Upcoming Intel Based Motherboards from GIGABYTE, ASUS, MSI and ASRockby Ian Cutress on April 28, 2014 3:30 AM EST
MSI’s New Products
The news from MSI’s range comes by virtue of some initial leaked images that were retracted. In response to the knowledge reaching the zeitgeist of the cutting edge technology followers, MSI offered these images direct from source but with the Intel-specific details missing. We saw a small amount of these upcoming products by virtue of MSI’s presence at CeBIT, where MSI was asking media for their thoughts.
The images provided by MSI cover a large user base from SFF to extreme high end. They all bare the Gaming moniker so far, although MSI does have three distinct ranges including its OC range (MPower, XPower) and channel range which we should see more of at a later date.
First one on the list is a mini-ITX motherboard, the I-Gaming:
For a start the rear IO looks almost backwards. The audio jacks are at the top of the board, and the Clear_CMOS switch is at the bottom. It looks like MSI have moved towards a WiFi card on the rear as well, a change much welcomed. The socket area sits low giving some space for coolers, and at the top is the 24-pin ATX power connector alongside four SATA ports. There is a USB 3.0 header, and we can see an EM shield for the audio codec at the top. The CPU power connector is an odd place near the rear IO, meaning cables will have to reach over the motherboard to get to it.
At the top of the line, MSI has on show the Gaming 9 AC:
The rear IO and audio sections of the PCB are covered in what looks like a shield, either for aesthetics or technical reasons perhaps. The sticking out bit on the rear IO looks like a WiFi module, similar to that on the mini-ITX model. There are some overclocking features, such as OC Genie and voltage read points, but for SATA ports we have at least 8 on the motherboard as well as an M.2 between the PCIe slots. The PCIe slots are separated for close-proximity three-way GPU configurations, whereas normally we see the final PCIe slot another section down the motherboard.
We also get the Gaming 7:
The Gaming 5:
And at the low end, the Gaming 3:
The Gaming 3 looks like a stripped down version of the Gaming 9, with less phases in the power delivery, no shield, fewer SATA ports and PCI slots. Audio Boost is still present, as well as the heatsink design.
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Antronman - Monday, April 28, 2014 - linkNope.
With the same chip, on a Gigabyte, MSI, ASRock, and RoG mobo, the chip will always be able to pull off lower voltage on the same OC on an RoG.
willis936 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - linkYou're going to have to cite some threads with some actual numbers and caps or else you're just blowing smoke.
Achaios - Monday, April 28, 2014 - linkLooks like someone is -shamelessly- copying ASUS ROG. I am a member at OVERCLOCK.NET, and almost every member who has got his rig published there owns an ASUS Maximus VI Hero ROG board, myself included. We don't need to see sales figures to understand how well the Gigabyte Z87 series of boards with those pathetic colour schemes, emphasis on useless sound chips, and contempt for overclockers and enthusiasts has sold even with prices as much as 30% cheaper than ASUS.
nevertell - Monday, April 28, 2014 - linkDon't call the sound codecs useless. Although, if one were serious about their audio quality, they'd have a discrete DAC, but nevermind.
Creig - Monday, April 28, 2014 - linkLooks like someone is -really- taking their ASUS purchase too seriously. I've used Gigabyte motherboards in the past and found them to overclock decently, to be rock-solid in every day usage and they weren't overly expensive considering all the features they offered. I would have no problems purchasing either an ASUS or Gigabyte motherboard for my next upgrade.
The_Assimilator - Monday, April 28, 2014 - linkLooks like MSI is betting that SATA Express will fall flat, at least this generation. If that means their boards are cheaper than the competition's, could be a big win for them.
It's disappointing that you still have to go for high-end expensive motherboards to get 2x USB 3 internal headers. Hopefully Intel will give out more USB 3 ports (minimum 10, please) in the Skylake chipset.
Hrafn - Thursday, May 1, 2014 - linkI must admit I'm having a hard time seeing SATA Express's niche. Given the availability of multiple SATA3 ports on most MBs SATA-backward compatibility would not seem to be a major selling point. M2 seems ideal for small-but-fast system drives and full PCIE cards for those requiring maximum size and speed (which generally go together on SSDs). Is there really a potential market for PCIE 2.5" drives, particularly given SATA Express's complex cabling?
rjlew88 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - linkLove the Z_7 boards! The only one clearly indicated as "Z97" is the pic for IMG_1656.JPG. I hope you continue to bring us the comps between Z67, Z77, and Z87 with the new Z97 for reference. Thanks. Long live Sandy and Ivy!!
cm2187 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - linkWhat about that 32GB RAM limit? Will intel increase it?
peterfares - Monday, April 28, 2014 - linkProbably not soon, they want you to buy server hardware if you want more than 32GB. And what do you really need more than 32GB for?