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MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of MSI

MSI upped the ante with their X99S Gaming 9 AC board, combining their black and red Dragon-inspired design with support for the newest Intel LGA2011-3 socket processors and DDR4 memory modules. The board features heat sinks over all the expected areas as well as a large LED-lit heat sink over the X99 chipset. MSI also integrates an armor-style overlay covering their audio components and an overlay cover for their rear panel. One of their most interesting additions is the MSI Streaming Engine, touted to assist with graphics encoding to make up for the lack of the integrated graphics processor in the Haswell-E CPUs. As a flagship board, the MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC comes at a flagship price with an MSRP of $429.99.

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Courtesy of MSI

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Courtesy of MSI

MSI integrated an 8-phase digital power delivery system into the X99S Gaming 9 AC, combining Hi-C and Dark capacitors with super ferrite chokes for optimal power delivery with enhanced power efficiency characteristics. The board includes the following integrated features: eight SATA 3 ports; one SATA Express port; one M.2 PCIe x4 32 Gb/s port; a Qualcomm® Atheros Killer E2205 NIC; Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth; five PCI-Express x16 slots; a 2-digit diagnostic LED display; on-board power, reset, CMOS clear, and OC-Genie buttons; Slow Mode boot, Multi-BIOS, OC Genie mode, and Audio Power switches; Realtek audio solution with isolated audio PCB and Nichicon audio capacitors; dedicated per-channel headphone OP-AMPs; integrated V-Check voltage measurement points; Streaming Engine with integrated AVerMedia HD H.264 encoding chip; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

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Courtesy of MSI

Continue reading our review of the MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC motherboard!

Technical Specifications (taken from the MSI website)

CPU • Supports New Intel® Core™ i7 Processor Extreme Edition for LGA2011-3 Socket

Please refer to CPU Support for compatible CPU; the above description is for reference only.

Chipset • Intel® X99 Express Chipset
Memory • Support eight DDR4 2133/2200(OC)/2400(OC)/2600(OC)/2666(OC)/2750(OC)/3000(OC)/3110(OC)/3333(OC) MHz DRAM, 128GB Max
- Quad channel memory architecture
- Supports non-ECC, un-buffered memory
Slots • 5 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, support up to 4-way mode
- 1-way mode: x16/ x0/ x0/ x0/ x0
- 2-way mode: x16/ x0/ x0/ x16/ x0*, 16/ x0/ x0/ x8/ x0**
- 3-way mode: x16/ x0/ x0/ x16/ x8*, x8/ x8/ x0/ x8/ x0**
- 4-way mode: x8/ x8/ x0/ x16/ x8*, x8/ x8/ x0/ x8/ x4**

* For the CPU that supports 40 PCIe lanes
** For the CPU that supports 28 PCIe lanes

Streaming Engine Supports H.264 hardware video/ audio encoding up to 1920x1080@ (24p/25p/30p)
Multi-GPU Support • Supports 4-Way AMD® CrossFireTM Technology*
• Supports 4-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology (For the CPU that supports 40 PCIe lanes)
• Supports 3-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology (For the CPU that supports 28 PCIe lanes)

* Supports Windows 7 and Windows 8/ 8.1

Storage • Intel X99 Express Chipset
• 10 x SATA 6Gb/s ports (2 ports reserved for SATA Express port)*
- SATA1~6 support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10
- SATA7~10 ports only support IDE mode and AHCI mode.
- Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology (Windows 7/ 8/ 8.1)
• 1 x SATA Express port*
• 1 x M.2 port, supports up to 32Gb/s speed**
- M.2 port supports M.2 SATA 6Gb/s module
- M.2 PCIe interface does not support RAID 0, RAID1, RAID 5 and RAID 10.

* The SATA Express port or SATA5~6 ports will be unavailable when installing the M.2 (Gen2 x2 mode) module in the M.2 port.
** Intel RST does not support PCIe M.2 SSD with Legacy ROM.

USB • Intel® X99 Express Chipset
- 6 x USB 3.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB 3.0 connectors*)
- 6 x USB 2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB 2.0 connectors)

* Internal JUSB3 connector supports MSI Super Charger.

• AsMedia ASM1042AE
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports on the back panel

• VIA VL805
- 4 x USB 3.0 ports on the back panel

Audio • Realtek® ALC1150 Codec
- 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio
- Supports S/PDIF output
LAN • 1 x Killer E2205 Gigabit LAN controller*

*The Killer Network Manager is only available for Windows 7/ 8/ 8.1 currently. The supported drivers for other operating systems would be available on the website if provided by vendor.

Wireless LAN • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth expansion module with Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 chip.
- Supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band (2.4GHz, 5GHz) up to 867 Mbps speed.
Bluetooth • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth expansion module with Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 chip.
- Supports Bluetooth v4.0 (includes BLE* and Bluetooth 3.0+HS)

* BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy>

Internal I/O Connectors - 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
- 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
- 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
- 10 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
- 1 x M.2 connector
- 1 x SATA Express connector
- 2 x USB 2.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
- 2 x USB 3.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 3.0 ports)
- 2 x 4-pin CPU fan connectors
- 3 x 4-pin system fan connectors
- 1 x Front panel audio connector
- 2 x System panel connectors
- 1 x TPM module connector
- 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
- 9 x V-Check connectorsts
- 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
- 1 x Power button
- 1 x Reset button
- 1 x OC Genie button
- 1 x Multi-BIOS switch
- 1 x OC Genie mode switch
- 1 x Audio power switch
- 1 x Slow mode booting switch
- 1 x 2-Digit Debug Code LED
- 1 x Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module connector
Back Panel I/O Ports - 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse combo port
- 2 x USB 2.0 ports
- 1 x Clear CMOS button
- 8 x USB 3.0 ports
- 1 x LAN (RJ45) port
- 1 x Optical S/PDIF OUT connector
- 5 x OFC audio jacks
BIOS • The motherboard BIOS provides "Plug & Play" BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically.
• The motherboard provides a Desktop Management Interface(DMI) function which records your motherboard specifications.
Dimension • 12 in. x 10.4 in. (30.5 cm x 26.4 cm) EATX Form Factor
Mounting • 9 mounting holes.

 


October 21, 2014 | 04:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

guess MSI doesn't listen to Morry either about CMOS batter placement, one day they will wake up and listen

October 21, 2014 | 04:56 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Funny one :)

October 21, 2014 | 05:49 PM - Posted by hoxlund

its a great looking board. strong contender for when i upgrade out of this z97 asus maximus vii formula

October 22, 2014 | 12:58 AM - Posted by Penteract (not verified)

I'm sure this is a great board otherwise, I'm an MSI fan, but the inclusion of the streaming hardware is simply unnecessary - in fact it is limiting if you want to stream at higher than 1920x1080, and may even force you to play at that resolution. In the PC gaming world, where 2560x1440 is not at all uncommon and some are beginning to use 3840x2160, that is just unacceptable.

The least powerful CPU that will be plugged into this board is more than capable of handling any streaming you want to do all by itself using a (totally free) application. OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is a great tool with a high amount of flexibility I have used to stream on an i5-4670K clocked at a mild 4.2GHz. That CPU is more than capable, and so is OBS. A Haswell-E chip wouldn't even blink.

November 3, 2014 | 06:33 AM - Posted by Shrapnol (not verified)

Wheres all the AMD boards?

November 22, 2014 | 01:03 AM - Posted by John C. (not verified)

Ok people I have a question for anyone that is able to answer this concerning the motherboard

I'm currently building a Monster Next Gen PC using this motherboard, but the build theme for my build is Black/Blue
vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/RyuTakeru/saved/zhdG3C

My question is what are the Red Area's of the motherboard made out of?, as I may need to alter the color of the accents to match my theme.

Also are these sections some type of anodized metal? or is this simply plastic components requiring nothing more than a simple paint job.

Any Info would be much appreciated.

Thx;)

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