MSI X99S XPOWER First Look
MSI's new Top Dog Motherboard!
Published: 1st September 2014 | Source: MSI |
We’ve now had our look at a fair few of the upcoming X99 motherboards for the new 2011-3 socket and we’re starting to get a more well round view of what we can expect from the chipset as a whole. 2011 socket motherboards on the ‘X’ socket have always been the elite and highest end motherboards available from Intel, and with Haswell-E, and X99 we’re expecting the exact same high standards. We’ve seen other boards such as the Rampage V Extreme with huge arrays of SATA port, along with the new M2 interface, as well as far more features geared more for performance. Now it’s time to look at MSI’s highest end board; the X99S Xpower.
The Xpower follows the same black and yellow theme as we’ve come to love on the previous Xpower and Mpower boards. Employing a mainly matte black colouring scheme with yellow accents on areas such as the heatsinks and audio tracers, we’re certainly not overwhelmed by yellow on the Xpower, and we are left with a great looking board. Although it can often be hard to match products to a yellow colour, there are new cases coming out in the near future that would be a perfect match for this board, and if you’re willing to get creative, there are a lot of options for making a great looking system in black and yellow.
The X99 Xpower comes with the new M2 port for rapid storage, as well as 10 SATA 6GB/s ports. Although it’s unlikely you’ll ever need anywhere near this amount of ports for storage, and if you did you’d most likely be running a dedicated RAID card, it is nice to know that there are options for adding large arrays of drives, and also goes a long way in showing what the board and the X99 chipset are capable of doing. We also find a dedicated USB port on the motherboard itself, so if you are benching a system, you can have easy access to plug in a keyboard/mouse.
We find a total of 5 PCIE 3.0 x16 lanes. It seems only two of them the full x16 wiring, whilst the other 3 are only wired to x8, but this is more than enough for any set up anyway. This does mean the Xpower is capable of running 4 way Crossfire and SLI. As the MSI Lightning graphics cards use the same colour scheme as the Xpower, we can’t help but thinking an SLI system with Lightning cards on this motherboard would look stunning.
As we know from other motherboards, the X99 chipset uses DDR4 memory, and we’ve seen some incredibly fast memory hitting the shelves. The Xpower is capable of running memory with speeds of up to 3333MHz if you can find a kit of that speed, and with a total of 8 DIMM ports, we hope to see some very high spec systems in the future.
MSI have also added features such as on-board overclocking buttons, a delid guard so you can mount a CPU cooler directly to the core of your processor, an OC backplate in order to aid in the mounting of sub-zero cooling solutions, and a fan able to mount to the motherboard itself to blow over the heatsinks and memory. There’s no mistaking that this is a motherboard designed to aid overclockers and enthusiasts in every way possible, whether it’s overclocking, or just running a very high spec system.
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