AbstractMagnesium and its alloys attract increasingly wide attention in various fields, ranging from transport to medical solutions, due to their outstanding structural and degradation properties. These properties can be tailored through alloying and thermo-mechanical processing, which is often complex and multi-step, thus requiring in-depth analysis. In this work, we demonstrate the capability of synchrotron-based nanotomographic X-ray imaging methods, namely holotomography and transmission X-ray microscopy, for the quantitative 3D analysis of the evolution of intermetallic precipitate (particle) morphology and distribution in magnesium alloy Mg–5.78Zn–0.44Zr subjected to a complex multi-step processing. A rich history of variation of the intermetallic particle structure in the processed alloy provided a testbed for challenging the analytical capabilities of the imaging modalities studied. The main features of the evolving precipitate structure revealed earlier by traditional light and electron microscopy methods were confirmed by the 3D techniques of synchrotron-based X-ray imaging. We further demonstrated that synchrotron-based X-ray imaging enabled uncovering finer details of the variation of particle morphology and number density at various stages of processing—above and beyond the information provided by visible light and electron microscopy.