👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅20-12-22

Reviews of both £330 and £700 X670E motherboards are now behind us, essentially bookending the range of X670E motherboards on the market today. But the question remained: how does the midpoint look, and how can it meaningfully differentiate from both the lower and upper bounds of the market? The £500 MPG X670E CARBON WiFi from MSI probably gives us a pretty good indication of what to generally expect.

At least one PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot and a full x16 PCIe 5.0 slot for discrete graphics, alongside a single USB 3.Gen2x2 20Gbps port and WiFi 6E networking, are all effectively the baseline for X670E from which everything else is ‘extra’. As a result the addition of a second M.2 slot supporting PCIe 5.0, and the ability to run two x16 slots in PCIe 5.0 x8/x8 mode, are each genuine advantages for some users over budget models. But there’s not a whole lot beyond that to really whet one’s whistle.

Slightly more advanced overclocking and troubleshooting features are also welcome, and will be a boon for those who dabble rather than dive headfirst into pushing AMD’s latest CPUs to the limit. The power delivery system is similarly beefy compared to affordable X670E models, but not outrageously so. I/O options are similarly unexceptional, barely building on what’s available as standard from the chipset.

Performance-wise, there are no weaknesses compared to other X670E board’s we’ve looked at thus far. Where others might have had an odd hiccup here or there, the CARBON WIFI never seemed to dip notably below the standards set by the other models. If pushed we might surmise that the VRM temps are a little high under load, but that’s really splitting hairs.

In terms of build quality, the board is good if a little cramped and we did miss the backplate of the AORUS X670E XTREME. That being said, £200 is a lot to pay for the privilege of feeling more comfortable installing and swapping a component that will be static for 99% of its lifespan. Being able to easily fit in the vast majority of PC cases is a big plus however, which cannot be said of the EATX design.

So we come to aesthetics and to be honest it’s a little disappointing. MSI could have been much more restrained with their branding and other text on various heatspreaders around the board, allowing more of a blank canvas upon which owners can imprint their own style. Motherboard manufacturers in general still seem to think that a motherboard is their advertising space, and that gets tiresome when these prices are so eye-watering at even mid-tier levels. Two ARGB (Gen2) headers and integrated support for MSI’s own Mystic Lighting control system is fine, but not more than that.

Overall the MPG X670E CARBON WIFI is a well-appointed design with good if not exceptional features that never quite hits the heights of a premium design in any particular aspect. Nonetheless, while the competition might offer more PCIe 5.0 M.2 slots, or slightly better on-paper power delivery, or a cleaner aesthetic, there’s still something compelling about the overall package that will make it an obvious choice for 600-series early adopters everywhere.


+ Good Build Quality
+ Support for up to two PCIe 5.0 M.2 drives
+ Solid VRM and M.2 cooling
+ 18+2+1 phase power delivery
+ Logical header layout
+ Ample I/O options
+ No clear early adopter weaknesses


- Price
- Overly embellished heatspreaders that detract from a classy, sleek aesthetic

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