This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review, and get a quick recap and points on the MSI X99 GODLIKE GAMING.
Excellent Overclocking: The X99 GODLIKE GAMING is well equipped to handle overclocking. It provided what I expect of overclocking series X99 motherboards in CPU, Memory, and Uncore/Cache overclocking earning top marks. There was some required manual tuning with an overclocking BIOS, but that BIOS is publicly available on HWBot. MSI's overclocking support of this board is also a good thing so you know you will get unlocked voltages in the BIOS for liquid nitrogen excursions.
Audio DAC + AMPs / Nahimic: The X99 GODLIKE GAMING might seem like an overclocking motherboard, but in fact it is more of a gaming product. Its on-board audio is sound card class, with a dedicated DAC on top of the Realtek Codec as well as five different types of audio amplifiers for different outputs and a 6.3mm jack. While the audio wars have really started to become interesting again with manufacturers topping each other left and right, and MSI is in the lead when it comes to Realtek solutions. The Nahimic software is also worth some attention as it has noticeable effects, and offers recording for live streaming.
Crazy Aesthetics: If you don't really go crazy for LEDs, you might actually be enticed with the X99 GODLIKE GAMING. I am not partial to LEDs, but a nice array of RGB LEDs that can be controlled in groups, and which illuminate the entire board are actually aesthetically appealing. Since the LEDs are in every corner of the board, you can become a kid again by setting the LEDs to flashing mode, and imagining that you can actually see the electrons and data being shot (flashed) and transmitted across the PCB. You can also turn them off if you don't like them, but you might prefer the glow mode which was kind of hypnotic.
The Latest Killer Networking Hardware: This is the first X99 motherboard with the Killer e2400 gaming NIC, and the first with Killer's Double Shot X3 Pro which offers their special version of link aggregation for three NICs. The Wireless AC is also new and performs well.
OC Socket and Mounting: MSI's socket with extra pins really helped increase the board's cache and memory overclocks. The board also has open holes where the CPU heat sink screws in so that the PCB won't be damaged if you over tighten.
USB 3.1, Turbo M.2, U.2, 4-way SLI, and SATA Express: MSI didn't forget to provide connectivity when they added all the audio, networking, and LED hardware. The Turbo M.2 slot works at 32Gb/s, but also offers a SATA mode which you can select in the UEFI so it is compatible with all types of M.2 drives. The board also comes with a M.2 to 32Gb/s U.2 adapter and will support 4-way graphics, even if the M.2 slot is occupied.
Price is bound to be high: Right now the MSI X99A Gaming 9 ACK is $419.99, and compared to the X99 GODLIKE GAMING it doesn't have the new Killer hardware, second NIC, LEDs and dedicated Bluetooth controller, extra DAC and amplifiers, or the shield. I would bet that the X99 GODLIKE GAMING has a price tag at least $100-150 more, which will make it one of the more expensive X99 motherboards on the market.
MSI's X99 GODLIKE GAMING is possibly one of the more exciting boards I have reviewed in a while. It is over the top and there is no denying it. It's named GODLIKE, so it must carry the most advanced and unique feature set that MSI can provide. I was expecting something really unique and MSI didn't disappoint. It was actually kind of hard for me to find cons to this product, but I don't have a doubt that its price tag will reflect its GODLIKE nature. The X99 GODLIKE GAMING is one of those products that performs as well as it's marketed, and the attention to detail is very high in everything from the packaging to the extra pin voltages in the UEFI to the multiple LED controllers which make everything possible.
I have to be honest, the board performs well, it overclocks as well as other top overclocking boards from other vendors, and it has some of the best gaming features I have seen on the X99 platform, but at the end of the day, I am left raving about its LEDs. So in regards to its LEDs the motherboard earns its name. It is the first time I have seen RGBs on a motherboard, and MSI owned it and did a great job with implementation. This board would is a case modder's dream. That same attention to detail was spread across the entire product, from the countless re-drivers to maintain PCI-E and USB performance over long distances to the additional amplifiers and high quality DAC for the audio, the MSI X99 GODLIKE GAMING does a good job of living up to its name.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Performance (including Overclocking)||94%|
|Quality including Design and Build||96%|
|Bundle and Packaging||95%|
|Value for Money||N/A|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||96%|
The Bottom Line: Attention to detail is spread across the entire product, from the re-drivers to electrical bus performance, to the additional amplifiers and quality DAC for the audio, the MSI X99 GODLIKE GAMING does a good job of living up to its name.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and the X99 GODLIKE GAMING]
- Page 3 [X99 GODLIKE GAMING Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [X99 GODLIKE GAMING Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup and GODLIKE LEDs]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
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