Want a cheap, full-featured Z790 board that supports DDR5 memory, PCIe 5.0 graphics cards, Wi-Fi 6E and Intel’s fastest 12th and 13th-gen processors? MSI’s Z790-A WiFi motherboard fits the bill nicely, and it’s down to $195.99 at Best Buy at the moment, a solid $85 discount from its usual price.
While there are certainly fancier Z790 boards on the market, this option from MSI ticks all of the most essential boxes with support for four M.2 drives (albeit at PCIe 4.0 rather than 5.0 speeds), 2.5-gigabit LAN, seven USB-A, one USB-C, HDMI, DisplayPort, optical and 5-channel 3.5mm audio.
The board layout seems quite sane, with connectors in all of the standard places, and there are plenty of fan and RGB headers to get your case-placed peripherals connected. The overall aesthetic is a little basic, with a simple white and black color scheme, but honestly that might be preferable to a more vibrant design in colors you’re not a fan of.
Reviews online are relatively scarce – always an issue with more budget boards that aren’t sent out as proactively to reviewers – but what coverage does exist is roundly positive, with testing up to the Core i9 13900K finding no glitching faults. And for most people, if it has the features you need, then that’s probably good enough!
With relatively few full-size DDR5 Z790 boards available at this price point, this discounted MSI option is well worth considering. The only real alternatives available online are the Gigabyte Z790 UD AC, a DDR5 motherboard available for $180 at Amazon, and the DDR4-based Asus Tuf Gaming Z790-Plus WiFi D4 for $190 at the same shop. I tend to prefer MSI over Gigabyte – and marginally over Asus – when it comes to motherboards, so I feel happy with the MSI pick, but feel free to make your own investigations and choose what you like!