One by one we see different X99 motherboards showing up. Companies like MSI seem like to tease us with their upcoming X99 systems. It started back during Computex 2014 where several motherboard manufacturers showcased several of their prototype X99 motherboards. Recently MSI also revealed the final look of the X99S SLI Plus motherboard, featuring an all-black theme. And now MSI teases us again with their upcoming X99S Gaming 9 AC, geared towards Enthusiasts and hard core gamers.
MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC for Gamers
Based on the naming scheme alone, I guess that the MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC is the X99 version of the company’s high end Z97 Gaming 9 AC motherboard. MSI currently remained silent regarding the features of the X99S Gaming motherboard, but based on visual observation we’ll have at least an idea of what their motherboard is capable of.
First of all, the MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC will support the latest Intel Haswell-E processors (Intel Core i7-5960X, Core i7-5930K and Core i7-5820K) and will feature an LGA socket 2011-3. It has a total of 8x DDR4 DIMM slots supporting quad channel memory. Expect that DDR4 will be much faster than DDR3 since starting speed is 2133MT/s. It may have an 8 phase (more or) power design. I can’t clearly see the number of phases but it looks like it has a total of 8 phases. According to MSI it will feature an all-new hardware Streaming Engine. No idea yet regarding their Streaming Engine but we will soon find out.
It features 8x SATA III 6 GBbps and 1 SATA Express port, or 10x SATA III port if SATA Express is not used. There’s also an M.2 port for NGFF SSD, located between the 4th and 5th PCIE 3.0 slots. The motherboard is obviously geared towards gamers so it might lack some OC features that are present in OC-centric motherboards. But there is an onboard power button, reset button and an OC Genie button as well. There’s also a debug LED code sitting right next to the SATA ports.
The MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC has 5x PCIE 3.0 x16 slots and looks like there’s no other PCIE slot aside from the x16s. Just like the Z97 Gaming 9 AC it features a Protected I/O Cover and Dragon Armor (the shroud that covers the rear I/O ports and audio components). It also looks like that it will have the same Audio Boost 2 and probably the same audio core processor and audio capacitors.
On the rear I/O panel of the MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC features a combo PS/2 port, USB 2.0 DAC ports (not sure about this yet), Clear CMOS button, 8x USB 3.0 ports with red accent, a Gigabit LAN port, a WiFi antenna connector, and audio ports.
For now this is the only information I got. I’m sure we will know more about this motherboard in the following days or weeks to come. The MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC, together with other X99 motherboards, is expected to be released next month, September 2014. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to review one as well.