In addition to their X99S Black Motherboard, MSI has also unveiled their upcoming X99S Gaming 9 AC which is a high-performance motherboard built for gamers. Featuring the same DNA as MSI's Gaming series products, the MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC is jam packed with tons of features, including a protective armor plating which goes well with the HEDT nature of this product.
MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC High-Performance Motherboard Unveiled
MSI wowed hardware enthusiasts last week showing off what is supposed to be the first, full-black PCB board codenamed, MSI X99S Black. Today, MSI is showing off another X99 chipset based motherboard featured in their Gaming brand codenamed, MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC. This confirms that MSI will have various tier X99 boards at launch including their renowned and enthusiast tiered OC series which will probably include the X99S XPOWER. We would love to see that board in action but for now, let's feast our eyes upon the beastly X99S Gaming 9 AC which has a extremely powerful design and feature set of its own.
Starting with the design scheme, the MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC sticks with the red and black color scheme which MSI has implemented in their Gaming series brand along with several other manufacturers who are using the same scheme. The motherboard has three sets of heatsinks, two along side the VRM, PWM and one on the PCH. The LGA 2011-3 socket is compatible with Intel's upcoming Haswell-E processors which will be available in retail by this month's end if reports are true or we will see them in the first week of September. The board features an 8 Phase PWM supply fitted with MSI's Military Class IV components and powered by a 8+4 Pin power configuration. The LGA 2011-3 socket is coupled by eight DDR4 DIMM slots, four on each sides which can support overclocked DDR4 memory sticks on-the-go.
Since MSI has featured their Military Class IV components, they also use the OC Engine, Power On/Off and Reset switches which come in handy when overclocking this beast of a board. The X99 Express Chipset is seated beneath a large Gaming G-Series heatsink. The heatsink itself resembles a shield with a second shield engraved as a logo in the middle. The heatsink expands out on the top left corner in what's being touted as some kind of engine which seems to be a source of unknown power (Dragoon Power?), we don't know if this is related to a performance feature or an add in slot but remains to be seen. Expansion slots include five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots which storage includes 10 SATA 6 GB/s and two SATA Express ports. A small diagnostic LED is located at the bottom right hand corner of the board.
Since this is a gaming tier board, MSI will not compromise on additional features and include their Audio Boost ALC 1150 powered chipset and Killer E2200 LAN chip for better audio and networking while a large thermal armor will run across the I/O and audio isolated PCB section for better thermals. In addition to the PCI-E ports, MSI has also added an mSATA SSD slot at the top of the bottom most PCI-e slot for NGFF SSDs. MSI also teased the I/O of the board a while ago featuring a full matte black cover with red I/O ports that include the PS/2 port, 8 Super Speed USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, LAN port, 802.11 B/G/N/ AC antenna connectors and a 7.1 Channel audio jack. A USB 3.0 header is also located near the SATA ports for front USB panel. The pricing on the MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC motherboard is not known but we can see this retail at a price above $399 US or vastly greater than its Z97 counterpart. Expect more details on MSI's next generation X99 chipset motherboards later on.