MSI’s Flagship X99S XPOWER AC Motherboard Unveiled – Features a Beastly E-ATX Design With LN2 OC Support
It is no doubt that MSI has come a long way in the development of high-end motherboards for the desktop PC market. Their recent creations such as the XPOWER and MPOWER series are considered as some of the best products based on the Z87 and Z97 chipset which competitors couldn’t rival in terms of design and features. Today, we will be looking at MSI’s latest and upcoming creation which has got to be their most high-end and uber leet design they have ever made, meet the MSI X99S XPOWER AC Motherboard.
MSI’s Flagship X99S XPOWER AC Motherboard Unveiled
The MSI X99S XPOWER AC is featured in MSI’s flagship XPOWER Overclocking product brand which is aimed at overclockers and enthusiasts who demand nothing less than the best. The picture says it all with the motherboard enveloped in a layer of ice which shows off that it is focused towards LN2 overclockers. The motherboard has a beefy design and comes in the E-ATX form factor, something which the past XPOWER series motherboards have followed and its great to see MSI keeping the traditional alive and updated. The MSI X99S XPOWER AC features the traditional yellow and black color scheme of the XPOWER motherboards.
The board packs the LGA 2011-3 socket that is powered by dual 8-Pin connectors. Considering the X79 Big Band XPOWER II came with a 22 Phase PWM given the space restriction on these boards, the X99S XPOWER AC can feature a 24 or 12 Phase DIGITALL Power VRM, providing unparalleled amount of overclocking performance and stability to the motherboard featuring an 8-Layer PCB design, Military Class IV components with solid state capacitors, Hi-C Caps, Super Ferrite Choke while the DARK Cap on the other hand features a core design made of aluminum with a lower ESR and a life space of 10 years. MSI’s boards also use the Super Ferrite Chokes which run 35 degrees cooler, have 30% higher current capacity with 20% improvement in power efficiency and offering stability. The CPU socket is surrounded by four DDR4 DIMM slots (four on each side) which will be able to support overclocked memory beyond 3000 MHz. The first generation of DDR4 memory will feature traditional speeds of 2400 – 3000 MHz at 1.2V but as the memory design matures, we will be looking at faster DIMMs with speeds beyond 4 GHz frequency.
Expansion slots include five PCI-e 3.0 x 16 slots with ample spacing in between them to support 4-Way SLI and CrossFire graphics cards. There’s also a single PCI-e 3.0 x1 slots and a mSATA Connector to support the latest NGFF solid state drives. A 4-Pin PEG connector is place at the bottom of the board to supply additional power to the PCI-Express lanes when using multiple cards. Right next to the DDR4 DIMMs, we can spot several overclock swtiches which include OC Genie, Power On/Off, Voltage Adjustments, BCLK Increase/Lower buttons and V-Check panel to measure voltages during overclocking sessions. A diagnostic LED is fitted on the top right corner. Storage includes 10 SATA 6GBps connectors include two SATA Express ports while there’s also a right angled USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports and an additional USB 3.0 port near the bottom side of the motherboard.
The cooling design is off the charts with four sets of heatsinks which feature heatpipe interconnected through each set transferring heat for better load dissipation. The middle heatsink has the XPOWER logo while the PCH heatsink is large enough for the X99 chipset so its may be housing other components beneath it. We can’t be so sure as to what these components might be. The strikes of yellow color on the motherboard along with the XPOWER lit up since they feature a small LED beneath them to give a nice effect. We have already seen this on the Z87 XPOWER and MSI is following the same with the X99S XPOWER AC motherboard. The board features the Audio Boost 2.0 technology featuring an ALC 1150 codec which is isolated on a separate PCB. We can’t tell what I/O ports the X99S XPOWER AC include but it does come with the same armor protection that was featured on the X99S Gaming 9 AC motherboard which we saw a few days ago.
Nevertheless, the MSI X99S XPOWER AC is truly a high-performance motherboard built for Intel’s high-end desktop platform codenamed Haswell-E which arrives on 29th August 2014. The price of the motherboard would be higher than the other boards since it falls in the enthusiast tier but boy i’ll be glad to get my hands on this board.