MSI has done a great job with its X99 motherboards for Intel Haswell-E platform. So far we have seen MSI’s X99S SLI Plus, X99S XPower AC and X99S Gaming 9 AC motherboards for LGA 2011-3 socket. Today, new information has surfaced at PC Watch in which they have detailed the mainstream X99S Gaming 7 and X99S Gaming 9 AC motherboards. They also shed some light on the overclocking series X99S XPower AC and X99S MPower motherboards. We have already discussed the X99S Gaming 9 AC in detailed so we will focus on X99S Gaming 7 in this report.
MSI X99S Gaming 7 Motherboard Features & Specifications
The X99s Gaming 7 is not much different from the X99S Gaming 9 AC except for the exclusion of a few features. The Gaming 9 AC features AVerMedia’s Streaming Engine and a 802.11 ac WiFi module. The streaming engine is certainly a nice addition considering that live streaming is at its peak and taking the load away from the CPU and GPU certainly helps improve the gameplay. It should have been included in all Gaming series motherboards but MSI decided to keep it exclusive to the flagship motherboard only.
X99S Gaming 7 features Intel’s X99 series chipset and LGA 2011-3 socket to support the upcoming Haswell-E HEDT processors. The motherboard comes with eight DDR4 DIMM slots surrounding the CPU socket. DDR4 memory is the latest innovation which delivers much higher performance compared to DDR3 memory and supports higher speeds as well. So far we have seen 3000 MHz memory from G.Skill but 3.40 GHz DDR4 modules are being prepared by Avexir.
The bottom half of the PCB is occupied by four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots for expansion. Since there is no additional PLX chip on board, the PCIe slots will run at x8/x8/x4/x4 when all four slots are in use. There is a M.2 slot between the 2nd and third PCIe slots for SFF SSDs. On the right, the X99 PCH is cooled with a large heatsink covered in MSI’s gaming series branding. Next to the X99 PCH, there are eight SATA 6 GB/s ports and a SATA Express port is also located at the bottom.
Unlike the X99S Gaming 9 AC, the X99S Gaming 7’s Audio Boost module is not covered with a full-cover EMI shield. Audio Boost 2.0 incorporates Creative Sound Blaster Cinema II and OP-Amp technology. The separate board design of Audio Boost 2.0 uses Nichicon gold plated capacitors and a dedicated power supply unit. Next to the Audio Boost 2.0 circuit board, we find a Killer E2200 LAN chip for lag free gaming.
Both MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC and X99S Gaming 7 will be launched on August 29th, 2014 along side Intel’s Haswell-E HEDT processors. X99S Gaming 9 AC is expected to have a price of $450 while X99s Gaming 7 will be priced at $280.