The MSI MEG X570 Godlike Motherboard Review: Thor's Flagshipby Gavin Bonshor on August 28, 2019 12:00 PM EST
- Posted in
- 10G Ethernet
- PCIe 4.0
- Ryzen 3000
- X570 Godlike
With the introduction of AMD's X570 chipset, motherboard vendors have upped its game in the premium stakes with a variety of premium mid-range and high-end models. The MEG X570 Godlike is MSI's flagship model and is heavily geared towards gamers and enthusiasts. The premium controller set of the X570 Godlike is spearheaded by Killer Networking: with dual on-board ports, Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax connectivity, and a 10 G Super LAN add-on card in the accessories bundle. Also on offer is up to five PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, two of which come from an Xpander-Z Gen4 add-on card, and a pair of Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codecs which makes this one of the most feature-rich models on the X570 chipset.
Mjolnir for X570
The MEG X570 Godlike is MSI's current flagship in its X570 line-up and represents its enthusiast gaming MEG series. Building on a similar design as the MSI MEG X570 Ace, which we have already reviewed, the X570 Godlike includes plenty of RGB options with an Infinity Mirror 2 on the rear panel cover, as well as RGB LEDs integrated into the actively cooled X570 chipset heatsink. An interesting design aspect is the customizable OLED panel to the right of the four memory slots which allows users to upload their own GIFs and animations.
There are three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots onboard with three individual M.2 heatshields, while the accessories bundle includes an M.2 Xpander-Z Gen4 PCIe 4.0 addon card which adds an additional two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots. Also included are six SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays, while the four memory slots have support for DDR4-4800 and a total capacity of up to 128 GB.
As this is a flagship aimed at enthusiasts looking to push the Ryzen 3000 processors to its limits, cooling is important and there are a total of nine 4-pin fan headers featured around the edge of the board which are split into a single header for a CPU fan, one for a water pump, and seven for chassis fans.
Infinity Mirror means business
Another enthusiast-level feature is a solid 14+4 phase power delivery controlled by an International Rectifier IR35201 PWM controller which operates in a 7+1 configuration. The 14-phase CPU VCore section is running with 7 x IR3599 doublers, while the 4-phase SoC section is running off a single IR3599 which splits the signal into four. This is a very capable setup with its use quality 70 A power stages throughout both sections and has already been tested on sub-zero cooling methods to great effect by some extreme overclockers. Cooling this mammoth power delivery is two large aluminium heatsinks which are interconnected by a heat pipe which also connects it to the X570 chipset heatsink.
On the lower half of the PCB is four full-length PCIe 4.0 slots, three from the CPU. These operate at x16/x0/x0/x4, x8/x0/x8/x4, and x8/x4/x4/x4, such that the fourth full-length slot is locked at PCIe 4.0 x4.
Along the bottom of the PCB is an overclockers toolkit which consists of a reset and power switch, a Game Boost overclocking profile preset dial, a pair of small buttons which allows users to overclock or downclock the base-clock in increments of 1 MHz, while a dual BIOS switch allows users to flick between two different BIOS versions; perhaps one could be set up for extreme overclocking.
MSI has included two Ethernet ports on the rear panel controlled by a Killer E3000 2.5Gbit and Killer E2600 1Gbit NIC pairing. Offering Wireless and BT 5.0 connectivity is a Killer AX1650 Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax wireless interface. Also included in the accessories bundle is an Aquantia AQC107 10 G Super Lan PCIe add-on card. Also included on the rear panel is USB 3.1 G2 connectivity with three G2 Type-A and a single Type-C G2 port, with a further two USB 3.1 G1 Type-A ports. MSI has also kitted out the MEG X570 Godlike with an impressive onboard audio solution with two Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codecs, one for the rear panel connectors, and one for the front panel. Another inclusion is an ESS 9018 Sabre DAC which powers the 6.3 mm headphone port on the rear panel. There's also a front-panel USB 3.1 G2 Type-C header, with two USB 2.0 headers which provide a total of four ports.
MSI MEG X570 Godlike Block Diagram
As expected from the number of premium controllers, the larger E-ATX form factor, and the OLED display, the MSI MEG X570 Godlike currently has the highest power draw of all the AM4 boards tested with the Ryzen 7 3700X processor so far. With both the MSI X570 Godlike and X570 Ace contending for the highest power draw, the X570 Godlike pulls over 13 W more in an idle state, and 11 W in a long idle power state. The MSI MEG X570 Godlike also has the longest POST time out of the X570 models test so far too with a default POST time of 33.9 second. In our CPU and gaming tests however, the MSI MEG X570 Godlike performed brilliantly featuring at the top of the charts across most benchmarks, albeit very marginally.
Early revisions of MSI's firmware on X570 hasn't been favorable for users looking to use the Game Boost profiles with some very questionable setting configurations; mainly too much CPU VCore which in turn, increases the heat output to dangerous levels. We have spoken to MSI and this is something they intend to fix with its next firmware update. When manually overclocking, we managed to squeeze out 4.3 GHz with a CPU VCore of 1.375; this is the brick wall for our Ryzen 7 3700X chip, and the MSI MEG X570 Godlike managed this comfortably. The performance in POV-Ray wasn't throttled as we went up each 100 MHz frequency step, and it should be noted that when overclocking on MSI's X570 models, performance isn't throttled after a certain temperature; instead, the system will shut down once CPU temperatures rise to 110ºC
The MSI MEG X570 Godlike as its name would suggest is the premier model in its line-up and as a result, is feature-laden. From its triple Killer Networking controller set, a triple-header of audio controllers, the scope for up to five PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots (three onboard, two add-on), and a solid-looking 14+4 phase power delivery, the Godlike looks to be one the most comprehensive X570 motherboards on the market. Its main competition comes from the GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme ($700) and the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Formula ($700); both of those models also come with unique features, but the MSI MEG X570 Godlike ($700) does have four full-length PCIe 4.0 slots, capability for up to five PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 drives out of the box, and also has plenty to offer users in aesthetics with the Mystic Light Infinity Mirror 2, and the customizable OLED panel.
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Oxford Guy - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - link"As far as security issues they have both had their own issues over the years, although Intel has had a fair amount more."
I don't think so. Intel's recent security track record is abysmal when compared with AMD's.
Qasar - Friday, August 30, 2019 - linkSweetbabyjays the savings you are referring to for the MSI and Gigabyte boards, guess where it goes, the the HSF to cool that CPU, and remember, a 50 or 60 buck cooler, isnt going to cut it. you will need to get a mid high, to a high end cooler to keep that 9900k running at 4.8 ghz. and BTW... so what if the 9900k can hit 4.8 or 5 ghz.. big deal.. the Ryzen cpus are performing with in a few % of the intel equivent cpus while being 600+ MHz slower, all because the IPC is better then intels right now, once the ryzen cpus get their clocks higher, the gap, could flip flop... clock speed isnt the end all be all in performance, IPC is.. and AMD, for the time being, has the better IPC.
Then you say in another comment "they've won the performance and value games both at once." i never knew 10% less performance is better." it is when, again, the 10% deficit, is also at lower clocks compared it intel, as again.. IPC is better
Irata - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - linkFirst of all, there are many lower price options for X570.
And to add to this, a high end Z390 motherboard is not cheaper - you can actually even spend more and if high Ghz is your aim, that is what you will need. Plus a high end ($$$) cooling solution.
Sweetbabyjays - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - linkTrue there are many X570 boards for cheaper, which in my opinion makes this board in particular, pointless. Spending $700 on an AM4 motherboard is in my opinion pure stupidity.
The Z390 Godlike motherboard is available for $100 US cheaper. So a product for product comparison. Additionally, there are many other Silicon Lottery QVL Z390's that you can purchase for literally 1/3 of the price of this board. Furthermore, you can overclock a 9900k to 4.8 on pretty much any Z390/370 board.
If you're planning on getting your 3700x to 4.2GHz, you're not going to get there with a stock cooler, so you still need an expensive cooler.
AMD's main game is to be the value for money competitor, what i'm saying is a $700 motherboard at AM4 level literally takes that advantage and scrubs it. The only time that Zen 2 CPUs become the value option is when you need more than 8c/16t, or if you're going to go with an older AM4 chipset.
AshlayW - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - linkThen we both agree that this motherboard is pointless. It is, 700 bucks on this is a stupid thing, but when a decent X570 is 150-200 bucks, no problem. 3700X+X570 is hands down the better solution (read: also for gaming builds) than the 9900K+Z390 when all is considered.
AMD doesn't have to be the "Value for money competitor" anymore, hon, they've won the performance and value games both at once. Ryzen is a premium brand now, and just happens to offer better value also. 3950X will render Intel's entire HEDT completely pointless, and 3900X already does half of it.
Sweetbabyjays - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - linkI totally agree that 3900x and 3950x really are the final nails in the X299 coffin.
AshlayW - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - linkOr you could be a Smart consumer and get a B450 + Ryzen 9 3700X, for the same price as the 9900K alone, and have 90% the performance in every single scenario and having saved over a hundred dollars, considering you didn't have to buy the cooler, also? Oh, and the socket isn't dead-end and actually has an upgrade path.
AshlayW - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - linkRyzen 7*
Sweetbabyjays - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - link"B450 + Ryzen 7 3700X" I agree, this is a much more logical approach for most gamers and content creators on a budget.
Oxford Guy - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - linkI'm also wondering why people ALWAYS push the 9900K instead of the 9700K to gamers, when 8 threads is enough for games and will be for long enough.