👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅02-12-21

We’ve been mightily impressed by what Intel has brought to market with their Alder Lake CPUs and a move over this 12th Gen. platform requires a motherboard upgrade – there are lots to choose from, should you consider the MSI Z690 CARBON WIFI?

In one word – yes. While this motherboard doesn’t come cheap at GBP £400 | USD $400 | AUD $699, but you do get a huge selection of features which are undoubtedly going to future-proof a new system configuration.

There is support for up to 6666 MHz which is astounding. Most boards do not reach this value, and while you may want to keep costs down by opting for a slower kit, the capabilities are there. Unlike other Z690 motherboards, CARBON WIFI also touts a whopping 5x PCI Express M.2 slots. 4x are PCI Express Gen4, while just one is PCI Express Gen3. On offer are two PCI Express 5 X16 slots – again, paving the way for possibilities later on down the track when this technology is fully adopted.

So, CARBON WIFI is feature-rich and will not disappoint in this regard, but how about performance? Well we found that MSI’s mid-range board did an excellent job throughout the range of tests we ran and provided us with decent temperatures for the VRM and chipset. It was also able to take our 12900K to a 5.1 GHz all-core OC, not too shabby at all.

Feature-rich and laden with options for the future, the Z690 CARBON WIFI is an excellent choice if you plan to move to Alder Lake.

+ 18 phase design
+ Support for up to 6666MHz DDR5
+ Offers solid performance
+ Plenty of USB connectivity
+ Comes with 5 PCI Express M.2 slots
+ Twin PCI Express 5 X16 slots
+ Up to 8 fan headers
+ Plenty of accessories included in bundle

- Still being supplied with USB 2.0 ports
- Expensive for mid-range

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