MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard Review

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Is YOLO still used today? Actually, it doesn’t matter because a $1,000 motherboard seems extravagant whether they do or not. Or perhaps I’m just a tightwad. Whatever. When MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard for Intel’s 11th Gen Core “Rocket Lake-S” processors is released, it will once again be available for those who have the necessary funds and the desire to spend a grand on a motherboard.

MSI showcased a plethora of motherboards based on Intel’s new Z590, B560, and H510 chipsets in the wake of the company’s Rocket Lake-S announcement(opens in new tab) at CES; these next-generation CPUs are expected to ship soon with a claimed 19 percent IPC gain. According to my calculations, MSI is hiding 30 forthcoming motherboard models, some or all of which “will make a world premiere on January 27.” Even a countdown meter for the big day is available (opens in new tab).

MSI released some early details regarding its 500-series motherboards before the launch. There aren’t many finer points, but MSI gives a quick rundown of what makes up its MEG, MPG, MAG, and Pro lineups in a press release(opens in new tab).

The Godlike series, one of MSI’s most well-known motherboard lines, is positioned as the premium model regardless of the platform it is intended for. MSI contacted us and sent us a qualifying sample of the new Z590 Godlike model as Intel had just released its new Z590 desktop chipset. In this article, we examine how the MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard has changed from the previous version for Intel’s Rocket Lake processors. It was designed as the flagship motherboard.

Looking back to the history of MSI’s premium models, the Godlike originally appeared in 2016 on Intel’s X99 chipset. Created for Broadwell-E HEDT CPUs, the MSI X99A Godlike Gaming Carbon featured carbon fiber-inspired design. Both models included a variety of high-end controllers for the time, however the MSI X99A Godlike Gaming had a punchier look and more red heatsinks.

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From 2017, the Godlike was a constant in MSI’s lineup of motherboards. Built with Intel’s Coffee Lake processors, the MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming included an integrated RGB light bar and a black and silver appearance. Since then, the MSI Godlike has served as the company’s flagship model, establishing itself as a high-end product with cutting-edge controller sets and ideally situated to benefit from both the most recent chipset designs from AMD and Intel.

MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard Overall look & Specs

The MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard design features an eye-catching array of silver and black heatsinks all over the board, as well as a chic glass panel integrated into the back panel cover that features an MSI Dragon motif with built-in RGB LEDs. The MSI MEG Z490 Godlike has a design that is predominantly black with dark grey metallic heatsinks, which is a little different from this. Both Godlike models have the Dynamic Dashboard II OLED panel, which is situated just to the right of the memory slots. With a vertical silver line running through the three M.2 heatsinks and parallel to the Godlike emblem on the rear panel cover, the updated Z590 Godlike has a cleaner appearance.

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Given that some Z490 motherboards claim to be PCIe 4.0 ready, I’ll speak to the PCIe 4.0 support. The Z590 based motherboards are primarily designed to enable Comet Lake with PCIe 3.0 and Rocket Lake with PCIe 4.0. The use of PCIe 4.0 on Z490 motherboards will differ depending on how future-proof each vendor wanted to make those boards despite the fact that they wouldn’t have been able to test when the boards were being designed. In contrast, Z490 motherboards are built with Comet Lake as the primary use and a nod to Rocket Lake. In contrast to a few other suppliers, MSI didn’t emphasize future PCIe 4.0 support enough on its Z490 models.

The upper two full-length slots on the MEG Z590 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard are compatible with PCIe 4.0 and run at PCIe 4.0 x16 and x8/x8 respectively. A third full-length PCIe slot is there, although it is electronically restricted to PCIe 3.0 x4 by the chipset. Four M.2 slots are available for storage, with one supporting PCIe 4.0 x4 and the other three supporting PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA disks. The M.2 heatsinks, which are integrated into the board’s overall architecture, are positioned beneath each of the four M.2 slots. There are six SATA ports in the bottom right corner that support RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10.

On the Z590 Godlike, MSI changes its Dynamic II OLED Dashboard to better match its surroundings. The Z590 has it integrated into a glossy rectangular panel that has a mirror finish when the device is not in use, making it feel more integrated than the OLED panel on the Z490 Godlike.

The MSI MEG Z590 Godlike’s rear panel has a dual Thunderbolt 4 Type-C port, two mini-DisplayPort video inputs, and a DisplayPort 1.4 video output. It has eight USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports and two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A ports, which is more than adequate to meet the needs of the majority of users. The Z590 incorporates Intel’s newest AX210 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, which offers access to the 6 GHz band and includes support for BT 5.2 devices. It employs a similar networking setup to the Z490 Godlike, albeit with a more expensive overall solution.

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This table lists the specifications for the MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard.

CHIPSETIntel Z590 Chipset
DDR4 MEMORY5600(OC)/ 5333(OC)/ 5000(OC)/ 4800(OC)/ 4600(OC)/ 4533(OC)/ 4400(OC)/ 4300(OC)/ 4266(OC)/ 4200(OC)/ 4133(OC)/ 4000(OC)/ 3866(OC)/ 3733(OC)/ 3600(OC)/ 3466(OC)/ 3400(OC)/ 3333(OC)/ 3300(OC)/ 3200(OC)/ 3000(OC) / 2933(JEDEC)/ 2666(JEDEC)/ 2400(JEDEC)/ 2133(JEDEC) MHz
PCI-E X163
LAN1x Aquantia AQC107 10G LAN controller1x Intel I225-V 2.5G LAN
THUNDERBOLT 42x USB Type-C up to 40G, Charging support up to 5V/3A, 15W, 2x Mini DisplayPort input ports
USB 3.2 PORTS (FRONT)1(Gen2, Type C), 4(Gen1, Type A)
USB 3.2 PORTS (REAR)2(Gen2, Type A), 6(Gen1, Type A)
AUDIO PORTS (REAR)5+ Optical S/PDIF (Realtek ALC4082 Codec + ESS SABRE9018Q2C combo DAC)
OPERATING SYSTEMSupport for Windows 10 64-bit

Conclusion on MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard

Our i9-10900K ran smoothly on the 16-phase 90A VRM of the MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard, even when overclocked to 5.2 GHz. When we get our i9-11900K from Rocket Lake, we’ll retest, but as long as the BIOS is correct, this board shouldn’t have any issues. Contrary to the Gigabyte Z590 Vision G, this board features four M.2 connectors, but because more lanes are connected to the chipset on this board when these sockets are used, SATA ports suffer. However, in the worst-case situation, you may still use three SATA ports while running four M.2 modules. This should be ok for most users.

Potential disadvantages include the $499 price tag being out of reach for some consumers. The absence of RGB components on the board can be another issue for certain people. Only the MSI dragon and processor heatsink are illuminated by RGB LEDs, and they merely look nice. The four aRBG/RGB headers that are spread out over the board allow you to add more RGB LED bling if you so choose. The absence of a USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C connector is the other negative, but the faster Thunderbolt 4 ports more than make up for it.

MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard 5 is an affiliate. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard
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