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MSI's top motherboard for Intel's next-gen gaming CPUs costs more than my rent

MSI MEG Z590 Godlike
(Image credit: MSI)

Do people still say YOLO? It actually doesn't matter, because whether they do or not, a $1,000 motherboard feels...excessive? Or maybe I'm just a cheapskate. Whatever. For those who have the requisite money and desire to drop a grand on a motherboard, MSI has happily obliged with its Godlike boards, and that will again be the case when its MEG Z590 Godlike arrives for Intel's 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" processors.

Following Intel's Rocket Lake-S announcement at CES—its next-gen chips are arriving soon with a claimed 19 percent IPC boost—MSI unveiled a bevy of motherboards based on Intel's new Z590, B560, and H510 chipsets. By my count, MSI has 30 upcoming motherboard models stashed away, some or all of which "will make a world debut on 27th January." There's even a countdown timer for the big day.

Ahead of the launch, MSI shared some preliminary information about its 500-series motherboards. There are not a lot of fine grain details, but in a press release, MSI provides a brief outline of what comprises its MEG, MPG, MAG, and Pro lineups.

More interesting is a breakdown of pricing for upcoming Z590 motherboards, as revealed in a recent MSI Insider broadcast. Have a look...

(Image credit: MSI)

According to MSI's marketing director Eric van Beurden, these are "indication prices." Retail pricing could be higher or lower when these products launch, depending on a number of factors. Following the disclaimer, the hosts pivot into discussing reasons why prices for computer hardware in general will rise this year, including supply chain disruptions resulting from COVID-19, cost increases for key components (PCB, VRM, and so forth), higher shipment costs, and in the short term, the Chinese New Year.

In any event, the MEG Z590 Godlike sits at the top of the chart with a $1,019 price tag, and could end up costing even more when it debuts to retail. So, what sets it apart other than price?

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The other host, Micheil Berkhout, says the MEG Z590 Godlike features "the most extreme power design" MSI has ever done on a motherboard. More specifically, it serves up a 20 phases of direct power with 90A smart power stages. That means there are 20 signals from the PWM controller. In theory, this translates to better stability of power for the CPU, which in turn can lead to improved overclocking performance at less voltage.

MSI's flagship board also utilizes an 8-ounce PCB design with 2 ounces of copper, as do several other Z590 models from MSI. In addition to requiring a fat bankroll, you will need a big case that supports the Extended ATX (E-ATX) form factor, if purchasing the MEG Z590 Godlike.

It's a sleek slab of components for sure. You can skip ahead to around the 1hr39min mark to see Micheil carefully tear it down, removing parts like the aluminum backplate and various other bits. Something you definitely shouldn't try yourself when dropping a grand on a mobo.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).