MSI X99A XPOWER AC USB 3.1 Review

Up Close - The Board

MSI X99A XPOWER AC USB 3.1 Review

Up Close - The Board

The X99A MPOWER is certainly striking. The majority of the board is black with only a few yellow accents. Not only does this make for an eye-catching motherboard but by being judicious with their use of the yellow colour you aren't forced to build a yellow rig if it isn't to your tastes.

The CPU area is very clean indeed, hinting at the maximum overclocking ethos that runs through the DNA of the X99A XPOWER AC. As well as a smooth top side the backplate of the CPU socket is almost flush with the motherboard allowing for easy installation of more extreme cooling solutions.

MSI X99A XPOWER AC USB 3.1 Review     MSI X99A XPOWER AC USB 3.1 Review  

Like all high-end motherboards the X99A supports quad-GPU's for those record breaking high scores. This also means that those of us with more financially sensible arrangements have some PCI lanes free for the SATA Express and USB 3.1. Speaking of SATA Express the X99A has 10 SATA ports of which 2 can be used as SATA Express.

MSI X99A XPOWER AC USB 3.1 Review     MSI X99A XPOWER AC USB 3.1 Review  

The IO portion of the X99A, here shown without its cover, shows how far connectivity has come in recent times. Dual Gigabit LAN ports, 8 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 and two of the latest USB 3.1 ports give more inputs than even the most demanding user could fill. If that isn't enough there is a USB port built into the motherboard internally allowing you to boot and tweak regardless of the setup you have. Admittedly not something that the average user will require, but this isn't designed for the average user.

MSI X99A XPOWER AC USB 3.1 Review       MSI X99A XPOWER AC USB 3.1 Review

The OC buttons are an integral part of any MSI motherboard and the X99A doesn't disappoint. As well as BCLK adjustment (in either 1MHz or 0.1MHz increments) and multiplier changes, there is a two-stage OC Genie - 120% and 130% overclock - and a 'complete discharge' button which clears the CMOS and VRAM as well as the X99 PCH.

If that isn't enough to whet your appetite then the XPOWER also comes with a different socket. It's still the LGA2011-3, but in the same way that ASUS introduced the OC socket which freed up certain elements of the Intel CPUs, so MSI have their own socket too which promises similar gains. The ASUS socket is on the left, the MSI in the middle and the regular Intel LGA2011-3 on the right. It looks very different, so let's discover if it frees up any performance..

MSI X99A XPOWER AC USB 3.1 Review      MSI X99A XPOWER AC USB 3.1 Review

«Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Next»

Most Recent Comments

12-05-2015, 12:09:34

hoxlund
i absolutly love my x99a xpower ac motherboard

now about this 15 bios? care to share? im running their A.1

id love to try it out on mineQuote

04-06-2015, 07:28:10

MSIRawZ
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoxlund View Post
i absolutly love my x99a xpower ac motherboard

now about this 15 bios? care to share? im running their A.1

id love to try it out on mine
See here: http://forum.hwbot.org/showthread.php?t=133282Quote

04-06-2015, 07:49:23

Dicehunter
Could someone please educate me on this.

On the Rampage 5 in Tomb Raider you get 92FPS and on the XPower you get 101FPS, Does this have to do with bandwidth or more lanes via an add-in chip or something along those lines ?Quote

04-06-2015, 16:17:42

hoxlund
both boards have dual full x16 pci-e slots. so shouldn't come into play. as long as your using a full 40 pci-e lane cpu, ie not the 5820k cpuQuote

04-06-2015, 16:32:44

MSIRawZ
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dicehunter View Post
Could someone please educate me on this.

On the Rampage 5 in Tomb Raider you get 92FPS and on the XPower you get 101FPS, Does this have to do with bandwidth or more lanes via an add-in chip or something along those lines ?
BIOS can play a huge part. Many FAE teams from all vendors spend time optimising it better for applications like 3DMark, Cinebench and even popular games. As motherboards mature over time from launch the performance improves thanks to BIOS updates that may also improve OC ability too.Quote
Reply
x

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.