  • 2 x Extension Cable for RGB strips
  • 1X Black I/O Sheild
  • SATA Labelling kit

For the price point, this is exactly what we’d expect.

First Look

We start our tour with a complete top down view, to absorb what’s on offer. If you’ve been following the Intel side from MSI, you’ll recognize the overall design and layout. A black board with subtle silver elements, and carbon


MSI had a winning design on the Intel versions, and we’ve no issue seeing them lift and reuse it here on AM4. It’s not the cleanest PCB that I’ve laid eyes upon, but its fair considering what’s crammed upon it.

The Carbon appears on the X370 Chisept, but also around the entire I/O shroud and MOSFET heatsinks. Carbon has a tendency to react well with light, and once you active the RGB it does just that.

The use of carbon is a wise move, and end results is a classy and enticing element

The chipset heatsink, also sports a carbon strip, and is one of the four lighting zones. Each is controlled with MSI’s own application


PCI-E Setup



MSI has opted to included a feature we’ve seen on almost every recent Intel board, their Steel Armor is no gimmick. The extra solder points and shrouding adds much-needed strength to two of the three, PCIe slots.

• 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (PCIE_2, PCIE_4)
– RYZEN series processors support x16/x0, x8/x8 mode
– 7th Gen A-series/ Athlon™ processors support x8/x0 mode
• 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 slot (PCIE_6, supports x4 mode)*
• 3 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots



• Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
– 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio
– Supports S/PDIF output


Audio Boost operates like a dedicated soundcard by being physically isolated from the rest of the motherboard circuitry to ensure the purest audio signal possible. A bright border illuminated by LEDs showcases and protects the Hi-Fi audio unit.


Using separated layers in the PCB ensures equally pristine sound quality for both left and right audio channels.


Audio Boost 4 is powered by an EMI-shielded High Definition audio processor with built-in DAC, making sure you enjoy the purest sound quality in both stereo and surround sound.

  • 120dB SNR / 32-bit
  • Supports DSD Super Audio CD playback & recording (64x better than regular CD quality)


The built-in dedicated headphone amplifier rewards audiophiles with headphones up to 600Ω impedance by delivering studio-grade sound quality from your gaming PC. Audio Boost 4 automatically detects the optimal impedance for your headphones and adjusts the output for the best sound quality.

[Storage Options]

6 SATA ports on the Carbon, but sadly MSI have done here what they’ve done a few times now, and separated the ports. With four right-angled on the edge, and the other two in a vertical manner. My understanding, is that the latter are easier to access for troubleshooting for example, and eliminate the need to remove your GPU.

  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s),
  • Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10

While I see the benefit, im not a fan, and would have preferred 6X on the board edge

[M.2 / U.2]

The appeal of M.2 drives is obvious, apart from the benefits of being super fast, they look great and do away with the need of both data and power cables.



  • • 2x M.2 slots (Key M)
    – M2_1 slot supports PCIe 3.0 x4 (RYZEN series processors) or PCIe 3.0 x2 (7th Gen A-series/ Athlon™ processors) and SATA 6Gb/s 2242/ 2260 /2280/ 22110 storage devices
    – M2_2 slot supports PCIe 2.0 x4 and SATA 6Gb/s 2242/ 2260 /2280 storage devices**

MSI has included a welcome addition, in the form of an M.2 Drive heatsink, Again like SATA im happy with the idea, but would have preferred a second cover for enthusiasts. At the price point, however, it is understandable!

[Fan Locations]

MSI offer ample amount of header for fans, to keep your rig cool!



[Other ports/ Features]

Along the motherboard base, you’ll find additional connectivity and options

  • – 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • – 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • – 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • – 2 x USB 2.0 connectors (support additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
  • – 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 connectors (support additional 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports)
  • – 1 x 4-pin CPU fan connector
  • – 1 x 4-pin water-pump-fan connector
  • – 4 x 4-pin system fan connectors
  • – 1 x TPM module connector
  • – 1 x Front panel audio connector
  • – 2 x System panel connectors
  • – 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
  • – 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  • – 1 x 4-pin RGB LED strip connector

Finishing up our tour of the board, looking at the I/O which consists of:


  • – 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse combo port-
  • – 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A ports
  • – 1 x DVI-D port
  • – 1 x HDMI™ port
  • – 4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports
  • – 1 x LAN (RJ45) port
  • – 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port
  • – 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port
  • – 5 x OFC audio jacks
  • – 1 x Optical S/PDIF OUT connector


2016 was the year of RGB. like any trend, it snowballed, and you’ll struggle to find a board that doesn’t offer RGB. While I had an issue with earlier versions, from MSI… credit to them here, this is much better!


They’ve focused th light into the X370 heatsink, along with the right edge, the shroud and down the left audio section. You can independently choose colors for each, and customize them with effects


This is echoed in demanding set of tests, with microscopic differences between the two AM4 boards. Nothing more than a few seconds difference


As the Bios’s have matured we’re now seeing better scores, but also with compatibility and stability. I had some minor niggles when reviewing the ASUS board, but now AMD has updated the code, and it’s been pushed by the 3rd parties (MSI in this case) I had no problems benching at 3000Mhz

[GAMING 1080P]

Its been no secret, many publications have reported lower than anticipated 1080P results, and our findings echoes exactly that. AMD has since reported, with time for changes and enchantments to compilers and software to catch up; these numbers will improve across the board.


MSI X370 CARBON PRO GAMING AM4 Motherboard Review
Bottom Line
The X370 Carbon PRO GAMING is a sleek and beautiful board, a perfect blank canvas for your next RGB enabled rig. Performance was solid, nipping at the heels of products over a 100 pounds more!
Clean Design
Practical RGB
Sleek UEFI
Solid Performance
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