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ASUS Intros WS X299 SAGE 10G Motherboard with Dual 10GbE and Improved VRM

ASUS today introduced the WS X299 SAGE/10G, a step up variant of the WS X299 SAGE it launched back in Q4-2017. As you can tell from the model name, this board's star-attraction is 10 Gbps Ethernet. It features not one, but two 10 GbE interfaces, replacing the dual 1 GbE interfaces of the original. These interfaces aren't backed by low-cost controllers, but the Intel X550-AT2 "Sageville," which is an $80 chip by itself, and drives both interfaces.

ASUS also used the opportunity to improve the CPU VRM a bit. Although it's still the same combination of chokes and MOSFETs, pulling power from two 8-pin EPS connectors, ASUS improved the secondary VRM heatsink, which pulls heat from the main heatsink over a flattened heat-pipe. This heatsink is now made of a dense aluminium fin-stack like the main heatsink, a section of which protrudes all the way to the rear I/O shield. The rear I/O now consists of four USB 3.1 gen 1 ports, two USB 3.1 gen 2 ports (including a type-C port), and the 8-channel HD audio cluster, besides the two 10 GbE ports. The rest of the board's feature-set is unchanged from the original. We expect a $100 premium over the original's price.

Intel Readying 22-core LGA2066 and 8-core LGA1151 Processors

Intel is readying a refresh to its "Basin Falls" HEDT platform (LGA2066 client high-end desktop), with a new 22-core silicon. This part is neither Skylake HCC (20 tiles, up to 18 cores) nor Skylake XCC (30 tiles, up to 28 cores), but a new die with four more tiles than the Skylake HCC silicon, all of which are cores. The new silicon could let Intel design 20-core and 22-core SKUs for the X299 Express chipset, and is seen as a direct response to AMD's 24-core Ryzen Threadripper II processor, which was recently shown beating the 18-core i9-7980X in tech demos. The 32-core Threadripper II could face competition from the 28-core HEDT processor Intel is readying for Q4-2018, but that processor won't be compatible with LGA2066.

In related news, the company is giving finishing touches to a new 8-core "Coffee Lake" die for the mainstream-desktop platform (LGA1151 socket, 300-series chipset). This die features 8 cores, and likely 16 MB of shared L3 cache, while retaining the iGPU and uncore components from the existing Coffee Lake-S die. The chip could retain the classic "Ring Bus" design. The new 8-core mainstream-desktop SKUs, and at least two new high-end desktop SKUs (20-core and 22-core), could be launched in September 2018. The "Basin Falls" refresh, coupled with the new LGA3647 "Purley" derivative for the 28-core monstrosity, will be all Intel has to face AMD this year, with the company's next HEDT silicon, "Cascade Lake-X" being reportedly delayed to the second half of 2019, probably due to foundry problems.

Intel's 28-core HEDT Processor a Panic Reaction to 32-core Threadripper

At Computex 2018, we witnessed two major HEDT (high-end desktop) processor announcements. Intel unveiled a client-segment implementation of its "Skylake XCC" (extreme core count) silicon, which requires a new motherboard, while AMD announced a doubling in core-counts of its Ryzen Threadripper family, with the introduction of new 24-core and 32-core models, which are multi-chip modules of its new 12 nm "Zen+" die, and compatible with existing X399 chipset motherboards. With frantic increases in core counts, the practicality of these chips to even the most hardcore enthusiast or productivity professional diminishes. The Computex 2018 demos reek of a pissing-contest between the x86 processor giants, with AMD having an upper hand.

The HEDT segment is intended to occupy the space between client desktops and serious scalar workstations. Intel is frantically putting together a new HEDT platform positioned above its current LGA2066 (X299) platform, built around its Purley enterprise platform, and a variant of the LGA3647 socket (this chip + your X299 motherboard is no bueno). This socket is needed to wire out the 28-core Skylake XCC (extreme core count) silicon, which has a six-channel DDR4 memory interface. The company put up a live demo at the teaser of this unnamed processor, where it was running at 5.00 GHz, which led many to believe that the processor runs at that speed out of the box, at least at its maximum Turbo Boost state, if not nominal clock. Intel admitted to "Tom's Hardware," that it "forgot" to mention to the crowds that the chip was overclocked.

ASUS ROG Dominus Pictured, Core i9 XCC Confirmed to Feature 6-channel Memory

This Tuesday at its Computex presser, Intel unveiled an unnamed 28-core/56-thread HEDT (client-segment) processor that's capable of being bench-stable at 5.00 GHz. The chip is a client-segment implementation of the Skylake XCC (extreme core count) silicon, which features 30 Mesh Interconnect "tiles," of which 28 are cores and two integrated memory controllers. The XCC silicon features a 384-bit wide (6-channel) DDR4 memory interface, and it turns out that whatever SKU Intel is planning, will require a different motherboard from your X299 board that can handle up to 18 cores and 4-channel memory. It will require a client-segment variant of the LGA3647 enterprise socket from the Purley platform. One of the first of these is the ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) Dominus.

Clearly bigger than ATX, in being either E-ATX or SSI form-factor, this board draws power from two 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and three 6-pin PCIe, and has a gargantuan 16-phase VRM with two fan-heatsink blocks. Six DDR4 DIMM slots flank the socket, three on either side, each with its dedicated 64-bit wide path to the socket. The XCC silicon features a 48-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex, and so the board could feature at least two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 capable of full bandwidth, among a boat load of PCIe based storage connectivity, and onboard devices.

Update: This motherboard may have been a quick modification of the WS C621E SAGE, by removing one of its sockets, and modifying the rest of the board accordingly. Prototyping a board like that, for a company with ASUS' resources, would barely take 2-3 weeks by our estimate.

MSI Releases BIOS Updates for Motherboards to Support CPU-Attached RAID

MSI, the world-leading gaming motherboard brand, is proud to release new BIOS updates that allow MSI Intel motherboards to support CPU-Attached RAID. By using CrystalDiskMark 6.0.0, CPU-Attached RAID can provide better read/write speeds, which improves storage performance for RAID. MSI also created M.2 Genie, a brilliant feature to make setting up RAID 0 for M.2 much easier and less time consuming with fewer steps to connect the M.2 devices and enjoy higher speed.

Before experiencing unmatched transfer speed using CPU-Attached RAID, make sure your compatible MSI motherboards has been updated to the latest BIOS version. Updated BIOS version as below could support CPU-Attached RAID. Downloads are available on the motherboards' product pages.

Colorful Working on AMD 400-series Chipset AM4 Motherboards

Colorful is designing its first socket AM4 motherboards, according to industry sources. The company will release its first socket AM4 motherboards after the 2018 Computex Expo (June). These boards will be based on AMD 400-series chipsets, and will come with out of the box support for Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" processors, Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APUs, and existing Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processors. Taking advantage of PCI-Express gen 3.0 general-purpose connectivity of the 400-series chipset, the boards will feature multiple 32 Gbps NVMe interfaces (M.2 or U.2). It's possible that the company could attach its coveted iGame Vulcan brand to some of these models. The company currently only sells motherboards for Intel platforms. Its lineup includes motherboards based on Intel Z370 and X299 chipsets, including crypto-currency miner-centric boards based on lesser Intel chipsets, such as the B250. AMD is expected to debut its 400-series chipset alongside its 2nd generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" processors, in Q2-2018.

Thermaltake Intros Pacific M4 Monoblock for ASUS TUF X299 Mk I

Thermaltake is on a cross-branded products launch spree, and its latest creation is a Pacific M4 monoblock designed for ASUS TUF X299 Mark I motherboard. A monoblock is an enlarged CPU water block that cools even the VRM surrounding the CPU socket, something Intel's "Skylake-X" platform could really do with. The Pacific M4 combines a nickel-plated copper main block, with an acrylic top that's been studded with 256-color RGB LED elements through a silicone diffuser; and a top sticker with Thermaltake and ASUS TUF logos. The RGB LEDs take in standardized 4-pin RGB input, and can be controlled by ASUS Aura Sync RGB software. Heat drawn from the VRM is conveyed by a base-plate onto the main block. The block takes in standard G1/4 fittings. Measuring 154 mm 114 mm x 29.4 mm (LxWxH), the monoblock weighs 770 g. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ASRock Outs Newer BIOS Updates to Correct Reboot Issues Post Security Patches

ASRock was just informed by Intel that they disclosed the reboot issue on the former microcode released earlier. To fix the security vulnerability (SA-00088), ASRock is still waiting for Intel's further support and we're committed to work closely with them to develop and update new BIOS for our 8/9/100/200/Z370/X99/X299 motherboard series. To mitigate this issue promptly and constructively, we will keep our customers posted on our official website, please refer to this page. For Intel's official announcement, please refer to this page.

ASRock is aware that the current Intel microcode version might be defected by security vulnerabilities. We recommend users update their systems by flashing the latest BIOS once the revision microcode is released from Intel. To mitigate this issue promptly and constructively, please refer to below links for more info and stayed tuned.
DOWNLOAD: Latest ASRock BIOS Updates

MSI Releases Motherboard BIOS Updates Addressing Recent CPU Vulnerabilities

MSI, one of the world leading motherboard developers, has been working swift on solutions ever since receiving a formal notice from Intel stating that the current Intel microcode version might be subject to recently identified security vulnerabilities. To ensure any system powered by MSI Z370-series motherboards is operating securely, Intel and MSI have been working around the clock to prepare updated microcode and release new BIOS updates, which are now available for download. More information from Intel on the updated microcode can be found here.

MSI strongly recommends its users to update their systems by downloading and applying the latest BIOS. It is recommended to review Intel's Security Advisory, for more information, including appropriate identification and mitigation measures. Furthermore, MSI is preparing updates for its X299-series, 200-series, 100-series and X99-series motherboards. For these platforms, BIOS versions containing similar security patches are expected to be ready very soon. Keep an eye on the product pages to check for their availability.

ASRock Intros Ultra Quad M.2 Card

ASRock introduced the Ultra Quad M.2 Card, an add-on card that lets you easily set up an M.2 NVMe RAID array with up to four drives with 32 Gbps bandwidth for each drive. In principle, this product does exactly what ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 Riser card does, but better. The first benefit is shorter traces- while the ASUS card has M.2 slots arranged horizontally along the plane of the card, with the topmost slot being farthest away from the PCI-Express interface, the ASRock card has them arranged diagonally, in a way that ensures each slot is close to the PCIe bus. ASRock also claims better thermals with a larger 50 mm fan (vs. 40 mm of the ASUS card) and longer thermal pads (110 mm vs 80 mm), power stability with a 6-pin PCIe power input, and software control over the fan. The card supports NVMe RAID on both Intel X299 and AMD X399 platforms. The card is expected to be priced around USD $69.99.
ASRock presentation slides follow.

G.Skill Intros Quad-channel DDR4-4000 MHz SO-DIMM Kit

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is announcing the world's highest performance DDR4 SO-DIMM memory running at DDR4-4000 MHz CL18-18-18-38 32 GB (4x8 GB) at 1.35V. Combining high frequency and ultra-low timing, this Ripjaws DDR4 SO-DIMM memory kit is capable of achieving the new high level of performance through rigorously hand-binned Samsung B-die DDR4 IC components.

Just two months ago, G.SKILL announced the high performance DDR4-3800MHz CL18-18-18-38 Ripjaws DDR4 SO-DIMM kit. Aiming to push memory limits to yet another level, G.SKILL strives to deliver the best memory performance possible on current systems, and this time for small form factor (SFF) PCs. With this new SO-DIMM memory kit, SFF PCs can now unlock the full potential of memory performance, as shown in the following screenshot, where this new memory kit is tested for over 6 hours on the ASRock X299E-ITX/ac mini-ITX motherboard with the Intel Core i9-7900X processor.

EVGA Announces the X299 DARK Motherboard

EVGA introduces you to the ultimate in raw performance for the next-gen Intel Extreme lineup, the EVGA X299 Dark. The Dark is crafted from the ground up to be the performance apex with everything you need to make a record-breaking benching run or a 24/7 number cruncher, and nothing you don't - a board that is as reliable as it is fast.

GIGABYTE Intros X299 Designare EX Motherboard

GIGABYTE finally gave its socket LGA2066 motherboard series the silvery Designare treatment, with the new X299 Designare EX motherboard. The board features the same silver+blue styling the company implemented on its X399 Designare EX, but unlike its Z270X Designare, the silver theme doesn't continue onto the PCB. This is probably also because the X299 Designare EX is based on the same exact PCB as the Aorus X299 Gaming 7.

All that's changed between the X299 Designare EX and the Aorus X299 Gaming 7, is an included Thunderbolt 3 add-on card, the silver colored VRM, chipset, and M.2 SSD heatsinks, the silver-colored rear I/O shroud, and GIGABYTE Designare branding replacing the Aorus branding, wherever applicable. The LED inserts are still RGB multi-color, although out of the box, they're configured to be soft-blue. You can configure them with the GIGBAYTE RGB Fusion software. Unlike the Aorus X299 Gaming 7, this board features a silver back-plate that covers most of the board's reverse side, and an integrated rear I/O shield. The rest of its feature set is identical to that of the Aorus X299 Gaming 7. One can expect the GIGABYTE X299 Designare EX to be the company's most expensive socket LGA2066 motherboard, above even the Aorus X299 Gaming 9, on account of its included Thunderbolt 3 add-on card, and Designare-specific features.

GIGABYTE Intros Aorus X299 Ultra Gaming Pro Motherboard

GIGABYTE today introduced the Aorus X299 Ultra Gaming Pro motherboard, a similar revision to the original X299 Ultra Gaming, as the recently announced X299 Gaming 7 Pro is to the original X299 Gaming 7. The board is nearly identical to the X299 Ultra Gaming, but comes with an added wireless networking module.

GIGABYTE deployed the Killer Wireless-AC 1535 module, which provides 802.11ac 2x2 (dual-band) Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity. The wired networking is still handled by an Intel i219-V controller, with an included license to cFosSpeed, a traffic-shaping utility that you can use to improve online gaming latencies. The Aorus X299 Ultra Gaming Pro will be priced roughly 20% higher than the X299 Ultra Gaming.

GIGABYTE Unveils Their Latest X299 AORUS Gaming 7 Pro Motherboard

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, has unveiled the new X299 AORUS Gaming 7 Pro motherboard. With support for the new Intel 18-Core i9 7980XE processor, the new motherboard is ready to elevate performance to the next level. Featuring an updated VRM design paired with Smart Fan 5 technology to satiate the power demands of the new 18-core processor while keeping the system icy cool, the new X299 AORUS Gaming 7 Pro is the definitive motherboard of choice for users who value performance first and foremost.

"The X299 AORUS Gaming 7 Pro motherboard is designed to fully support Intel's newest Core i9 7980XE processor." said Vincent Liu, Senior Associate Vice President of GIGABYTE's Motherboard Business Unit. "With our tried-and-true approach and seasoned experience, we have designed a motherboard that truly fulfills enthusiasts' highest expectations."

EK Announces Monoblock for ASRock X299 Motherboards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing its very first monoblock for X299 based ASRock motherboards. The EK-FB ASRock X299 RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strips which make them compatible with ASRock RGB LED, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

A complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solutions for several ASRock Intel X299 Chipset based motherboards that support new Intel Core X-series LGA-2066 socket processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following ASRock motherboards:
  • ASRock X299 OC Formula
  • ASRock X299 Taichi
  • ASRock Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9
  • ASRock X299 Killer SLI/ac
  • ASRock Fatal1ty X299 Gaming K6

ASUS Intros the WS X299 SAGE Motherboard

ASUS today introduced the WS X299 SAGE motherboard, a socket LGA2066 motherboard designed for Intel Core X "Skylake-X" processors, in the SSI-CEB form-factor. This board is targeted at the same quasi-workstation crowd that the company's WS X299 Pro and WS X299 Pro SE are designed for, but unlike the latter, it lacks an iKVM remote-management chip. Those looking for more serious workstation builds involving something from Intel's Xeon stable or even 2P setups, should consider the larger WS C621E SAGE. The WS X299 SAGE is targeted at those who need the massive PCIe loadout of the C621E SAGE, but can make do with 1P Core X processors.

The ASUS WS X299 SAGE draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and a 6-pin PCIe power. An 8-phase VRM powers the CPU, and is rated to power 16-core and 18-core CPU models. The CPU socket is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 128 GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory; and seven PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. Storage connectivity includes eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and two each of 32 Gb/s M.2 slots and 32 Gb/s U.2 ports. Four USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, two 1 GbE interfaces, and a dozen USB 3.0 ports make for the rest of it. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ASUS Intros WS X299 Pro SE Motherboard

ASUS today introduced the WS X299 Pro SE motherboard, a variant of the recently announced WS X299 Pro. The new Pro SE comes with an ASUS ASMB9-iKVM IPMI 2.0 compliant remote management chip, which is physically an ASPEED AST2500, but with custom firmware and software by ASUS. This chip provides a host of remote-management features, including iKVM, remote BIOS update, BSOD screen capture, and screen video recording, remote data wipe, etc., all adding to the board's enterprise credentials. The chip is tucked away underneath the secondary VRM heatsink next to the expansion slot area of the motherboard, and dissipates its heat to this heatsink via a thermal pad. The board is otherwise identical to the WS X299 Pro. We expect the WS X299 Pro SE to sell at a premium over the WS X299 Pro.

ASRock Formally Launches the X299 Taichi XE and X299 Professional Gaming i9 XE

ASRock formally launched the XE (extreme edition) variants of its X299 Taichi and X299 Professional Gaming i9 motherboards, denoted by the "XE" suffix in their model names. The boards are identical to the models they're derived from, but come with heavier CPU VRM heatsinks, increased voltage limits across several power domains, and are targeted at enthusiasts with Core i9-7980XE and i9-7960X HEDT processors. On both boards, the CPU VRM heatsinks have been extended from the main heatsink to a secondary heatsink over the rear I/O area, connected by a heat pipe, while getting rid of the rear I/O shroud. The two could sell at a slight premium over the models they're based on.

ASUS Intros WS X299 Pro Socket LGA2066 Motherboard

ASUS today rolled out the WS X299 Pro, a feature-rich socket LGA2066 motherboard designed for machines built in the gray-area between high-end desktops (HEDTs) and "real" workstations (based on the Xeon/EPYC platforms). The board is still based on the Intel X299 Express chipset, and will only support Intel Core X "Skylake-X" processors. It features the company's highest-grade electrical components. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, a 6-pin PCIe power, and two 8-pin EPS connectors. It conditions power for the CPU using a 9-phase high-current VRM, which puts out heat on not just a primary heatsink making direct contact with the MOSFETs, but also a secondary heatsink over a heat-pipe. This heatsink occupies an area not just behind the rear I/O area, but also extends downwards, to just behind the expansion slots (while not intruding).

The LGA2066 socket is wired to eight reinforced DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 128 GB of quad-channel memory, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x16/NC/x4 or x16/x8/x8/x4 on 44-lane CPUs), and a fifth open-ended x4 slot. Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gbps M.2 slots (both of which feature heatsinks), a 32 Gbps U.2 port, and six SATA 6 Gbps ports. USB connectivity includes four 10 Gbps USB 3.1 ports, and six 5 Gbps USB 3.0 ports. Networking is care of two 1 GbE interfaces, driven by Intel i210-AT controllers. The onboard audio is based around a Realtek ALC1220A CODEC, fronted by a headphones amp, and backed by audio-grade capacitors, and ground-layer isolation. The company didn't reveal pricing or availability.

G.SKILL Releases DDR4-3800MHz 32GB (4x8GB) SO-DIMM Kit for Mini-ITX HEDT Boards

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is thrilled to announce the release of a new high performance DDR4 Ripjaws SO-DIMM series for small-form factor (SFF) platforms, at DDR4-3800 MHz CL18-18-18-38 32 GB (4x 8 GB) at 1.35V, making this the world's fastest SO-DIMM memory kit. In addition, 3 new specifications will be added to the Ripjaws DDR4 SO-DIMM family, including DDR4-3600 MHz CL16-16-16-36 32 GB (4x 8 GB), DDR4-3200 MHz CL16-16-16-36 32 GB (4x 8 GB), and DDR4-3200 MHz CL16-16-16-36 64 GB (4x 16 GB). Such extremely high speed on SO-DIMM modules are achieved with the use of the ultra-high performance Samsung B-die DDR4 ICs.

At Computex 2017 in June, G.SKILL demonstrated high-speed Ripjaws SO-DIMM series at DDR4-3466 MHz, and we are now once again raising the speed of the fastest SO-DIMM memory kit to the intense mind-bending speed of DDR4-3800 MHz. Validated on the latest ASRock X299E-ITX/ac motherboard and the Intel Core i9-7900X X-series Processor, extreme memory performance is now a reality with small-form factor workstations.

ASRock Announces X299E-ITX/ac, World's First Mini ITX LGA2066 Motherboard

Size matters! For years, Big powerful and tons of expandability has been the golden rule for high-end motherboards especially for Intel X299 Platform, but powerful machine doesn't have to be huge and bulky, ASRock has successfully crammed all amazing spec and features into a Mini-ITX sized motherboard, the world's first Mini ITX X299 motherboard is here.

The ultimate Mini-ITX has to have everything, X299E-ITX/ac was built on a X299 platform to give ultimate processing power, dual Intel Gigabit Lan along with dual band 2.4/5GHz 802.11ac WiFi provides the best connectivity, USB3.1 Gen2 Type A+C are also available at the rear of the motherboard, more amazingly this little beast also supports quad channel memory up to DDR4 4000 MHz(OC), stunning performance on such a small motherboard.

EK Water Blocks Releases X-series FC Terminals for Multiple GPU Connectivity

EK Water Blocks, a market leader in high-end liquid cooling for PC products, is releasing all new terminals for multiple Full-Cover GPU water blocks connectivity. The new design is even more minimalistic than the previous ones with the terminal itself having only an engraved EK logo on it. The X series terminals are redesigned in terms of connectivity and all the ports are flush with the body of the terminal - no more recessed ports which means no additional extender fittings required! Another key feature of the new terminals is their compatibility with the newly implemented aesthetic terminal covers on EK-FC series GPU water blocks.

The new X series terminals can do everything as the old ones, we have just redesigned some of the unnecessary quirks. The design is simplified so that each terminal has a minimalistic look with a small subtle engraved EK logo. The users can still choose either a Parallel or a Serial terminal (you can recognize Serial terminals by the "S" label) for connecting their EK Full-Cover GPU water blocks with the new Terminal X line-up. X-number labeling is intended to indicate the number of GPU water blocks that a certain terminal can connect. For example, EK-FC Terminal X2 S can connect two GPU water blocks and comes in Serial configuration.

ASUS Intros Hyper M.2 x16 Riser Card

ASUS rolled out the Hyper M.2 x16 riser card, an accessory which could prove useful for those who want to add up to four extra M.2 SSDs. The card features a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 upstream interface, which it splits into four 32 Gb/s M.2-22110 slots (up to 110 mm length), with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring, each. The card doesn't have any serious HBA logic of its own, beyond simple circuitry to power the four M.2 drives, and put out power/activity status LEDs for each slot.

A monolithic, stylish brushed aluminium shroud doubles up as a heatsink for the M.2 drives. There's also a lateral-blower fan, which guides air from inside your case through the drives and outside through the perforated rear bracket. You can turn this fan off with a physical switch on the card, although there's no software-based fan-control. The card is 20.2 cm long, 9.6 cm tall, and 1-slot thick. The company is advertising the card to be compatible only with its X299 chipset-based motherboards, for now. The company didn't reveal pricing.

MSI Intros X299M-A Pro Micro-ATX Motherboard

MSI today introduced the X299M-A Pro, a socket LGA2066 motherboard in the micro-ATX form-factor, its second micro-ATX board for the platform after the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon. The X299M-A Pro sticks to the "no frills" design of products such as the X299 Raider and X299 SLI Plus. Unlike the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon, this board is designed for two processor models only - the Core i5-7640X, and the i7-7740X. The board physically lacks DDR4 memory slots for channels 3 and 4, and makes do with the limited PCIe lane budget of the "Kaby Lake-X" processors. This is similar to the Aorus X299 Gaming.

Built in the micro-ATX form-factor, the MSI X299M-A Pro draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 6-pin PCIe (optional). It uses a 9-phase CPU VRM to condition power for the 112W TDP chips. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel memory; and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x8/x8 with both populated). The third x16 slot is electrical x4, and wired to the X299 PCH. Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gbps M.2 slots, and eight SATA 6 Gbps ports. USB connectivity includes two 10 Gbps USB 3.1 ports (including a type-C port). The onboard audio solution combines a Realtek ALC1220 CODEC with audio-grade capacitors and ground-layer isolation. The board's sole gigabit Ethernet interface is driven by an Intel i219-V controller. The board is expected to be priced around USD $170.
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