Intel Haswell-E and X99 Chipset Preview

MSI X99 Motherboards
MSI X99S XPower AC (full details)
MSI X99S XPOWER AC Motherboard

The MSI X99S XPower AC is of course part of MSI’s Overclocking Series of motherboards which are aimed at overclockers and enthusiasts alike. The picture that MSI released shows the board with ice on it meaning it is also aimed at LN2 overclockers. The X99S XPower AC will have the same black and yellow color scheme as other motherboards in MSI’s Overclocking Series and will come in the E-ATX form factor.

At the center of the board you will find the LGA 2011-3 socket that supports Intel’s upcoming Haswell-E HEDT processors. Power to the CPU comes by way of two 8pin EPS connectors. The MSI X79 Big Bang XPower II came with a 22 phase PWM, but given the space restrictions on these boards we should expect a 12 phase PWM here. The board itself will feature an 8-layer PCB, Military Class IV components which include solid state capacitors, Hi-C Caps, Super Ferrite Core Chokes and Dark Caps. The CPU socket is surrounded by four DDR4 DIMMs on each side.

The board will have five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots with ample room for 4-way SLI or CrossFire setups. There is also a single PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slot and a mSATA connector. For storage the board will have 10 SATA 6GB/s ports and two SATA Express port. We can also spot a right-angled USB 3.0 header.

There are several overclocking features on the board like the OC Genie button, Power On / Off and reset buttons, voltage and BCLK adjustment buttons, voltage check points, and a debug LED. The motherboard will feature large heatsinks on the power delivery components as well as the PCH. These heatsinks are interconnected with a large heatsink.

MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC (full details)
MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC

The MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC as you can guess will be part of MSI’s gaming series of motherboards. This confirms that MSI will have different tier motherboards based on the X99 chipset. We are assuming along with gaming line they will release overclocking series motherboards in the form of MPower and XPower.

The MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC has the same black and red color scheme that we have seen on previous MSI Gaming series products. From the released photos we can see that the board will feature three large and very attractive heatsinks. The board will feature Intel’s LGA 2011-3 socket, which is compatible with Intel’s upcoming Haswell-E processors. You will get an 8 phase powerdesign with this board which is outfitted with MSI’s Military Class IV components. The board will have eight DDR4 DIMM slots (4 on each side of the CPU socket).

As far as expansion slots go there are five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. For storage you have 10 SATA 6GB/s ports, two SATA Express ports and it looks like there is also on M.2 slot on there. Other features that can be spotted on the board are power, reset and OC Genie buttons and a debug LED towards the bottom of the board. Being part of the gaming series the board will have MSI’s Audio Boost chip and the Killer E2200 LAN chip.

MSI Streaming Engine

Another interesting thing on this board is a feature they are calling “Streaming Engine”. It is a mPCIe slot that houses an AVerMedia card that allows for 1080p streaming at a 60Mbps bitrate! Now that is pretty damn cool! The streaming engine is compatible with a variety of third-party software, including XSplit and more!

MSI X99S SLI Plus (full details)
MSI X99S SLI Plus Motherboard

It looks like MSI is going with an all black color scheme with this motherboard, much like what we have seen from ASUS’s X79 Black and the EVGA X79 Dark. The exact specifications of the motherboard are unknown at this time, but you can expect all of the features of a flagship X99 motherboard. From the released photo (above) we can see that this motherboard will feature:

– 8 Memory Slots with Quad Channel DDR4 Support
– M.2 Sata Express Slot
– 8 Phase PWM Design
– 40 PCIE Lanes (capable of Quad SLI/Crossfire)
– 10 SATA Ports 6GB/s
– 14 USB Ports
– LGA 2011-3 Socket with x99 Chipset
– Will Support Haswell-E i7-5960X, i7-5930K and i7-5820K

Like most high-end MSI motherboard the X99S SLI PLUS will feature MSI’s Military Class IV components which do include military grade capacitors and MOSFETs. Dual quad channel memory up to 3000 MHz+ is supported. Aggressive black heatsinks cover the power delivery components and the X99 PCH. There are 10 SATA 6GB/s ports, a single SATA Express port, and a M.2 slot. You can also see a USB 3.0 header towards the center of the board.

Expansion slots will include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots and two PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots for quad-SLI and CrossfireX. Below the PCI slots we can see power and reset buttons as well as the OC Genie button.

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