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MSI Z390-a Pro Review: The Best Motherboard under $150?

If you are looking for a motherboard suitable for Intel’s Z390 chipset which was launched in late 2018, then I’m sure you are going to love this MSI Z390-a Pro for sure because this is one of the best motherboards you can get for yourself for a Z390 chipset for a lot of good reasons.

In this post, I’m going to Review MSI Z390-a Pro in detail and share my thoughts on what it has to offer and is it worth buying for its price tag of just under $150. Stay tuned for a couple of minutes and you’ll get your answer.

Let’s get started now.

MSI Z390-a Pro Review: Is It Worth Buying in 2021?

Design and Build:

The MSI Z390-a Pro is a simple yet elegant-looking motherboard that has a lot of amazing features to offer for you. If you are a gamer (or non-gamer) who doesn’t like RGB lighting much and want a clean motherboard, then this the perfect choice for you.

MSI has paid a lot of attention to detail and delivered this mobo to its consumers.

For instance, they have offered an extended heatsink to protect the VRM from getting over-heat and other issues. (see below)

MSI Z390-a Pro Extended Heatsink
                 Extended Heatsinks in MSI Z390-a Pro to protect VRMs

The heatsink provided here is completely made out of aluminum hence it is reliable and you can expect it to last for a long time.

The build quality has been always MSI’s top priority and they have provided this mobo with an amazing build which is hard to ignore for its price range.

Let’s move on to other important aspects of this Mobo now.

Tip: If you want to keep your motherboard, read this guide by Computersforart.

 Storage & RAM:

There are 6 SATA 3 ports available on this Mobo to connect Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and similar devices and only one M.2 slot to install a Solid State Drive (SSD) which is a bit of a shame in my opinion. Additional M.2 for SSD would have a lot better for many people.

Recommended Read: Does Your Motherboard Come with SATA Cables or not?

When it comes to memory (RAM), you’ll be getting 4 DDR4 slots on which you can install up to 64GB of RAM. The maximum RAM speed you can reach on this Mobo is 4400 MHz by overclocking. You need to be a little careful while doing that.

If you are fed up with motherboards that limit you to install only up to 64GB, then this motherboard would be a great change for you.

Performance:

As you may already know the MSI Z390-a Pro is based on Intel’s Z390 chipset and is suitable for many powerful processors out there. You can surely rely on this mobo for doing heavy tasks such as Hackintosh too.

There is a total of 7 fan headers available to cool down the processor and other components of the PC which is a must these days.

MSI has offered two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots in which one is running at x16 and the other one is running at x8. It also has a 4 PCIe 3.0 slot that is running at x1 which is pretty useful If you want to install WiFi cards, sound cards, etc.

You can do Crossfire between these two cards but SLI isn’t possible to do in this mobo. If you are an SLI person, then this might not look good to you.

Whether you are a gamer or not, this motherboard will serve you with its great performance and won’t let you down.

Recommended: MSI vs Gigabyte: Which Brand is better and why? Learn more on Computersforart

 USB & Connectivity:

The port selection by MSI on this Mobo is just excellent but there are some flaws too. Let’s see what are those.

In the front panel, you’ll be getting

* 4 USB 3.1 ports

* 4 USB 2.0

* 1 SATA port.

In the rear panel, there are

* 4 USB 3.1 ports (1 one of them is Type-C)

* 2 USB 2.0 ports

All looks good but having a USB Type-C in the front panel would have benefitted a lot of people (including me). Also, there is no onboard Wifi adapter offered with this MSI Z390-a Pro. You will have to get it separately which will cost you around $20.

Suggested for you: Learn How to test a motherboard with a multimeter with simple steps.

How does it compare to the competition?

Why should I consider MSI Z390-a Pro when there are other options in the market? This question might be in the minds of a lot of people, right? If you are one of them, I’m going to highlight some of the differences between its one of the main competitors i.e ASUS Z390-P.

Both of these motherboard costs almost the same hence it is fair to compare these two products.

Note: I’m going to highlight only the key differences to save your time and make a decision quickly.

MSI Z390-a ProAsus Z390-P
Has 1 USB Type-CDoesn't have one.
Has one M.2 slotHas 2 M.2 Slots
Has 6 SATA III portsHas 4 SATA III ports

Previously, I talked about a similar Motherboard on Computersforart i.e Gigabyte Z390 UD. If you are interested, you can take a look at that here.

Pricing:

As I have said earlier in this post, MSI Z390-a Pro is offering some of the great features which not every motherboard in the price segment has to offer. For just under $150, it is undoubtedly one of the best and value-for-money motherboards you can buy right now.

Specs Recap:

Name: MSI Z390-a Pro.

Form Factor: ATX.

No. of DIMM slots: 4.

Maximum Memory Size: 64GB.

Max. Memory Speed: 4400 MHz.

No. of SATA Ports: 6.

M.2 Slots: 1.

PCIe Slots: 6.

Pros
  • Affordable and value for money.
  • Top-notch build quality.
  • Having a USB Type-C is surely an advantage.
  • Neat and clean design.
Cons
  • No Wifi adapters offered.

Check Price on Amazon

If you want to get more info about this Z390-a Pro, then I would highly suggest you watch the below video.

Video by: Adamant IT

Final words:

The MSI’s Z390-a Pro is an excellent Mobo for both normal and power users. The heavy users can push it by overclocking while others can smoothly run their desired apps or program without any trouble at all. There are few areas where MSI could have done better but considering its price point, you can’t complain about those things.

I hope you liked this detailed Review of MSI Z390-Pro and I would like to know which thing you liked about this motherboard the most in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

Hi, This is Mohammed Farman and I have been writing about Android, PC, Windows, and more for the last 7 years. I’m passionate about gadgets and I love to share my expertise and opinions with my readers.

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