MSI MPG SEKIRA 500X with MSI OPTIX MPG341CQR monitor: Review | Specs

Review of PC based on MSI MEG X570 ACE board in MSI MPG SEKIRA 500X package and with MSI OPTIX MPG341CQR monitor: Reviews 2021 | Testing| Specs | Hashrate | Power consumption| CPU Performance and a lot more information for your to make up your mind on whether to buy this device.

At the beginning of this year, on various Internet resources, including the DNS Club website, MSI announced an interesting PR campaign, in which it invited those wishing to try hardware kits for a gaming PC on an AMD platform and share their real impressions from the assembly process and use. About one of such kits, consisting of an advanced motherboard MSI MEG X570 ACE, a convenient MSI MPG Sekira 500X case and a cool MSI Optix MPG341CQR gaming monitor, and further narration will go. A detailed review of each component is worthy of a separate material, but based on personal experience, I will focus on those points that seemed interesting or important to me.

MSI MPG Sekira 500X case

“They are met by clothes” – the beginning of the well-known saying very clearly reflects how, as a rule, the choice of a game body begins. Undoubtedly, technical characteristics play the most important role, but we must be honest, the likelihood of choosing this particular model mostly depends on how the exterior “catches the eye”. The design of the “poleaxe” seemed to me rather restrained at first. Largely due to the predominance of flat surfaces of dark colored panels and tinted glass. But – this is only in the off state. The very first activation changes the impression in a positive way, especially if you are a fan of RGB backlighting. Large 200mm fans with dynamic glow effects packs look great.

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Side glass (4 mm!) Walls are well made, opening like doors. Comfortable handles are embedded on them in front, easy removal from the hinges is provided, there is a seal and magnetic clamps. The degree of toning is chosen enough to slightly hide possible flaws in the cable management at the back and to emphasize the glowing components inside.

The blank surface of the panels in front and on top was compensated by air intake strips on the side along the perimeter, providing air flow.

MSI approached the package rationally and, for example, a 200 mm fan without backlight is installed behind the upper part of the front panel, since it will not be visible anyway.

The set of front interface ports is modern: four USB 3.0, one USB Type-C and separate audio jacks. There is no information on the fashion trend of the reset button and the activity indicator of the storage devices, but a button for switching RGB effects has been added.

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The chassis of the case is solid metal, without leaving a flimsy feeling. Internal layout – with the bottom location of the power supply, separated by a fixed corner partition. 

The motherboard tray accommodates all common formats used in home PCs, from mini-ITX toddlers to large-sized EATX variants. The legs are already screwed in for full-size ATX boards. The middle one has a special side to keep the board suspended when it is installed in the case. This greatly facilitates vertical assembly.

There are eight horizontal expansion slots, all covered with reusable knurled screw plugs. But due to the peculiar shape of the overlay of the vertical slots zone, only the top three can be reached without a screwdriver.

For vertical installation of the video card, a removable bracket and attachment points for the support board of the PCIe extension cable are provided, but the riser itself is not included in the kit.

There are many cutouts around the perimeter for cable management. They are wide enough to handle large plugs without any problem. The part is equipped with silicone petal plugs, which adds aesthetics to the assembly. 

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The access window for the processor socket backplate is large. This is good, since you don’t have to twist the board to remove the cooler or water block.

Behind the motherboard tray there is a lot of room for wiring, plus reusable Velcro is used along the vertical route.

Despite the fact that M.2 SSDs are slowly replacing other formats of internal storage devices, the case has two baskets that can accommodate two 3.5 ” drives each, and three sleds for 2.5 ” drives. The baskets are removable and one can be moved to another place so that it does not interfere with the modular power supply cables.

The power supply is installed without an adapter frame. Holes are provided for mounting up and down with a fan, but considering that the casing separating this compartment has no perforation, it is pointless to use units with backlighting, and even more so to install them with a fan upwards, is pointless.

The fan light controller is neatly fixed on the back wall in the corner. You only need to connect a SATA power cable to it.

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And the main thing is the supply of space for installing cooling systems. First, there are five fans already installed in the case: four 200-mm fans (two in front and on top) and one 120-mm in the back.

Secondly, we have prepared mounts for radiators of liquid cooling systems up to 280 mm in front and up to 360 mm under the top panel. Moreover, a retractable frame is made on top, which is very convenient both from the point of view of installation and subsequent maintenance.

MSI MEG X570 ACE motherboard

In relation to the motherboard, the phrase “pre-top version” could be used, but I will limit myself to the statement “a good choice for a productive PC on older processors for socket AM4.”

Generation Zen2 and Ryzen 3000 series processors show a hot temper and solid power consumption, so they need a board with a good power subsystem. The MEG X570 ACE has a conditionally fourteen-phase power supply (12 phases for the processor and 2 phases for the SoC). To control these phases, the International Rectifier IR3501 PWM controller is used, which is eight-channel, and, therefore, some of the phases are implemented through a circuit with IR3598 doublers (soldered on the back of the board). The RAM power supply is two-phase, it is controlled by a separate RT8125 controller.

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It is no secret that the chipset itself heats up decently in the AMD x570 kit, so the motherboard manufacturers had to provide it with active cooling. A small fan is idle most of the time or runs silently, accelerating strongly only when the chipset heats up above 70 degrees. In addition, the cooling system for various components of the motherboard is implemented in an interesting way. All the hottest areas are equipped with cooling radiators that are interconnected. From the top heatsinks, the heat pipe runs down to the chipset heatsink, and the cooling fins of the M.2 slots physically touch it. It turns out that the total area of ​​the radiators, paired with a fan that turns on under a serious load, provides more efficient heat dissipation than scattered cooling elements would do.

A key component of a gaming PC in modern realities is a video card, and top-end options often have massive cooling systems and a decent weight. The PCIe slots are reinforced with metal frames to withstand this weight.

Reinforcement Steel Armor also received memory slots, but here it is more likely for the purpose of additional shielding and reinforcement based on the possible frequent change of modules in enthusiast assemblies. 

MSI pays special attention to working with memory, closely cooperating with various manufacturers, so the UEFI BIOS not only takes data from SPD modules, but also has a built-in set of optimal presets for “Memory Try It!” Parameters, allowing inexperienced users to overclock memory modules in a couple of clicks.

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There are three M.2 slots and all are equipped with cooling fins. The top one accommodates SSDs up to 22110 form factor, the bottom two – up to 2280. All support PCIe 4.0 x4.

The board was clearly designed with the expectation of interest from novice overclockers and enthusiasts, therefore, it is equipped with backlit physical power and reset buttons, as well as a two-character LED indicator for POST codes. After loading the operating system, the indicator displays the temperature of the central processor.

Additionally, on the upper right edge, there are five LED indicators for the current EZ Debug boot mode (CPU, DRAM, VGA, BOOT), and at the bottom JPWRLED1 – one red LED for the presence of standby power. Unfortunately, the backlighting color of the service indicators does not change and they only shine in red, which does not look very good against the background of other RGB components.

A conveniently made CMOS reset button on the rear interface panel, which you sometimes have to resort to when experimenting with overclocking. Next to it there is also a button for starting a firmware update from a USB flash drive. The procedure requires only one thing – that power is connected to the motherboard through a 24-pin connector. Even the installation of a processor and RAM is not needed. Convenient “trick” with a reserve for the installation of future processors for AM4.

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The interface kit meets modern needs: high-speed Wi-Fi 6, a pair of USB 2.0, three USB 3.2 Gen 2 and two USB 3.2 Gen1, one USB Type-C connector version 3.2 Gen 2, PS / 2 port, two network cable adapters and audio ports including optical S-PDIF output.

Monitor MSI Optix MPG341CQR

For fast-paced games, the monitor is of great importance. The MSI Optix MPG341CQR submitted for testing is one of the best acquisitions for a true game fan, with a focus on esports applications. It completely refutes the well-established pattern that a monitor with a diagonal of up to 27 ” is enough for a gaming PC. With a curved design with a comfortable 1800R radius of curvature, 21: 9 widescreen design and 34 ” diagonal, it provides excellent immersion in games and easily replaces a pair of smaller monitors placed in a row. With such dimensions and a high resolution of 3440 x 1440 points, the field of view is almost completely covered by a highly detailed image and the importance of peripheral vision is sharpened.

The monitor looks cool thanks to its sleek design with backlight modules at the front and back and an excellent adjustable foot. It provides excellent stability on tabletops and allows you to adjust the height, tilt and swivel left and right in a comfortable range.

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The MPG341CQR has a built-in web camera located in the center of the lower frame. It is also used to recognize the user’s face and automatically switch the settings profile in the Gaming OSD software.

To conveniently connect the mouse to the bottom of the monitor on the left or right, you can attach the included flexible holder to reduce the chance of cable tangles.

In addition, the delivery includes a swivel bracket for an external camera, which is attached to a special groove at the top.

Good color rendition with basic settings allows it to be used not only for entertainment, but also for working with graphics after a little calibration. However, flexible adjustment for professional needs is hindered by a peculiar algorithm for adjusting color channels and the lack of gamma control from the menu.

Color space coverage EOTF (Gamma)
Color balance Colorful temperature

After profiling with DisplayCal, the test specimen has 99.6% sRGB, 81% Adobe RGB, and 85.4% DCI P3, and has a 122.2% sRGB, 84.2% Adobe RGB, and 86.5 gamut coverage. % DCI P3.

There are many settings for the gaming orientation in the monitor settings: several color rendering profiles for common genres of games, an option to reduce blurring of a dynamic image, a night vision system, display on the screen in the center of scopes of various shapes, an on-screen timer. 

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The “picture-in-picture” mode is supported, when an image from an additional video input is displayed on the screen in a separate area. This option can be useful for streamers to connect several PCs to one monitor at once.

PC assembly features

Test Build Configuration:

Component type Model
Monitor 34” MSI Optix MPG341CQR
Housing MSI MPG Sekira 500X
Motherboard MSI MEG X570 ACE (BIOS 1.80 от 09.01.2020)
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (BOX)
Cooling system Box cooler (Cooler Master Wraith Prism RGB)
RAM 2 х 8 ГБ ADATA XPG Spectrix D50 DDR4-3200
Storage devices M.2 NVMe SSD Patriot Viper VPR100 RGB 512 ГБ M.2 NVMe SSD Seagate FireCuda 510 2 TB
Video adapter MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Ventus OC 6 ГБ
Power Supply Thermaltake Toughpower PF1 ARGB 1050W
Operating system Microsoft Windows 10 Professional x64, version 2004 with updates on 07/15/2020
Indoor temperature 28 °C

The process of installing components left positive emotions, but formed several wishes for MSI engineers.

On the case of MSI MPG Sekira 500X:

  • To conveniently lead the PCIe power cable to the video card, the lower casing separating the power supply area lacks an additional hole closer to the glass to lower it vertically downward.
  • As a fan of RGB components, I didn’t like the lack of cutouts to reveal the backlit PSU.
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For MSI MEG X570 ACE motherboard:

  • It would not hurt to print next to the pinout of the connector for connecting the buttons and indicators of the front panel, so that you do not have to look into the instructions.
  • The central hole for screwing the board in the case is located inconveniently. Covered by an M.2 slot heatsink.
  • The board is equipped with a large number of connectors for fans, but they are all concentrated in the upper right corner and along the bottom edge. One connector is missing on the left, just below the vertical heatsink of the processor’s power supply circuits, so as not to pull the wires from the rear fan through the half of the case.

As for the rest, the large internal volume of the case and the well-thought-out chassis in combination with the full support of the motherboard for modern “hardware” make the assembly of a PC with the considered kit a hassle-free experience. There are no significant restrictions on the dimensions of the components. Can accommodate large tower CPU coolers up to 170 mm in height, video cards up to 400 mm in length and a powerful power supply after removing one or both of the hard drive cages.

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The build process, from unpacking to starting the PC, will better demonstrate the video I have prepared.

Testing

Game Boost

AMD 3000 X-series processors are great at utilizing available computing power within their thermal package. Manual overclocking on them does not give an impressive effect, since the manufacturer has already squeezed out “practically all the juices”.

Nevertheless, the function of simple overclocking Game Boost using the rotary control on the motherboard was interesting to test in practice. The screenshot from the Dragon Center program reflects the essence of the built-in overclocking modes – fixing the core frequency, although it is not indicated which additional parameters are also set automatically.

There is no need to be afraid of damaging the processor by turning the regulator to the maximum. built-in CPU protection algorithms for core temperature and consumption, will not let it fail. However, the effect of overclocking can be negative. Here it is worth focusing on the name of the technology – Game Boost, which reflects the target purpose specifically for games. This is due to the fact that with a simultaneous load on all cores, for example, in rendering tasks, at higher frequencies the processor quickly begins to overheat. In games, as a rule, not all cores are utilized, but only a part of them, therefore, it is real to work at higher frequencies. But at a certain overclocking threshold, the heat dissipation, even with a load of some of the cores, will grow to critical values ​​and cause throttling.

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Temperature regime

The Sekira 500X case, due to the blank front and top panels, required MSI engineers to install four 200-mm and one 120-mm fans at once in order to provide normal cooling while maintaining a relatively low noise level. An approximate airflow diagram for the tested assembly is shown below.

The diagram below is based on HWiNFO64 readings running Furmark 1.21.2.0 CPU Burner at 24 threads and GPU Stress Test (1920×1080, 8xMSAA), as well as CrystalDiskMark 7.0.0 with multiple passes on both drives.

The stand components operate within the heating limits set by the manufacturers. The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor is hot on its own and the boxed cooler can handle heat dissipation in gaming applications, but in stress tests, it all comes down to temperature limits. The video card also worked at its limit, because for the RTX 2060 the UWQHD resolution (3440 x 1440 pixels) is a serious load, respectively, the graphics processor was utilized in full in the tests.

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However, despite the high load, the temperature of the power supply circuits of the motherboard and the chipset, according to the images of the Seek Thermal Compact thermal imager, did not cause concern.

Power elements to the left of the socket Power elements above the socket
Chipset radiator Power memory cells

The temperatures of the components while playing FarCry 5 are significantly lower than in synthetic tests, and reflects the real situation that will be observed in most modern games with an emphasis on quality graphics. 

Noise

The noise level generated by the complete case fans can be called moderate. When working in office applications and graphic editors, it is at a low level. During games, it does not really stand out against the background of a boxed processor cooler and a video card cooling system.

If desired, the graphics of the dependence of the fan speed on the temperature of the components can be adjusted to suit your preferences in the UEFI BIOS or using the Dragon Center utility.

Performance

The resulting assembly, due to the powerful processor, shows itself well in tasks optimized for multi-threaded operations, for example, in rendering and working with graphics. In games, it is limited by the performance of the RTX 2060-based video card, but the same fact leaves a groundwork for the ease of further upgrade.

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3DMark

Blender Benchmark

Cinebench R15 и R20

Corona 1.3 Benchmark

PCMark 10

Gaming performance

Conclusion

My acquaintance with the MSI suite of devices quickly came to an end and I want to note that it was a pleasant experience. Perhaps I’ll start with the MSI Optix MPG341CQR monitor – a real find for computer game lovers. True, with the proviso about the “biting” price. The experience of working with curved panels paired with a PC was new for me and, probably, it’s good that it started with the 34 ”model. With such a diagonal, sitting at the table, the image takes up most of the field of view and the feeling when you begin to catch the movement of a virtual opponent on the sides with your peripheral vision is a very interesting experience. The high-speed matrix and the lack of lubrication during sudden movements will be appreciated primarily by e-sports players, but even by fans like me who spend their time mainly in shooters like Warface, PUBG or Call of Duty: Warzone. the difference with inexpensive 60-75 Hz monitors is immediately noticeable. At the same time, the MPG341CQR is well calibrated, has a decent color rendition and a picture-in-picture mode, which allows you to combine its gaming use with work. Well, the package bundle is simply gorgeous and includes everything gamers need: a comfortable stand with a large margin of adjustments, a mouse wire holder, a camera mount, a built-in web camera, an integrated USB hub and a bunch of software “goodies” in MSI Gaming OSD 2.0.

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The MSI MEG X570 ACE motherboard is not the top option in the line for AMD processors, Godlike dominates in it, but its price is much higher. At the same time, the MEG X570 ACE implements everything necessary to ensure the smooth operation of the older Ryzen processors for AM4 both in normal mode and in overclocking. The main advantages of the board are decent power supply circuits for the processor with good cooling, the presence of three M.2 slots with PCIe 4.0 x4 support and an excellent set of interfaces for connecting various devices. In the presence of all popular high-speed ports, as well as a combined wireless module Wi-Fi 6 / Bluetooth 5.1.

Building a PC in the MSI MPG Sekira 500X case seemed boring to a certain extent. Not because of the lack of charisma in the design, that’s just fine, especially from the point of view of fans of ARGB lighting and all kinds of visual effects, but because of the lack of points that need to be bypassed. A large internal volume, a well-thought-out set of cooling system mounts, a sufficient number of holes for cable management, space for large coolers and video cards, a quick-detachable bracket for liquid cooling systems, everything, by and large, is done as it should. There are still small wishes for improvement, which I voiced above, but this is already from the category of “pursuit of the ideal.”

I will not single out the pros and cons of the devices as a separate block in a short list, according to the text above, the main conclusions have already been drawn. And I just wish you to deal with the same problem-free hardware kits and assemble your PCs on components that not only meet performance requirements, but also delight the eye with their design and synchronized backlighting.