With the launch of Intel’s new 13-gen CPUs, they did also introduce a few new 700 series chipsets with the flagship Z790 chipset being the only one available at the time of launch. Like with the 600 series chipsets, Intel has left the memory to be flexible with motherboard manufacturers having the choice to go with DDR4 or DDR5 which means there are a LOT of options available and one of those is the MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 which falls into the middle of the pack for MSI’s lineup overall but is their highest end DDR4 motherboard with a unique silver theme for its cooling. Today I’m going to check out more of what the Z790 Edge DDR4 has to offer, so let’s dive in.

Product Name: MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4

Review Sample Provided by: MSI

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE





CPU support

Supports 12th/13th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors, Pentium® Gold and Celeron® Processors

LGA 1700


4x DDR4, Maximum Memory Capacity 128GB

Memory Support 5333-3333 (O.C.)/ 3200-2133(By JEDCE & POR)

Max. overclocking frequency:

• 1DPC 1R Max speed up to 5333+ MHz

• 1DPC 2R Max speed up to 4800+ MHz

• 2DPC 1R Max speed up to 4400+ MHz

• 2DPC 2R Max speed up to 4000+ MHz

Supports Intel® XMP3.0 OC

Supports Dual-Controller Dual-Channel mode

Supports non-ECC, un-buffered memory

Onboard Graphics

1x HDMI™

1x DisplayPort

Support HDMI™ 2.1, maximum resolution of 4K 60Hz*

Support DP 1.4, maximum resolution of 8K 60Hz*

*Available only on processors featuring integrated graphics. Graphics specifications may vary depending on the CPU installed.

Expansion Slot

2x PCI-E x16 slot

1x PCI-E x1 slot

PCI_E1 PCIe 5.0 supports up to x16 (From CPU)

PCI_E2 PCIe 3.0 supports up to x1 (From Chipset)

PCI_E3 PCIe 4.0 supports up to x4 (From Chipset)


5x M.2 slot

M.2_1 (From CPU) supports up to PCIe 4.0 x4 , supports 22110/2280/2260 devices

M.2_2 (From Chipset) supports up to PCIe 4.0 x4 , supports 2280/2260 devices

M.2_3 (From Chipset) supports up to PCIe 4.0 x4 / SATA mode, supports 2280/2260/2242 devices

M.2_4 (From Chipset) supports up to PCIe 4.0 x4 , supports 2280/2260/2242 devices

M.2_5 (From Chipset) supports up to PCIe 4.0 x4 , supports 2280/2260 devices

7x SATA 6G port


Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10 for SATA storage devices

Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10 for M.2 NVMe storage devices

* SATA_A1~A2 do not support RAID function.


4x USB 2.0 (Front)

4x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A (Rear)

2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A (Front)

4x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type A (Rear)

1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C (Rear)

1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C (Front)

1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type C (Rear)


Intel® 2.5Gbps LAN

Wireless / Bluetooth

Intel® Wi-Fi 6E

The Wireless module is pre-installed in the M.2 (Key-E) slot

Supports MU-MIMO TX/RX, 2.4GHz / 5GHz / 6GHz* (160MHz) up to 2.4Gbps

Supports 802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac/ ax

Supports Bluetooth® 5.3, FIPS, FISMA


Realtek® ALC4080 Codec

7.1-Channel USB High Performance Audio

Supports up to 32-Bit/384 kHz playback on front panel

Internal I/O

1x Power Connector(ATX_PWR)

2x Power Connector(CPU_PWR)

1x CPU Fan

1x Pump Fan

6x System Fan

2x Front Panel (JFP)

1x Chassis Intrusion (JCI)

1x Front Audio (JAUD)

1x TBT connector (JTBT, supports RTD3)

1x Tuning Controller connector(JDASH)

3x Addressable V2 RGB LED connector (JARGB_V2)

1x RGB LED connector(JRGB)

1x TPM pin header(Support TPM 2.0)

4x USB 2.0

2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A

1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C

LED Feature

4x EZ Debug LED

1x EZ LED Control switch

Back Panel Ports

Display Port

USB 3.2 Gen 1 5 Gbps (Type-A)

USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps (Type-A)

2.5G LAN

Wi-Fi / Bluetooth

Audio Connectors


Clear CMOS / Flash BIOS

USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps (Type-A)

USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps (Type-C)

USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 20Gbps (Type-C)

Optical S/PDIF Out

Operating System

Support for Windows® 11 64-bit, Windows® 10 64-bit

PCB dimension



Box Content


European Union Regulatory Notice
Quick Installation Guide
3x EZ M.2 Clip Packages

Wi-Fi Antenna
Cable Stickers

USB Drive

2x SATA Cables




Packaging and Accessories

The MSI MAG Z790 Edge Wifi DDR4 has a completely different look for its box than most of the MSI boxes that we have come in. This one has a bright white background and a design across the front in a light grey where most MSI boards have more of a gaming look. This does have the MSI Gaming dragon logo up in the top left corner. The model name is across the middle with the biggest font and under it, there is a small blue stripe that lets you know this is an Intel motherboard. Beyond that, the MAG logo is in the background, and the bottom right corner is in pink as well. The back of the box has an actual picture of the motherboard which I’m happy to see. Next to that, MSI has listed the board's main features. There is also a specification listing and then a line drawing of the rear I/O so you can see all of the connections you get. Inside the box is white as well and the MAG Z790 Edge Wifi DDR4 comes wrapped in its static protective bag and in a tray with the accessories up under it.

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For accessories, the MAG Z790 Edge Wifi DDR4 comes with the same two-piece wireless antenna that all MSI motherboards have had recently which slides together and holds the antenna up in the air. I was surprised to see that MSI included one of their branded USB drives which comes with the drivers and software on it. There are three sets of M.2 clips that once installed don’t require a screwdriver to install and remove your M.2 drives. Then for cables, you get two SATA cables which both have a right-angled connection on one end.

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For documentation, the MAG Z790 Edge Wifi DDR4 comes with a quick installation guide as well as a small book with the EU regulatory notices. It also comes with a sticker sheet that has a metallic finish. There are fan, RGB, and SATA cable labels and a few MSI badges, and even small lucky the dragon stickers.

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Board Layout and Pictures

Whereas most gaming-focused motherboards have been going with a dark grey look or sometimes full bright white. For the Z790 Edge WiFI DDR4 MSI has gone a different direction, with bright silver and white accents all on top of a black PCB. A silver or white PCB would be a lot cooler with this combination but the black does give it good contrast. For styling on the heatsinks MSI has their Gaming dragon logo of course and then the rest of the silver heatsinks are decked out in white stripes and dot designs. The cool thing about this setup though is that it will look great in an all-white build or a blacked-out build.

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The Z790 Edge WiFI DDR4 has a 16+1+1 VRM configuration with Renesas ISL99390 VRMs. Above that, they are running 7W/mK MOSFET Thermal Pads, and then the VRMs have heatsinks on top of both sections. Both heatsinks have a similar shape with four groves on the sides for additional surface area and the left heatsink is integrated in with the rear I/O cover but if you look MSI has given it groves even up under there as well. The I/O cover is aluminum and matches the silver theme and the top half has their MSI Gaming dragon logo which is backlit with RGB lighting. 

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The second half of the cooling for the Z790 Edge consists of multiple heatsinks covering most of the bottom half of the board. Three heatsink panels pull up which cover up the M.2 drive slots then on the far right the chipset cooler stays installed. The Z790 Edge has a surprising number of M.2 slots with five in total. The top slot runs directly connected to the CPU and is a PCIe 4.0 x4 slot, this one also supports longer 22110 drives if needed. This one also has a unique heatsink which is toolless with a push button to pop the heatsink off and has a toolless hold down for the drive itself. The large heatsink panel covers up two more M.2 drives which sit below the top PCIe x16 slot which is PCIe 5.0 and is directly connected to the CPU. The two M.2 slots are PCIe 4.0 and the lower one supports SATA M.2 drives should you happen to have one. There is one PCIe 1x slot running PCIe 3.0. Below that there are two more M.2 slots end to end. These are also PCIe 4.0 x4 and run off of the chipset. Then at the bottom, there is one more x16 PCIe slot running PCIe 4.0 and off of the chipset. All of the M.2 slots have the toolless SSD hold down which means no more having to dig out that tiny screw.

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The top left is nearly completely filled with the rear I/O and cover, the VRMs and heatsinks and some of the CPU socket so there isn’t too much going on. MSI does have two 8-pin CPU power connections tucked in up above the VRM heatsinks in the top left corner though.

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The top right corner has the CPU socket but the big thing here are the four DDR4 DIMM slots. The Z790 Edge WiFi is available with DDR4 or DDR5 and this is the DDR4 variant for those who already have ram or want to take advantage of cheaper memory prices. Above the ram, there are two PWM fan headers on the top edge and one right at the top right corner. There are also two addressable RGB connections here for top fans or if you want to run a wire into the back behind the motherboard tray. The right edge has four status LEDs to let you know the boot status because there isn’t a number readout for error codes on the Z790 Edge. Below that is the 24-pin motherboard power plug. Below that there is one standard USB 3.2 header and then a new style USB 4.0 header.

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The bottom right corner starts with the six right-angled SATA connections running right next to the chipset cooler. Then along the bottom edge, they have the front panel connections in the far right corner to make them easier to get to. There is a layout printed on the board as well about an inch up above them. Next to that is a seventh SATA connection as well as the trusted platform header. Next to that, you have two USB 2 headers and then three PWM fan headers.

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The bottom left corner of the Z790 Edge WiFI DDR4 is mostly filled with the PCIe slots and the M.2 slots along with the large heatsinks covering them all which I have already covered but there is still a lot going on in this section. On the left corner, you have the onboard audio running on the Realtek ALC4080 Codec and with gold Nichicon FG caps. MSI also has this split from the rest of the PCB to try to keep interference down as well. Overall you get 7.1-Channels and the front panel connection here supports up to 32-Bit/384 kHz playback. There is also a 4-pin PWM fan header tucked away here next to the top M.2 slot which is perfect for wiring up your rear case fan which normally needs a long wire run under your GPU or finding a plug up at the top edge of the board. MSI has put a simple on-and-off switch for the LED lighting down here along with standard RGB and addressable RGB lighting connections.

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The most noticeable thing about the rear I/O on the Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 is the preinstalled backplate which has a silver finish to match the rest of the board. They have the MPG logo over on the left and then next to that two display connections for running the iGPU, one DisplayPort, and one HDMI connection. Next to those, there is an oval cutout with two recessed buttons, the left button is the clear CMOS button and the right flashes the BIOS for updating the BIOS. On the far right the Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 has the standard audio output layout with five 3.5mm audio jacks and one TOSLINK as well. Next to that are the two connections for the built-in WiFi 6E which runs on an Intel NIC. Then next to that speaking of NICs is a single 2.5 GbE wired ethernet connection also running on an Intel NIC. Then across the middle, the Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 has a range of USB connections. There are two Type-C plugs on the bottom row, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 and the other is a Gen 2x2 for a faster 20 Gbps connection. There are four red USB plugs that are also USB 3.2 Gen 2 then four standard blue connections for 10 USBs in total including the Type-C’s.

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The back of the Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 gives us a look at the blacked-out PCB. This is also where MSI has hidden away all of the required regulatory logos. They have also put their big bright white arrows in a few locations. These are common areas where if you don’t have your motherboard standoffs in the correct spot that it will hit the board and can cause damage and a short. The back of the board also gives us a better look at the split PCB for the audio circuitry on the right side of the board. There aren’t any M.2 slots hidden back here but you can see the CPU socket backplate and the bolts for the VRM heatsinks as well above and to the side of the CPU socket.

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Before getting into the BIOS I was surprised by the warning message that MSI gave me on the first boot up. I had the memory in the less than optimal slots and it caught the issue and gave me a warning. Having the picture as well is a nice touch and this should help when it comes to less experienced users or people like me who just didn’t double-check. I do worry that someone might see this and do it with the system powered up though lol.

testing 1

Rather than have stacks of pictures I put together a basic video that just goes through and clicks on each menu option in the BIOS so if there is anything you want to check out you can see it and pause when needed. The BIOS for the Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 started up initially in the EZ mode which given that this isn’t a crazy overclocking-focused board is a good decision. This mode has simple click options for turning on the XMP profiles and a basic CPU overclock up top as well as drag and drop priority for the boot priority. You have access to M-Flash for updating your BIOS and there are a few pages for the CPU, Memory, Storage, and fans to give you most information that you might need.

Up top, you can select the advanced mode or pressing F7. This gets you into the more standard UEFI BIOS. It still has the XMP and boot stuff up top along with clock speeds and temperatures. But on the left, you have settings and overclock pages which get into more detail for settings. MSI has done a good job of keeping all of the overclocking-focused options in the OC settings page and everything else including all of the chipset functionality is in the settings menu.


Test Rig and Procedures

Test System

CPU: Intel Core-i9 13900K (253 PL1/2) – Live Pricing

Cooling: Corsair H100i Elite LCD Display - Live Pricing

Noctua NT-H1 Thermal PasteLive Pricing

  Memory:   Kingston FURY Beast DDR4 RGB Special Edition 2x16 3600MHz – Live Pricing

Storage:   Sabrent Rocket Q4 2TB – Live Pricing

Video Card: Nvidia RTX 4090 FELive Pricing

Power Supply: Corsair AX1200Live Pricing

Case: Primochill Wetbench - Live Pricing

OS: Windows 11 Pro 64-bitLive Pricing

Motherboard Testing

Passmark Performance Test 10.2

Overall PCMark score

PCMark 10

PCMark 10 standard test, not the quick or extended versions


We run the newer Speed Way benchmark and Time Spy on its regular setting

In Game Tests

World War Z: Aftermath

4K, In-Game Benchmark, Ultra detail

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands Breakpoint

4K, In-Game benchmark, Ultra Detail profile

The Callisto Protocol

4K, In-Game benchmark, High detail setting

Far Cry 6

4K, In-Game benchmark, Ultra detail setting

Subsystem Testing


Passmark Advanced network test



When it comes to performance testing, typically motherboard to motherboard we aren’t going to see any big performance difference when running the same components and clock speeds. The exception to that is when boards are auto overclocking of course and there are a few areas where components can make a difference like with ethernet and USB controllers. For our Z790 testing, we don’t have any point of comparison so far to put the MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 up against currently as we didn’t have a Z790 board for the CPU launch. I’ve paired the board up with the 13900K and Nvidia’s RTX 4090 Founders Edition for a top-end PC setup and ran it through a few tests just as a point of reference on what you could expect performance-wise. We will have to wait until we have other boards to compare it against to see if the Edge stands out in any of them but it was in line with what I expected. I did test with the CPU set to the standard PL1 and PL2 of 253 watts, not the uncapped wattage settings and I had XMP turned on for the memory beyond that the settings were out of the box.

The one area where motherboard testing does sometimes vary would be in the network testing and the MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 did well in all three of those tests. The Intel 2.5GbE NIC is standard these days but most people still have a 1GbE network so I do include that as well. You can see there is some headroom on each, they don’t run right up on the max capable speed because this is an average. As for the wireless I tested on 6Ghz with Wifi 6E and the MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 did well. While I don’t like the size/shape of the antenna MSIs design does work well compared to the competition.

3DMark – Speed Way – Overall Score

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4


  3DMark – Time Spy


Overall Score

Graphics Score

CPU Score

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4




3DMark – Time Spy Extreme


Overall Score

Graphics Score

CPU Score

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4




PCMark 10 Score


Overall Score



Content Creation

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4





Passmark PerformanceTest 10.2 -



CPU Mark

2D Graphics Mark

3d Graphics Mark

Memory Mark

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4






World War Z: Aftermath – 4K Ultra Detail – Average FPS

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4

 113 FPS

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands Breakpoint – 4K Ultra Detail Preset - Average FPS

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4

 144 FPS

The Callisto Protocol – Detail - Average FPS

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4

59.25 FPS

Far Cry 6 – 4K Ultra Detail - Average FPS

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4

135 FPS

Average Network Speed- Wired on a 1G Network - Mbits/Sec

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4  - Intel I225V 2.5G NIC

947.8 Mbits/sec

Average Network Speed – WiFi 6E - Mbits/Sec

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 – Intel WiFi 6E Module

608.4 Mbits/sec

Average Network Speed – wired on 10G Network - Mbits/Sec

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4  – Intel I225V 2.5G NIC

2359 Mbits/sec



When testing I did get the MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 warmed up by running an AIDA64 FPU CPU workload to warm up the 16 Renesas ISL99390 power stages. After doing that for 20+ minutes I have a few thermal images to check out how the VRM cooling is handling things. Overall they weren’t too bad, up near the VRMs was 58c but there was a hot spot in the section where the CPU socket and the VRMs are the closest where it was running at 66.7c. The heatsink was transferring some heat up and was warmed up to 44.5c The heatsink on the top of the board is running warmer even with it having more open airflow around it.

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While lighting doesn’t affect performance at all when doing my testing I did get a few pictures of the lighting on the Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4. The board just has one area with lighting on the cover over the rear I/O. It has the MIS Gaming dragon logo and by default, it rotates through the color spectrum but you can control it using the Mystic Light RGB software if you want to tie it in with other lighting on your board like in our setup the RGB on the memory.

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Overall and Final Verdict

While Intel does have more than one 700 Series chipset, the flagship Z790 chipset has a surprisingly wide range of motherboard options. They range from $190 to $1399 and adding DDR4 and DDR5 into the mix each company has a LOT of options and MSI is no different. In fact, they have 14 different Z790 options which is down from the 18 that they did for Z690. In Z790 they have three different models in the Edge lineup alone, one ITX board and then the DDR4 and DDR5 options in the Edge WiFi. These are also the only boards that have a white or light grey focus with the other options all being mainly black. Given the popularity of white builds, having boards that match is a given and the MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 fills that for MSI with its silver heatsinks and white accents on the heatsinks. The black, silver, and white combo is unique in that it isn’t completely white so it will fit in a black case just as well as it would an all-white build but I do wish that the PCB and plastic on this were silver or white like MSI has done in the past with their Arctic lineup.

As far as features go, the Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 isn’t an ultra-expensive overclocking board but MSI did still load it up with features. Especially when it comes to USB connections with 10 in total on the rear I/O and four different USB header variations on the board as well. The same can be said when it comes to M.2 connections or storage in general with it having 7 SATA connections which these days we see some boards going with less and then an impressive 5 M.2 slots with each having a heatsink over top. The M.2 slots are all PCIe 4.0 but the PCIe x16 slot is PCIe 5.0 for future compatibility. Beyond that, all of the M.2 slots have easy toolless clips and the main top M.2 is even easier with a toolless heatsink that pops off with a button push. The only thing missing as far as convenience goes is an easy push button release for the PCIe slot which the competition has on the Strix Z790-A Gaming Wifi D4. MSI put the RGB connections up top and on the bottom row for easy access and easy wiring as well.

With this model specifically, MSI went with DDR4 which even still will help keep costs down for a build, especially if you already have ram from your previous system. But even buying a 32GB 2X16GB kit right now is going for almost half the price for DDR4 vs DDR5 but that is shrinking all of the time. Speaking of pricing, the Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 has an MSRP of $369 and can be found right now for $364 which is still far from the bottom end of Z790 pricing but also not at the top end as well. For comparison, the Strix Z790-A Gaming Wifi D4 has a higher MSRP at $379.99 but can be found for less right now at $349.99. So MSI is in the right range with their competition but is a little higher at least right now. This is also the sweet spot for a high-end build before you step up into crazy with the $1000+ motherboards while still getting lots of flexibility with USB and M.2 and the silver/white look to go with the all-white builds that everyone has been doing.


Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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