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  • DanNeely - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    I'm wondering about the pair of USB2 ports on the back. The Z87 provides 6 USB3 ports; 4 are used by the pair of onboard headers, and all 8 back panel USB3 ports are ASmedia. This leaves 2 USB3 ports on the z87 idle, so why not route them to the back too instead of USB2. Reply
  • IanCutress - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    You are forgetting FlexIO ( - Z87 has 18 ports from the PCH. Most of them are fixed - four for USB 3.0, six for PCIe 2.0 and four for SATA 6 Gbps. This leaves two pairs of two - the first pair can be configured as USB 3.0 or PCIe 2.0, and the second pair can be configured as PCIe 2.0 or SATA 6 Gbps. The only limitation is a maximum of eight PCIe 2.0 lanes in total. MSI have decided to use four USB 3.0 here, eight PCIe 2.0 and six SATA 6 Gbps: 4 + 8 + 6 = 18, as shown in the Board Features :)

  • ionR19 - Sunday, August 10, 2014 - link

    there are 4 USB3 comming from the PCH and 8 from the hubs
    can you use all the 12 USB3 ports this way ?
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  • tech6 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    In most home uses cases the bottleneck for performance is no longer the CPU but more likely to be the graphics card or hard disk. Thus spending a lot of money on on OC board is a waste of money better spent on an SSD or more GPU. I guess that manufacturers are betting that there will always be enough well funded fanbois who feel the need to brag about their OC numbers to make a buck on products such as these. Reply
  • IanCutress - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Overclocking, at least competitive overclocking, has substantial investment in motherboard companies and is the the focus of peoples jobs, careers, and a sport-like industry. The website is a common database for overclock scores and leagues, and I have reported here at AnandTech about competitive overclocking events/venues. Manufacturers will always release boards for these people, though it's hard to justify it *just* for this crowd, and it has to be made for daily use as well. As a result you end up with a Halo board trying to cater for both crowds, as mentioned in the conclusion ;)

  • Slomo4shO - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Why don't any of these board manufactures ever design a board capable of 3-way crossfire/SLI using PCIe 1, 4, and 7 slots? ASRock x79 boards are the only ones that seem to have this option currently... Reply
  • Infy2 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    What does that plus (+) mean in the performance charts next to the system name? Reply
  • IanCutress - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    It means that the CPU was tested in a motherboard that enables MultiCore Turbo/Enhancement/Acceleration by default, like this one. It is starting to become the norm for motherboards from certain companies over a particular price point.

  • jardows2 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Interesting to read about these high-end boards, but I would like to see someone build a high-end performing board without all the extra "features" that will never get used. 10 SATA ports? Really? If you are doing serious workstation computing and need that many hard drives in a RAID array, you are going to get a SAS RAID controller. If you are just using the computer as a storage server, you won't be spending $400 on the motherboard. All the USB 3.0 ports are going to collect dust for most users. I have several computers with multiple onboard USB ports that have never had anything connected. Add mediocre audio, combined with wireless add-on (practically worthless for such a high-end machine, especially when you have a high-end Ethernet controller on board) it seems like the manufacturers are subscribing to a "more is better" approach, when a "less is more" board, I think, would sell far more. Give me a motherboard with the graphics and overclocking performance that this board can offer, without all the extra stuff, and you will have a winner! Reply
  • 529th - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Exactly! Well said. Reply
  • Optimalpc - Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - link

    ditto that, jardows2! Stick with what a lot of us want - Full x16 bandwidth for GPUs, Good digital Power. Better Audio, including good headphone AMP. Ability to support the fastest memory available. Overclocking with mature tools. Min 3-year warranty. Game Ports. High-end Ethernet controller (Killer). Quit wasting money and real estate on too many SATA ports, USB Ports, sub-par wireless, and crappy audio! I don't need 14 USB ports (or even 8). Hardwired to the network, why even add the cost of wireless at all, UNLESS you are providing the latest in 802.11 standards (ac)? Reply
  • jeffb98 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    How's MSI when it comes to Linux? Do they test compatibility at all for at least Red Hat and SUSE enterprise targeted Linux distros? Would they look into/fix BIOS issues when it comes to Linux?

    I know Asus and Gigabyte tell you they don't do any Linux testing and support when it comes to their consumer motherboards even when there's clearly a Linux compatibility issue. I know most people "never had a problem" but that's most people who don't really do much and probably don't even need a high end board.
  • nathanddrews - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Quad-SLI/CF benchmarks? Seeing as this board caters to people that actually do that kind of thing. Reply
  • IanCutress - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    My fourth 7970 is in the process of being RMA'ed.

  • nathanddrews - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    D'oh! Sorry to hear that.

    I was about ready to pull the trigger on a 780, but now that the 7990 is only $699 (and with improved drivers), I'm thinking of getting on of those instead given the potential of getting a second in a year or so. Thoughts?
  • yasamoka - Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - link

    Quad-SLi / CF does not always scale too well. Plus you're more likely to hit a CPU bottleneck if you're running any single monitor resolution and hovering above 60FPS with a target of 120FPS.

    Plus, this:

    Not recommended except if you water-cool for the heat issues. But then you get left with the other issues. Quad uses AFR + SFR so the microstutter fix is not going to be difficult as it already exists for dual GPU SFR. Quad is similar in that respect as each 2 GPUs use SFR and the groups of 2 GPUs use AFR.
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - link

    My current setup does most games maxed at 1920x1200@96Hz (at 96fps), but I'm looking to do over 120Hz (at 120fps) with a new 120Hz Lightboost LCD or try out some of the overclockable 1440/1600p displays. My FW900 is going to die someday and I need to be ready. :| Reply
  • rpg1966 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    OK, this is probably a dumb question - but as implied on the first page, if this board has an additional 2 sockets of space between the port cluster and the PCIe sockets, won't you need a case that is specifically designed for such a long (tall?) motherboard? Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    You will. Most commonly they're 10 expansion slots high (the size of the first generation of extra large/tall mobos). Newegg carries 11 ten, 7 eleven, and 1 twelve slot tall cases vs 333 seven and 74 eight slot tall models. Reply
  • peterwhitehouse - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    I think the form factor description is totally wrong surely it should be XL-ATX and not E-ATX? Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    That or HP-ATX; the other taller than normal board bucket. EATX is still 7 slots tall but somewhat wider to give room for two CPU sockets and ram banks in the top area. Reply
  • Nfarce - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Every time I see a Haswell tested and overclocked I cringe looking at the thermals. Even with an H70 this thing hits 85C at 4.7GHz. My 2500K stays at 4.8 on 1.39V at 60C in summer ambients on an ND-D14. Would like to upgrade to an i7 for video editing as well as a gaming, all-in-one system, but can't see that kind of heat happening. Maybe Ivy is the way to go for the last of the great overclocking chipsets? Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Have you listened to the Podcast #22 with Dustin Slavos? Anand and him discuss Haswell OCing very in depth, you should check it out.
    As it stands now, yes, you are thermally limited with Haswell. You currently get a little less OC headroom than with Ivy Bridge, but the IPC increase means you are still ~5% ahead in average work loads. When yields mature, you might see OC parity or even an increase, in which case Haswell will be about 10%+ better, sometimes more if the program takes advantage of the new features with Haswell. If you are to upgrade to a completely new system, get Haswell or Ivy-Bridge-E which should do better in the OCing department since it will likely use solder to connect the die and the IHS. I personally don't see the appeal to do an upgrade from one generation to the next these days, unless money isn't an issue.
    But, 85°C is not an issue for the CPU. If the system isn't louder because of Haswell, anything under 90°C should be okay. And unless the two system were identical, you can't compare your 60°C to the 85°C, the cooler are different, you have different fans, different care fans and different positioning, difference socket placement..... :)
  • Nfarce - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    "But, 85°C is not an issue for the CPU. If the system isn't louder because of Haswell, anything under 90°C should be okay. And unless the two system were identical, you can't compare your 60°C to the 85°C, the cooler are different, you have different fans, different care fans and different positioning, difference socket placement..... :)"

    I understand all of that of course. However, my summer temps - I live in the south of the US where it's hot nearly half the year - and my air conditioner bill would not like something cranking out 180F+ degrees. It's already hot enough in the room blowing 140F out the back with the Sandy rig combined with the 140F coming from GPUs. Bottom line - Haswell, while faster clock for clock than the Ivy which itself is faster clock for clock than Sandy, is not the "next level" I was hoping for. Finally, as stated, the only reason I'm looking to upgrade to i7 from i5 is to speed up my video editing and rendering time, which I'm doing more and more of these days.
  • basroil - Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - link

    Nfarce, it doesn't matter if you put 90W of heat into your apartment at 180F or at just 90F, your room temperature increases the same amount! In fact, those massive coolers actually draw so much more power that you'll actually increase temperatures. Don't spout nonsense like that, it's beyond ridiculous. If you care for cooler temperatures, go for the system that uses the fewest Watt average (including idle time), and that system will surely not include this mobo! Reply
  • ggathagan - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    "$440 is a big ask from MSI, which is placated some by the inclusion of a mouse mat and goodies in the box."
    "Two thumbs up from MSI on the self-branded additions to the box."

    Seriously Ian?!

    $440 should buy me an amazingly solid board that will do what its manufacturer claims it will.

    Anything less is unacceptable and simply encourages board makers to continue this trend of cranking out their top tier products before they are actually ready for everyday use.

    Spare me the marketing material, the out-dated 2.4GhZ wireless the useless 'Killer' NIC and spend your time/money on producing a satisfactory motherboard!
  • C.C. - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Dumb ass spammer..If she only makes $62 an hr, yet brought in $20,900 in a month..that "few hours" she worked totals 337 hours..If you are going to waste your time typing spam messages that everyone here is smart enough not to follow, then you *SHOULD* be smart enough to use a friggin' calculator Bahahah...

    On topic, ggathagan you are exactly right! $3 worth of useless marketing fluff doesn't really make you want run out and buy this board over others that are half price but perform just as well..For $440, this thing should come with a full set of custom waterblocks for the VRMs/chipset, and ship with a stable BIOS for God's sake! I really liked the platform offerings of Z87 on paper, but I am glad I held onto my 3770k @ 4.8Ghz..

    Every Z87 board seems to have their own slew of issues, from BIOS issues to XMP issues etc etc..My $115 ASRock Z77 Extreme4 has been rock solid from June 1st of 2012..It runs 24/7 @ 100% load (F@H), and is the BEST MB I have ever owned under $150..

    I used to buy nothing but higher end boards ($200-250), and am super glad I took a chance on this "mainstream" performance board! I sure hope Ivy-E brings some updated X79 boards (native USB 3, more SATA 6 ports, better Audio) so I have something to be excited about!
  • b3nzint - Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - link

    If u going to 4 way crossfire / sli or even 3 way, then where u put your sas card or any other pci xpress card? cause theres no pci xpress slot left available. This kinda boards is all about having multiple gpu but still got everything else. Reply
  • ggathagan - Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - link

    I would guess that most people interested in 4-way Xfire/SLI recognize that choosing a 4-GPU setup generally eliminates using other add-in cards.
    Even E-ATX boards would be limited in that respect.
    3-way GPU setups will still allow you another add-in card on this board.
  • Hrel - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    $440 motherboard... lol, next article. Reply
  • JlHADJOE - Monday, August 19, 2013 - link

    I am pleased to see they ditched the ridiculous guns and ammo design. Reply
  • R-Type - Friday, August 23, 2013 - link

    I feel like I stepped into a big and tall men's store. Ha!

    Seriously though, is this with 32-lane PLX what you need for 4k gaming? I've heard it takes 4 Titans to crank out that many pixels.

    You're looking at a $10k investment such a setup. (Computer + monitor). OMG.
  • R-Type - Friday, August 23, 2013 - link

    The 4770K is an improvement for sipping watts, and thus getting more done for less energy, and thus less energy as heat wasted overall. Some stats:

    Processor : Stock Speed / No-Load Draw / Max Speed / Max Draw
    3770K : 3.5 GHz 99 W 4.8 GHz 244 W
    4770K : 3.5 GHz 81 W 4.7 GHz 177 W

    (Additionally, my 4770K idles at 800 MHz, and presumably consumes even less than any previous processor)


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