MSI showcased two of its high-end X99 motherboards at Gamescom 2014. Allroundpc a German media group took the liberty to headover to MSI’s booth and request some information regarding the upcoming X99S SLI Plus and X99S Gaming 9 AC motherboards. At first we only second guessed the specifications of the motherboards but today something new and exciting has been revealed. MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC features a streaming engine designed by AVerMedia which helps gamers to stream their gameplays without putting any stress on the CPU nor the GPU.
MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC; Streaming Engine by AVerMedia
X99S Gaming 9 AC is the flagship motherboard in MSI’s gaming series line up with many unique features on-board. The most noticeable is the AVerMedia streaming engine which encodes the video for live streaming without affecting the gameplay. The additional streaming engine helps eliminate any sort of encoding load on both the CPU and the GPU so the frame rates of the game do not suffer. This is a great feature for gamers who are running YouTube or Twitch channels to broadcast their gameplays live to their viewers as explained by Dirk Neuneier, MSI’s Channel Marketing Manager in Germany. The streaming engine will eliminate the need of a very powerful gaming PC which is capable of handling QHD gaming and encoding at the same time.
Furthermore, we have more information regarding the specifications of X99S Gaming 9 AC. Starting off with the LGA 2011-3 socket which supports Intel’s upcoming Haswell-E HEDT processors and surrounding the socket are eight DDR4 DIMM slots. We already know that Haswell-E is the first platform to support the latest DDR4 memory. X99s Gaming 9 AC does feature a hefty VRM design supposedly 12 phase. Two heat sinks with striking red and black design help cool the power circuitry for the CPU. On the top right corner, there are some overclocking features available such as voltage measurement points, dual BIOS switch and overclocking buttons.
MSI has made some changes in its Audio Boost technology. X99s Gaming 9 AC features the new Audio Boost 2 module which is protected by an EMI Shield. Audio Boost 2 incorporates Creative’s Sound Blaster Cinema II delivering bombastic sound from your games. There are four PCIe 3.0 x16 and one M.2 slots on board for expansion. The gap between the first and the second slot is occupied by the streaming engine.
In terms of storage, there are six SATA 6 GB/s ports and two SATA Express ports for next generation SSDs. The I/O shield consists of a PS2 port, two USB 2.0 ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, a clear CMOS button, Killer E2200 LAN port, WiFi antennas and 8-channel audio with SPDIF output.
MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC does bring a lot of features on the table but it will not come cheap. The motherboard is expected to retail for $300+. MSI has revealed three X99 motherboards – X99S SLI Plus, X99S Gaming 9 AC and X99S XPower AC. We have yet to see a micro-ATX offering from MSI similar to ASRock’s X99M Killer.
Intel Haswell-E HEDT processors are scheduled for launch on August 29th, 2014 so we can expect MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC to make its debut on the same date as well.