MSI X99A GAMING PRO CARBON (with Broadwell-E) Review 26

MSI X99A GAMING PRO CARBON (with Broadwell-E) Review

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MSI X99A GAMING PRO CARBON - that's certainly a mouthful, but it should get the point of what this product really is about across easily; Intel's X99 Express chipset tailored around gaming at the pro level with a "carbon" aesthetic. However, that's not all that's here on this product from MSI.

This is yet another motherboard review I'm doing with some borrowed hardware. The last motherboard I covered used a borrowed CPU I had very little time with, but this time, I had more time with the CPU. I asked MSI for a loaner chip, and they provided me with another retail Core i7-6950X CPU sample to test with. MSI was just as eager as Gigabyte to provide me with a CPU, and they know I prefer retail samples, not ES chips, so I have to take this moment to thank MSI for going out of their way to get me the CPU used in this review. It's greatly appreciated. Now, back to the item at hand...

High-end gaming rigs have a set need of undeniable features. We need extreme component quality, useful features, excellent power delivery, decent bundled software, and perfectly provided accessories. We need ideal slot layouts, great BIOSes and an ease of use and implementation that doesn't take to reading a book (or university classes) to comprehend. In order for such a product to cater to absolutely everyone, we need a simple aesthetic that is also over-the-top flashy. MSI's X99A GAMING PRO CARBON puts a tick in all of those boxes, and in a way I have longed to have in my own gaming rig. I've been a multi-GPU user for most of the past decade, and I need a HEDT system to meet my everyday compute needs, but few boards out there meet my specific needs so well as the X99A GAMING PRO CARBON does. Intel LAN? Yup. PCIe Gen3 x4 M.3 slot? Yup. USB 3.1 Type-C? Again, yup. For those of you looking for easy clocking, there's even the Game Boost knob to increase CPU clocks with just a flick of the wrist!


CPU SUPPORT:Intel Core i7 processors in the LGA2011-3 package
POWER DESIGN:CPU Power: 8 phase
Memory Power: 2 + 2 phase
CHIPSET:Intel X99 Express
MEMORY:8 x DIMM, Max. 128 GB; Support up to 3466+(OC)
SLOTS:4 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (configuration dependent on installed CPU)
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slot
1 x M.2
HDD CONNECTIVITY:1 x SATA Express connector
10 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x M.2 (Key M)
1 x U.2 connector
REAR PORTS:1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
4 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x Clear CMOS button
4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 ports
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 port
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port
1 x Optical S/PDIF Out connector
5 x OFC audio jacks
AUDIO:Realtek ALC1150 High Definition Audio CODEC
FAN HEADERS:5 x 4-pin
FORM FACTOR:ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
  • Supports New Intel Core i7 Processor Extreme Edition for LGA 2011-3 socket
  • DDR4 Steel Armor with Best signal stability , Quad Channel DDR4-3466+(OC)
  • Support lntel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0
  • Mystic Light: Customize and set up your own color scheme with GAMING APP to make your PC look & feel brand new!
  • Mystic Light Extension: Extend you style to everything
  • Turbo U.2 & M.2 Steel Armor: Delivering next generation M.2 Gen3 x4 performance with transfer speeds up to 32 Gb/s
  • USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C & Type-A combo + USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (front) + SATA EXPRESS 10Gb/s + SATA 6Gb/s
  • Audio Boost 3 : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality
  • Nahimic Audio Enhancer: Immersive sound quality that pushes the limits of reality
  • GAMING LAN with LAN Protect, powered by Intel : The best online gaming experience with lowest latency
  • XSplit Gamecaster V2: Show off you skills to the world with a 1 year premium license for this popular streaming software
  • Military Class 5: The latest evolution in high quality components featuring the brand new Titanium Chokes
  • Guard-Pro: Improved Protection and Power Efficiency
  • MULTI-GPU with Steel Armor: Steel Armor PCI-E slots. Supports 3-way NVIDIA SLI & AMD Crossfire
  • Game Boost: Generate more FPS in games with 1 push of a button
  • EZ Debug LED: Easiest way to troubleshoot
  • Overvoltage Protection:Prevent Unforeseen Damage
  • GAMING Hotkey: Launch your favorite games with a single button
  • Click BIOS 5: Award-winning brand new Click BIOS 5 with high resolution scalable font
  • SteelSeries Certified: Optimized for SteelSeries gaming gear
  • GAMING CERTIFIED: 24-hour on- and offline game testing by eSports players for the best gaming experience
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