MSI MEG X399 Creation Threadripper Motherboard Review @ [H]

Discussion in 'AMD MoBos' started by Kyle_Bennett, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    MSI MEG X399 Creation Threadripper Motherboard Review

    MSI’s MEG X399 CREATION motherboard gets put to the test like no motherboard we’ve ever reviewed to date. We beat the hell out of this motherboard on all of our test benches over the last month. We used the MEG for most all our Threadripper 2990WX and 2950X testing so we have a good handle on just how good it is.

    If you like our content, please support HardOCP on Patreon.
     
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  2. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    Great review!
    I've never owned an MSI motherboard. In fact, other than a brief time back in the day with a DFI LANparty nf2 board, I have only run ASUS boards.
    Having a TR would be fun, but I'm not even close to the target market, as I do zero content creation. I couldn't justify it to myself with the occasional BRD rips.
    However, if MSI brings this level of quality and badassery to their Ryzen boards, then I think it's a guaranteed purchase for me next year.

    Thanks for the review. It was enjoyable being able to read the enthusiasm that y'all have for this board.
     
  3. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    This board will be the next one in my personal box.
     
  4. JargonGR

    JargonGR Limp Gawd

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    It's great that MSI is upping their quality since I am looking forward to using one of their boards in the future. Always ASUS here too (Rampage VIE) and although their hardware has been rock solid for me I am so pissed off at their lame software that I need to look elsewhere.
     
  5. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    On that front, MSI and GIGABYTE aren't really any better. ASUS' AI Suite III is a bit of a pig but its got better functionality and a more user friendly interface than MSI's Command Center. Fan control is an area where ASUS has a clear advantage software wise. That said, I wouldn't bother with any of it. I set my fans up in the UEFI and use Ryzen Master or Intel's XTU. SpeedFan may provide the utility you want in a Windows based fan utility, but I have little experience with it.
     
  6. JargonGR

    JargonGR Limp Gawd

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    Well thanks for the heads up on MSI & GIGABYTE. I bought the Rampage VIEfor tis features and to be honest it has been rock solid save for the windows software. Fortunately, it looks like UEFI is at another level and have manged to control all my FANS (17 FANS (16 of PWM) & 2 D6 pumps sucessfully using the extension fan card, temp sensors and on board headers (for fans, pumps, water temps). It is working fine and besides the initial trouble of reboots when setting it up everything is running smoothly.

    Still I am keeping my eyes open and welcome any good efforts such as this MSI board sine ASUS needs some pressure to keep them improving as well.
     
  7. Hakaba

    Hakaba I Think I am Funny, but I'm Not

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    Damn that Wraith Ripper is amazing, thanks for the review, I have no need for one... but that needless upgrade bug is back.
     
  8. Matt Christie

    Matt Christie n00bie

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    Great review Kyle! I would agree that this is one of the nicest boards, let alone the best X399 board. Buildzoid did a really good PCB/VRM breakdown of the board on his channel, Actually Hardcore Overclocking. I think you'll like it. He also just did a breakdown of the RTX cards for Gamers Nexus that's worth a look.
     
  9. thenapalm

    thenapalm Limp Gawd

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    Maybe I missed it, but is there any explanation what "MEG" stands for?

    'Cuz all I think of when I see it is:

    upload_2018-9-20_12-42-17.png


    That's a beast of a board though, I wish I could justify having such a setup.
     
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  10. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I have no idea. To be honest, it's not a good name. Then again, most of the motherboard manufacturers seem to come up with stupid names for a lot of the higher end motherboards.
     
  11. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Hehe, looks like you were wrong about it not being in the gaming series. :) Just asked MSI and this is what it had to say.

    MEG (MSI Enthusiast Gaming)

    MPG (MSI Performance Gaming)

    MAG (MSI Arsenal Gaming)
     
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  12. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Fair enough. Although it isn't labeled "gaming" on the box.
     
  13. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    The lighting is pretty minimal and its not a pure workstation motherboard. I said that much earlier in the article.

    "This is a motherboard that fills the same sort of void tackled by GIGABYTE’s X399 Designare. It's not a gaming board specifically, although its very similar to one that is. There is a bit of overlap between professionals who use their machines to make money by creating content and gamers. The MEG X399 Creation is in that same vein."

    Its similar to GIGABYTE's Designare motherboard in that its designed to appeal to both gamers and content creators. It bridges the gap between the two.
     
  14. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Turn them off?
     
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  15. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    So the LEDs still bother you when they are turned off?
     
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  16. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    I would suggest a case without a side window.
     
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  17. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    then get a work station board?!
     
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  18. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    so all your complaints are about the leds on the outside of the case? like the nic activity led? or the glow from the spdif? I dont know of any board that doesn't have those.
     
  19. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    So how do you feel about link lights on your integrated NIC?
     
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  20. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    then nothing will be good enough. get a tube of black plasti-dip.
     
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  21. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Always love to see all the hard work put into these reviews boiled down to "I don't LEDs and I am letting the world know it in a HardOCP review discussion."
     
  22. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I appreciate your [H]ard work! :)
     
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  23. cyberguyz

    cyberguyz Gawd

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    Aw there, there now. Ignore the nitpickers. We all appreciate all the hard work you put into each and every one of these reviews. (y)

    My take on this one is it is a freaking tank. I could only wish I could run it in my current system. Being MSI's second crack at an X399 platform I bet I would have a lot less problems getting my memory to run at XMP 2.0 spec with it. And all those fan headers!
     
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  24. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Believe me, we have a thick skin when it comes to things like this. We wouldn't have been at this for so many years otherwise. Overall, the work we do gets more positive comments than not. Sometimes the negative comments are helpful in improving the review process while others are just people being negative because that seems to be in their nature. Its clear to me that BattleAxeVR is one of those people that can't be pleased as the industry doesn't cater specifically to his needs. People won't generally use an E-ATX motherboard for an HEDT CPU as the basis for a home theater PC build or anything like that. So I'm not sure why that was brought up. Outside of home theater use, most people would just turn off the decorative LED's and move on with their lives if they didn't like them.

    Fortunately, the RGB craze has really run its course. I think it will be a check box feature going forward. I think most motherboards in the gaming market offering some lighting, but we won't see too many offerings that look like Clark Griswold's house at Christmas as we've seen in the past.

    As for XMP 2.0, X399 has been pretty good in general with the latest crop of X399 motherboards being even better than the last ones. AMD's gotten its shit together with its AGESA code and manufacturers have stepped up to the plate with more compatibility testing than we were seeing for awhile. Things were really bad when X99 launched as DDR4 was brand new. We saw a lot of problems with X370 because it was rushed to market and motherboard manufacturers were forced to work on new motherboards based on Intel's latest chipset at the same time as AMD's X370. It was obvious more resources went into the former because Ryzen was a bit of an unknown at the time and it was clear that Intel was the "bread and butter" at the time for motherboard makers. They still are, but Ryzen has certainly become more popular and X470 and revised X399 motherboards are vastly improved over the stuff that came out when Ryzen launched.
     
  25. Hakaba

    Hakaba I Think I am Funny, but I'm Not

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    That’s how my first/last RGB went, board, memory, mono block, gpu block, fans and reservoir would make a TG window look like normal glass. I thought it was something I wanted and it turns out I don’t... Also every maker with a different standard brings certain collaborating companies together under half assed software (Aura Sync I am looking at you).

    But it got old, real quick wanting to turn off lights and the computer would need to reboot for everything to sync and work.

    That’s the problem early adopters face, it’s great to be on the bleeding edge, but you and a small group of people are exploring it by yourselves.
     
  26. cyberguyz

    cyberguyz Gawd

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    Yeah I kinda got that with my 'old' Gigabyte X399 board. It was even fussier with memory than my current Asrock one. While the Asrock is still a 1st gen x399 board it has been working well except for the needed memory tweaking. It is good seeing the x399 platform maturing nicely though. I wonder if the x499 will support my chip... Not that I would ever actually need anything more than I am getting with my current setup. Sigh! It's expensive being a hardware geek!
     
  27. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I had a really long response, but I decided to cut things short. Sorry, but you don't seem to understand that socket TR4 and X399 are NOT specifically workstation or server oriented platforms. The HEDT market is one that bridges the gap between people are are enthusiasts who also use their machines for work purposes. It isn't an either or option.

    Playing games isn't specifically something for "children" and the comment is disparaging towards the enthusiast market as a whole. Sorry, but using a machine (regardless of price) for things other than work doesn't make someone a child.

    High core count by itself is not a negative for gamers. After a certain point, more cores at the cost of clock speed is a detriment to gamers. However, keep in mind that for the most part the added cores do not hurt gamers as they do not impact clock speeds. A 2950X for example should be able to hit 4.2GHz on all its cores. That's all that Ryzen or other Threadripper CPUs could do with fewer cores. The architecture simply doesn't clock higher than that for the most part with rare exceptions to that rule every now and then. Next, CPU's aren't investments. Nothing that depreciates faster than a twice wrecked KIA in its first year of ownership can be considered an investment. Technology is disposable and generally evolves fast enough that the concept of it being thought of as an investment is ludicrous. The 2990WX is a little different and its marketing doesn't call it a gaming part specifically (although, Ryzen Master does have a game mode on these chips) and its core count makes it difficult to clock these CPUs as high as the 2950X's cores can be.

    I understand that. Even so, simply turn the LED's off. It can be done once in the UEFI BIOS and then you can forget about them.

    I agree more options are nice and I'm all for more workstation oriented parts but if you hadn't noticed, its a niche product and the motherboard manufacturers have few models because they are unwilling to invest a ton into R&D and marketing on more than a couple of X399 models each. It isn't the same as the Intel side where they'll have half a dozen motherboards for a wide range of customers. As much as enthusiasts like Ryzen and Threadripper, they don't sell in the same kinds of numbers Intel's parts do. Intel can have more bleed over into multiple markets because motherboards can support both Core i9's and Xeons. Epyc motherboards do not support Threadripper and vice versa.

    Again, Threadripper isn't specific to the workstation market. Epyc is AMD's offering into the workstation and server market. Motherboards for Epyc are more in line with what you are looking for from the sound of things.

    If you want to tape off link lights on workstation motherboards then no, the industry doesn't cater to your needs. A "stealth" mode only really makes sense for the HTPC crowd which is not what Threadripper and X399 are designed for. You are a special case if LEDs bother you to such a degree. I never said it was ludicrous to want LED free workstation motherboards. I'm simply explaining to you that the motherboard makers aren't going to invest in additional designs for a product that sells so few units. Also, the manufacturers expect people who don't like the LEDs to just turn them off.

    X399 motherboards aren't server motherboards. Actual server motherboards are built for AMD's Epyc CPUs not Threadripper. The HEDT market isn't workstation specific. That's what you and some other people simply don't get. ASRock's EPYCD8 is a an example of a workstation motherboard and it isn't for Threadripper, its for Epyc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
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  28. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Hehe. Guy is still bitching about the LEDs. I am not a fan of these either, but damn dude. We got it the first time you whined about it. Go buy a workstation board that is to your liking. BattleAxeVR - You are a special kind of guy. I bet you are fun at Thanksgiving. "Get these cranberries off the table or I am leaving!"
     
  29. notarat

    notarat [H]ard|Gawd

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    thanks for the new signature material!
     
  30. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    So, to get back on topic....

    Just running a newer UEFI on this board, and MSI has changed the way PBO works a bit. Gone are the 1000/1000/1000 PBO limits and the way these are set in the UEFI. Now you simply have to toggle PBO to Enabled in UEFI under the CPU Features menu. Levels now exposed in Ryzen Master are 500/380/600 (PPT/TDC/EDC).
     
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  31. wareyore

    wareyore Limp Gawd

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    I ended up with this in my TR build. Tried a couple of ASUS MB's during the Black Friday sales but both had issues. Splurged a bit more on this one and it's worked well. Thanks for a good review as it helped the decision making process.