MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus
The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus is the ATX sized entry model to the new MPG performance gaming range and as a result, still boasts some good quality controllers such as a Realtek ALC892 HD audio codec which does omit the S/PDIF optical output from other boards in MSI's gaming range, but it also includes the higher spec Intel I219V Gigabit networking chip. Visually the MPG Z390 Gaming Plus follows a completely different approach to the other MPG boards as this is the only red and black gaming themed board in their line-up and as a result, has no onboard RGB LED lighting and instead is equipped with only red LEDs.
On the rear panel is two USB 3.1 Gen2 connections with a Type-A and Type-C both present and is complemented by two USB 3.0 Type-A and two USB 2.0 ports. Like other models in the range, users can extend the USB to by a further four USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 through the use of internal headers. For the onboard graphics, MSI removes a DisplayPort and instead opts to use a single dual-link DVI-D along with an HDMI output. There is a single LAN port powered by an Intel I219V Gigabit controller and the six 3.5 mm audio jacks are taken care of by a Realtek ALC892 HD audio codec.
Buy the Right Graphics Card
Due to the lower end nature of the Z390 Gaming Plus, there's only two available full-length PCIe 3.0 slots with the top slot which has a coating of MSI's Steel Armor slot protection running at x16 and the bottom slot operating at x4; two-way CrossFire is supported by SLI isn't due to bandwidth restraints on the second slot. Due to this, the board uses the available PCB space up with a total of four PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. For storage, the board has a total of six SATA ports available and also features two M.2 PCIe/SATA slots. There are four RAM slots with support for DDR4-4400 with a total capacity of up to 64 GB.
With the cut-down nature of this board in comparison to other MPG ATX sized models, the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus has a suggested launch price of $149 which makes this the cheapest MPG series motherboard in MSI's MPG current SKU list. It's also the cheapest ATX board on the Z390 chipset from MSI outside of their non-gaming themed models with the cheaper price to be expected due to the lack of integrated RGB LEDs and slightly lower spec feature set.