Following hot on the heels of rival Asus, which launched a quartet of X99 II motherboards on Tuesday, MSI has announced the X99A GAMING Pro Carbon. The rumoured impending launch of Intel's Broadwell-E chips might have something to do with the timing of these revamped X99 board launches. More fuel to that fire will could be decanted by the likes of Gigabyte and ASRock joining the 'X99 II' party.
While any upcoming Broadwell-E should be supported by older existing X99 motherboards, PC component makers like to take such opportunities to modernise and revamp their wares, and perhaps one-up their rivals. MSI previously teased this MSI X99A GAMING Pro Carbon motherboard, and today we are happy to have the low-down on features and tech specs from MSI.
Specifications highlighted in today's launch are the X99A GAMING Pro Carbon's front USB 3.1 Type-C port capability, onboard Turbo U.2. storage solution, Nahimic Audio and Audio Boost 3, plus the RGB LED frills mentioned below.
Like other members of its Carbon range, MSI extensively uses carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer construction in this board. The sophisticated deep blacks of the construction contrast with the 'Mystic Light' LEDs (with smartphone support and 17 effect presets), RGB PCI-e slots, and optional RGB extensions plus the usual MSI GAMING design language applied to the motherboard 'armour', heatsinks, and so on.
MSI X99A GAMING Pro Carbon specs:
- CPU support: Supports New Intel Core i7 Processor Extreme Edition
- CPU socket: LAG 2011-3 Socket
- Chipset: Intel X99 chipset
- Graphics interface: 4 x PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots with Steel Armour, 3-Way NVIDIA SLI / AMD CrossFire support
- Memory support: 8 DIMMs DDR4 Steel Armour, Quad Channel DDR4-3433+(OC)
- Expansion slots: 2 x PCI-E x1 slots
- U.2 / M.2: 1 x Turbo U.2 32Gb/s, 1 x Turbo M.2 32Gb/s
- SATA: 1 x M.2 32Gb/s, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s (2 ports reserved for SATA Express)
- SATA RAID: RAID 0,1,5,10 - Available at ports SATA1-SATA6
- USB: 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A, 1 x USB, 3.1 Gen1 Type-C(Front) , 8 x USB 3.1 Gen1, 8 x USB 2.0
- LAN: Intel I218-V Gigabit LAN
- Audio: 8-channel (7.1) HD Audio with Audio Boost 3
- MSRP: $330
The new features of this motherboard, as highlighted by MSI, are bullet pointed in the presentation slide above.
Simultaneously to the above X99A GAMING Pro Carbon product launch, MSI has launched a new Z170 motherboard offering comparable tech specs. This is the new MSI Z170A GAMING Pro Carbon for those using, or intending to make use of, a 6th generation Intel processor.