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MSI X99S GAMING 9 AC (Intel X99) Motherboard Review (Page 1)

MSI X99S GAMING 9 AC (Intel X99) Motherboard Review

Another day, another Intel X99 Express-based motherboard is up for review. Today we check out the MSI X99S GAMING 9 AC. If you're a gamer, take a look.

By Shawn Baker | Sep 11, 2014 04:12 pm CDT
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction of the MSI X99S GAMING 9 AC

We've been really impressed with the new X99 platform from the second we looked at it. Performance shows us it's got some serious power, and it truly stands out in a league of its own. While that is great and everything, all this power comes at a cost, and it's not a low one. Everything that revolves around the new platform carries a hefty price tag with the cheapest processor - the i7 5820K carries a price tag of $389.

It doesn't stop there! X99 motherboards also start at quite a high price point, and go upwards of $500. Another thing to consider is you're not able to bring over the DDR3 from your previous build. Instead, you're on the hook for a new set of DDR4 modules that also carry quite the price tag. Still, once everything is up and running, you will realize that it's all money well spent, as you will have a truly beautiful system that is capable of handling so much.

When it comes to building a new X99 system, one of the toughest decision is going to be which motherboard you buy. We've already looked at some fantastic options from both ASUS and ASRock, and we've got more in the pipeline to look at, including an offering from EVGA, and multiple offerings from GIGABYTE.

However, today is all about our first X99 motherboard from MSI. As the name suggests, the MSI X99S GAMING 9 AC is part of the popular GAMING Series from MSI. We've loved the GAMING Series since it was first introduced, and truly enjoy how MSI has given a common name between their video cards and motherboards. There's really not much else we need to say; instead, we should get right into the swing of things to see if MSI can keep up with the other X99 boards we've looked at.

So far, the GAMING Series motherboards from MSI have impressed us thanks to a good list of features, and an aggressive price point. Let's see if Intel's new high-end X99 chipset can help MSI follow the trend that has been set.

Package - What comes inside the box


Looking at the front of the box, we don't see a whole lot going on. We've got the MSI logo across the top, along with a few of the main features, including Streaming Engine, Audio Boost 2, and Killer E2200 networking.

Upon opening the box, we can see some of those main featured explained a bit more, with a big mention of the Streaming Engine across the top. The Streaming Engine brings hardware encoding when streaming. Combined with a two-year premium license of XSplit Premium, you've got a motherboard designed for gamers who want to show off.

Moving downward, you can see we've got a push in Speed, which brings M.2 Gen3 x4, and the Gaming APP to make overclocking easy. Sound brings Audio Boost 2, and Sound Blaster Cinema 2. Finally, we finish up with Stability, which brings Military Class 4 components, and board protection.


Moving to the other side of the box, we get a good look at the motherboard. Of course, we'll dive into that much deeper on the next page. As for the back, you can see MSI highlights some of the main features again, which include the Streaming Engine Audio Boost 2.0 and M.2 Gen3 x4 connector, along with 4-Way Multi GPU, and DDR4 support. Finally, we finish off with a mention of Intel Wi-Fi AC support, Killer LAN, and the main specifications of the board across the bottom, including an I/O overview.


Moving into the bundle, we've actually got a fair bit included. You can see we've got a ton of paperwork, with some covering the board, and some covering the software and other GAMING Series products. We've also got a door hook, two Driver CDs, and some SATA cable labels. Moving past those, you can see six SATA III cables are included along with our rear I/O backplate, two SLI connectors, V-Check cables, and a pair of EZ connectors to round things off.


Moving through the rest of the bundle, we've got a back plate for an eSATA drive, along with the appropriate cables, and two wireless antennas to complete our bundle. All in all, you can see MSI has got quite a decent bundle going for the X99S GAMING 9 AC.

PRICING: You can find the MSI X99S GAMING 9 AC for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The MSI X99S GAMING 9 AC retails for $428.99 at Amazon.

Canada: The MSI X99S GAMING 9 AC retails for CDN$591.31 at Amazon Canada.

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