MSI MEG X570 Unify
~ $549 AUD
Putting together or building a new PC from scratch is always an exercise in running through a checklist – you’ve got to have a CPU, memory, storage, graphics card. Oh, and a display. A keyboard and a mouse too. Maybe a headset or some speakers. A Weyland-Yutani card. Okay, maybe not that.
But all these individual parts that make up the modern rig come together in a single place – the motherboard. Mother dearest is where the CPU sits all snug and firm, the RAM clicks into place, and the graphics card slots in ready to trace a few rays. Plus, any number of fans and cooling solutions that scream
“MOTHER! I've turned the cooling unit back on.”
When it comes to choosing a motherboard, features, and performance no doubt come into play - but the chipset needs to be compatible with the CPU first and foremost. Paired with the impressive AMD Ryzen 3800X
the MSI MEG X570 Unify features the right Ryzen compatible socket - AM4. There’s an Intel variant on the market but for this review we’ll be talking exclusively about the X570.
Okay, so whittling the potential mobo list down based on your CPU is step one, but where the MSI MEG X570 Unify proves its mettle as a MU-TH-UR 6000 worthy of handling Ripley’s life support aboard the Nostromo comes with its advanced features. Taking one look at the price and you might be wondering what you get for a rectangular bit of tech costing over $500 AUD? The answer is - a suite of impressive high-end features. Lots of them. And it arrives with no RGB in sight, in a stylish and bold all-black finish.
Right off the bat, outside of support for some of the fastest memory available on the market one of the more notable and standout features of the MSI MEG X570 Unify is the inclusion of not one, not two, but three PCI Express Gen4 M.2 slots. Not sure why this review went all infomercial but the three Lightning Gen4 M.2 slots MSI has included paves the way for true next-gen storage speeds. And with each M.2 slot equipped with its own heatsink, you can be sure that whilst things heat up your data will remain nice and cool. #LateNightInfomercials
"The three Lightning Gen4 M.2 slots MSI has included paves the way for true next-gen storage speeds.”
It’s the sort of premium feature that means you can have a drive dedicated to your operating system, one for games, and one for capture and media and still get insane read and write speeds – ala the Seagate FireCuda 520
we recently reviewed. Naturally, purchasing three separate PCIE Gen4 drives won’t be cheap or anything close to wallet friendly – but, even using two out three… well, that ain’t bad
CPU Socket: Socket AM4
Chipset: AMD X570 Chipset
Graphics Interface: 3 x PCI-E 4.0 x 16 slots (Supports 2-way SLI / 3-way CrossFire)
Memory Support: 4 DIMMs, Dual Channel DDR4-4600+(OC)
Storage: 3 x Lightning Gen4 M.2 slots, 4 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
USB Ports: 5 x USB 3.2 (Gen2, 3A+2C), 6 x USB 3.2 (Gen1), 6 x USB 2.0
LAN: Realtek8125-CG 2.5G LAN
Wi-Fi / BT: Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
Audio: 8-Channel (7.1) HD Audio with Audio Boost HD
In terms of pure listable features, which your eyes have no doubt just glanced over (or, glazed over), the MSI MEG X570 Unify features more high-speed USB ports than any sane person would need in addition to a super-fast 2.5G LAN port and Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200. On the wireless front at several rooms away from a router, we managed to get full speed without any noticeable lag or intermittent loss in throughput. Like 2.5G LAN, Wi-Fi 6 is at the top of the network speed food chain and without any need for additional gear the MSI MEG X570 Unify is a network eating machine.
Throw in the impressive on-board audio and you can see why the MSI MEG X570 Unify is the sort of mobo you’d gladly pair-up with a high-end Ryzen CPU. Especially if you dabble in a little content creation or broadcasting. Perhaps an even niche-ier use for the X570 Unify – connecting USB audio solutions and MIDI gear for music recording
. All of this is a breeze thanks to the abundance of USB ports and the overall quiet and cool nature of MSI’s Frozr Heatsink Design. Motherboard temperatures and keeping things cool is something often overlooked but its an area where the MSI MEG X570 Unify excels.
Now, you might be wondering what the relevant benchmark is for a motherboard. A fancy graphics test where you see fire wizards clash swords with laser droids and marvel as the sparks fly – but often the real test for a motherboard comes with how it can handle everything with minimal fuss, driver clashes, or issues requiring you to call up your family’s computer wiz (see: a different type of wizard to the aforementioned fire wizard) and say, “Hey me, it’s me. Your family or friend that’s a total noobarillo at figuring out how a PC works”.
"The MSI MEG X570 Unify is the sort of mobo you’d gladly pair-up with a high-end Ryzen CPU. Especially if you dabble in a little content creation or broadcasting.”
For the hardest of the core, the Journey to Centre of the Earthers starring The Rock, the MSI MEG X570 Unify and the BIOS and software tools provided by MSI allow for the full tinkering of voltage things and electric metering. For us, a simple software-based CPU and GPU overclock is enough so where the MSI MEG X570 Unify genuinely surprised was with just how easy and user friendly the BIOS and MSI Dragon Center interface/software was. The ease of setup began before that though with all on-board ports and slots and little pin things you need to connect other pin things located in easy to access positions around the board.
But, with a Windows 10 USB stick connected (alongside multiple M.2 drives, and SSD, and a traditional platter deal) the operating system installed and fired up not long after turning it on for the first-time – we’re talking desktop clicking in a matter of minutes. Firing up Dragon Center is the icing on the sleek and stylish cake, where it installed all relevant drivers and features without the need to look anything up or even select stuff like ‘Intel RAID USB Controller X375’ from a list. Or, any sort of input really. Commendable stuff.
In fact, it’s hard to find a fault at all when looking at the MSI MEG X570 Unify. Even as a fan of the RGB flourish when it comes hardware, the lack of RGB lighting wasn’t missed at all – in fact, it created a nice contrast with the RGB of the Cooler Master cooling and the HyperX memory we installed. In the end the barrier for entry here is justifying the price-point – something that plays into the Unify’s high-end features. Which means, if you’re on the lookout for a Ryzen board capable of handling your gaming, storage, and content creation/broadcasting needs, well, you needn’t look any further.