Inside MSI Creator Z16 (A11Ux) – disassembly and upgrade options
Although the Creator Z16 is a truly impressive device, it is a pain in the …plastic pry tool… to open.
MSI Creator Z16
- Intel Core i7-11800H
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 (Laptop, 65W)
- 16GB RAM
- 1000GB SSD
1. Remove the bottom plate
To get inside of this notebook, you need to undo 6 Phillips-head screws, two of which are located beneath the back rubber feet. After you’re done, pry the bottom panel with a plastic tool, and remove it from the chassis.
Unfortunately, your job does not end here. Since the motherboard is facing the wrong way around, you need to remove it to access the upgradeable parts. First, disconnect the 90Wh battery pack, and take it away from the chassis. Then, you will need to peel the plastic protective foil. After that, undo all screws holding the motherboard, including one for the Wi-Fi card, and two for the fans. Keep in mind that one of the fan screws is hiding beneath the display cable.
Speaking of cables, make sure you remove all connectors from the motherboard before you try lifting it away from the chassis.
3. Мemory and storage
Now that we have finally taken the motherboard out of the device, we can see the two RAM SODIMM slots, and the two M.2 PCIe x4 slots.
4. Cooling system
As for the cooling solution, it comprised two heat pipes for the CPU, two heat pipes for the graphics card, and an additional heat pipe, managing the thermals of the graphics memory.
MSI Creator Z16 (A11Ux) in-depth review
From making high-end gaming laptops to somewhat affordable office solutions, MSI is now well established in the portable computing industry. A couple of years ago, a market emerged seemingly out of nowhere - the content creator one. And last year, MSI converted its GS66 device into the MSI Creator 15. We can't say it was a total hit among its target audience, but it was good enough to deserve our "Editor's choice" award. Today, however, we mark a step in a completely different direction, regarding the design. Gone is the industrially-inspired gaming look, the sharp corners, and the boxy de[...]
- Aluminum design and great build quality
- Large arrow keys, RGB backlight, and responsive touchpad
- 2x SODIMM + 2x M.2 PCIe x4
- No PWM (MNG007DA1-1 (CSO1600))
- Full sRGB, and DCI-P3 coverage + 92% Adobe RGB coverage (MNG007DA1-1 (CSO1600))
- 120Hz refresh rate with fast pixel response times (MNG007DA1-1 (CSO1600))
- 2x Thunderbolt 4 + MicroSD card slot
- IR face recognition + fingerprint reader
- Underperforming CPU
- Uneven color uniformity
- Relatively difficult to upgrade