Decent Z690 on a budget

Soldato
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Great for you, test it out tho as working. No point in having it for a few weeks with it being potentially DOA.

Yeah, worth keeping in mind that retailers often have different policies for RMAs after a certain period, where you're no longer eligible for a refund, or replacement from new stock.
 
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I'm running the MSI 690 Pro A, with a 12600K, running ddr4 3200 cl14-14-14-31,and 3 x nvme drives
not had one issue with it, good board.
 
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Can't find many reviews with regards to this motherboard and wondered if any folk here at OcUK are currently rocking it as I'm looking to pull the trigger on a build I'm slowly putting together... DDR4 version.
MSI z690-A PRO is £170 and excellent value for money.
 
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I went with the MSI Torpedo, its £199 and a cracking board.

I have both the A-Pro and the Torpedo and would spend the extra on the Torpedo.

Its basically a Tomahawk without the wifi.
 
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Another vote for the MSI z690-A PRO. But I got the WIFI version because it was wrongly listed on another site cheaper than the non WIFI version.
PS. The WIFI on this board isn't that good IMO anyway. I use a CAT 6 LAN cable so not an issue really for me.

Things to be aware of though:

There can be problems installing Windows (10 or 11) as the media creation tool does not seem to have a suitable LAN driver! So the Windows install stops! You need to download one and put it on a USB stick so that you can add it when you start running the media creation tool. I ended up installing Windows 10 in offline mode (IE. no internet connection). Then sorting the LAN driver issue when Windows 10 was installed. Doesn't look like you can install Windows 11 in offline mode. So had to go down the Windows 10 path. I'll just upgrade to Windows 11 at some point.

Be aware that if you download the latest BIOS (v1.40) then this switches on Secure Boot by default and this can stop you being able to login to Windows (the option to change your Windows Hello PIN does not work). You need to boot into the BIOS and switch Secure Boot off. Then try to login and it will then allow you to change your Login PIN.

Other than the above, it appears to be a decent stable board.
 
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Another vote for the MSI z690-A PRO. But I got the WIFI version because it was wrongly listed on another site cheaper than the non WIFI version.
PS. The WIFI on this board isn't that good IMO anyway. I use a CAT 6 LAN cable so not an issue really for me.

Things to be aware of though:

There can be problems installing Windows (10 or 11) as the media creation tool does not seem to have a suitable LAN driver! So the Windows install stops! You need to download one and put it on a USB stick so that you can add it when you start running the media creation tool. I ended up installing Windows 10 in offline mode (IE. no internet connection). Then sorting the LAN driver issue when Windows 10 was installed. Doesn't look like you can install Windows 11 in offline mode. So had to go down the Windows 10 path. I'll just upgrade to Windows 11 at some point.

Be aware that if you download the latest BIOS (v1.40) then this switches on Secure Boot by default and this can stop you being able to login to Windows (the option to change your Windows Hello PIN does not work). You need to boot into the BIOS and switch Secure Boot off. Then try to login and it will then allow you to change your Login PIN.

Other than the above, it appears to be a decent stable board.
Well i had no issues with my Torpedo.
 
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Well i had no issues with my Torpedo.
Just thought that I would share. Maybe save some heartbreak!

If you GOOGLE these issues there are a fair few who have had these problems. But I'm assuming not everyone for some reason.
See: https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?...l-on-z690-a-no-lan-or-wifi-connection.372052/

Though the above post does look to give you a way to Install Windows 11 in offline mode. Wish I has seen this before going down the Windows 10 route. Life...

PS. I see that there is even a vid linked to by MSI on the driver download page for this board. Though annoyingly, it tags it against the Windows 10 driver downloads! There should really be a link to it on the Windows 11 driver download page.
 
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I’m going LAN cable too. Finally drilled through my wall to run LAN from the router upstairs to my office/gaming room above it.

Virgin upgraded us to 1g internet too, so that’s nice.

I don’t really like onboard Wi-Fi all that much- I got a 3X3 PCI-e WLAN adapter and it was much better.
 
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and remember folks... anyone buying an MSI motherboard, remember to register it with MSI to get their free 20$ STEAM voucher.
 
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Recently returned the MSI PRO Z690-A and looking now to replace it with the Gigabyte Z690 Gaming X after some quality control issues. Upon unboxing and inspection, I noticed it was covered from back to front in what looked like flux oil/residue and some scrapes of exposed copper showing through the PCB.

I didn't want to chance testing it myself and immediately returned it under the 14 day period. Retailer later confirmed it was indeed faulty bearing in mind this was a brand new motherboard. I'm now left looking for a replacement and may consider my original pick of the Gaming X which can now be had for around £175.
 
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@Mr G That's frustrating. I might have been tempted to try a second MSI board. Cheap as chips and amazingly good. Then again as mentioned, the Gaming X seems decent enough.
At least you got your returns sorted out promptly.
 
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@Mr G That's frustrating. I might have been tempted to try a second MSI board. Cheap as chips and amazingly good. Then again as mentioned, the Gaming X seems decent enough.
At least you got your returns sorted out promptly.

It was a no fuss return thankfully and all handled swiftly. I was tempted to retry however might go with my first pick the Gaming X. Noticed Gigabyte has a Gaming X V2 model now?
 
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I didn't want to chance testing it myself and immediately returned it under the 14 day period. Retailer later confirmed it was indeed faulty bearing in mind this was a brand new motherboard. I'm now left looking for a replacement and may consider my original pick of the Gaming X which can now be had for around £175.

That wasn't a new board, that was a re-worked board that has been wrongly put into new stock or has been incorrectly sent my MSI. Not a fan of the Gaming X personally, on a professional level is seems OK but the MSI is a better buy IMO.
 
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That wasn't a new board, that was a re-worked board that has been wrongly put into new stock or has been incorrectly sent my MSI. Not a fan of the Gaming X personally, on a professional level is seems OK but the MSI is a better buy IMO.

Had a feeling this was the case. Any experience with the Gaming X? Might raise my budget for the TUF and that's my limit, £225.
 
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@Mr G Unless you want features that are on the Asus board, or have a strong preference for them, I'm not sure why you are edging away from the cheap and cheerful MSI. It did seem to be a Z690 at a budget cost you were looking for, but the MSI seems to punch way above its cost.
 
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Had a feeling this was the case. Any experience with the Gaming X? Might raise my budget for the TUF and that's my limit, £225.

Only used one in a build, and wasn't a huge fan of the BIOS and the weird issues they had with NVMe when first released put me off recommending them in builds. MSI Z690's haven't had a single problem at all, other than one which ended up having the bent CPU issues due to socket over mounting pressure, so had issues with RAM. Have you considered going the DDR5 route btw? Prices are coming down so if you are keeping your system a long time it could be an (almost) sensible move if you don't mind some OC'ing and tweaking of the RAM.
 
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Only used one in a build, and wasn't a huge fan of the BIOS and the weird issues they had with NVMe when first released put me off recommending them in builds. MSI Z690's haven't had a single problem at all, other than one which ended up having the bent CPU issues due to socket over mounting pressure, so had issues with RAM. Have you considered going the DDR5 route btw? Prices are coming down so if you are keeping your system a long time it could be an (almost) sensible move if you don't mind some OC'ing and tweaking of the RAM.

I have considered the DDR5 route and noticed prices are becoming accessible

Try msi pro again you was just unlucky .

I'm thinking about it.
 
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I have considered the DDR5 route and noticed prices are becoming accessible

Yeah there are some nice 32GB 5600MT/s Corsair kits starting at ~£175 that can easily be pushed to 6400+ speeds with much better timings that out of box. Only good if you want to tinker mind, otherwise stick with the DDR4 for now, assuming gaming is the primary function of the system.
 
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Yeah there are some nice 32GB 5600MT/s Corsair kits starting at ~£175 that can easily be pushed to 6400+ speeds with much better timings that out of box. Only good if you want to tinker mind, otherwise stick with the DDR4 for now, assuming gaming is the primary function of the system.

Gaming is the primary function and don't mind tinkering with speeds. Will keep this in mind though aa I've been looking into some options.
 
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