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MSI X99A Godlike Gaming Carbon Review

MSI X99A Godlike Gaming Carbon

MSI X99A Godlike Gaming Carbon Review
- Excellent, I think the first time that I heard the term godlike was back in the dark days of my Diablo 2 addiction. As gaming parlance evolved, the quest for the proper hyperbolic terminology to describe gaming itself became ever more difficult.

 After all, how does one outdo preeminent superlatives such as ultimate uber, epic and extreme, whether you're talking about randomly generated stats on a grand matron bow, or in this case the best damn x99 motherboard? The msi can engineer godlike just seems appropriate. This is the msi x99s gaming carbon.

It supports Intel's enthusiast line of haswell-e socket 2011 lead processors and features a neutral black color scheme to provide better flexibility for the built in RGB lighting. It also costs $ 600. So, as you can see, I've already been playing with this board and I've assembled a bit of a test build to showcase the looks and the lighting. 

Let'S start from the top, though, with a rundown of features and specifications, starting with a quick unboxing, you get a very premium feeling package LOL with the godlike gaming carbon and not a bad set of accessories.

Either a door hanger and a fold-out, color, motherboard layout guide, say to labeling stickers and a driver DVD three manuals for the hardware, the software and a Quick Start Guide, no less than ten black SATA cables, half of them with 90 degree, angled connectors two sizable antenna For the built-in 800 2011 killer, Wi-Fi these have magnetic bases on them too, for easy positioning, which is nice, a black and red IO shield.

That is unchanged from the black and red version of the x99 god-like that launched last year. It is a nice IO shield, though, and for ribbon style, SLI bridges that should accommodate you for most two three and four white SLI configs, although I would say it would be nice to have gotten a rigid PCB version for maybe three and four waking things. 

You also get voltage check, leads a G series case badge a metal sheath, eight gig on the go, USB Drive with Type C and micro beat connectors that has drivers and software on it. I would love to see this become a trend for all motherboards over optical discs, with drivers. 

By the way you get a turbo you with you dot to card, which is an m2.U mini SAS adapter for drives like until 750 series, and it thankfully also has a PCB that matches the motherboard.

Since this would be very visible in most systems. And finally, your M connectors for front panel and a quarter-inch to eighth inch adapter for the big headphone plug on the rear i/o, the x99, a god-like gaming, carbon motherboard itself is dat ex and just screams high-end.

Thanks to its significant heft, the black carbon fiber accents and the attention to detail in the design. Of course, thanks to the LGA, 2011, 3 socket and x99 chipset. This motherboard supports existing haswell-e processors like the 8 core 59 60 X, and, although it's too early to officially confirm, I would be very, very extremely surprised if this board it doesn't also support.

Broadwell ECP use like the promised 10 core 69 50 X, which is rumored to launch in the next few months, while pure gamers might opt for Intel's, less expensive skylake platform for those who want to work and play on their computer. 

There'S just no substitute for the raw CPU horsepower available on this enthusiast platform. Beyond that, you've got 8 DIMM slots for quad-channel ddr4 memory up to 16 gigs for dim now for up to hundred and twenty eight gigs total and MSI has validated kits going up to 3400 speed. 

Also note the steel-reinforced DIMM slots, not that ddr4 sticks are super heavy or anything, but they do look pretty badass. They provide some emi shielding and they match the PCIe slots down below quite nicely, speaking of which you get five full-sized PCI Express gen3 by 16 slots.

Giving you the flexibility of triple slot, spacing with a couple GPUs or a three-way and four-way SLI, or crossfire support, if you're using a 40 PCIe Lane CPU like a 59 30 K or 59 60 X, my build here has a 5820k in it right now, which Has 28 PCIe lanes and should never be used with this motherboard? 

So sorry, if you bought this board and if at da 20k return them get a $ 300 x99 board and a 59 30k for about $ 100 less, these PCIe slots also have that steel-reinforced design, though, which continues to look quite badass and also provides more support For heady heavy graphics card, as well as that emi shielding for fan support. 

You get five total headers two for CPU and three for system fans all are for pin PWM, but on a board. This size is a couple. More would have been nice to be honest along the bottom of the gaming carbon you've got a debug LED one of two USB 3.1 headers front panel connectors a switch for the dual BIOS.

A couple system fan headers a couple: USB 2.0 headers; a slow mode, switch for exotic cooling, clear CMOS, jumper and an odd which to choose between front panel audio and the ESS, supported quarter-inch headphone jack on the rear i/o for storage options. There'S the single key mm to slot between those last two PCIe connectors.

Which supports SATA or nvme connections you dot two via that riser card in the accessories or standard m2 drives at forty to sixty and eighty millimeters in length. It'S in a good spot, as it won't be blocked by most single or a GPU configurations, although it does share bandwidth with the SATA Express connector on the board, so you can't use both at once. 

You get 10 total SATA rf3 ports on the board, one through six have raid support and five and six have the aforementioned SATA Express option. There'S plenty of connectivity here for storage, although I'm inclined to wish for another MDOT two slots that would have taken some PCIe lanes away, though, and I think MSI wanted to leave the sport wide open for choreographic scard setups, moving up the right side of the board.

We have the other USB 3.1 header that supports supercharging as well: 24 pin main power connection third system fan header and voltage read points next to those are the power reset and OC Genie, surface mounted buttons, OC Genie being MSI's automatic overclocking feature, there's also an OC Switch with an LED when the LED is in the blue position.

OC Genie will overclock some and when it's in the red position, OC Genie will be more aggressive and overclock more now, let's take a look at the CPU socket, flanked on both sides by those ddr4 Memory slots, it's a turbo, socket, meaning it's actually got extra pins totalling 2036 connections instead of the standard 2011.

Which can help with high end over overclocking, particularly if you're overclocking. The cache MSI has also taken steps to clear this area as much as possible from other components: that's to make room for ln2 pots that are used for exotic cooling.

Despite that, you might run into some space conflicts if you're, using a tower style, air cooler and a GPU in the top slot, so bear that in mind actually originally set the system up with an inner max air cooler. 

But I had to rotate at 90 degrees in order to make it fit, and I didn't like how it looks so I grabbed the Corsair h, 110 and installed that instead for power delivery, you have a 12 phase design with 55 amp.

Dr Mas MOSFETs 60 amp Super ferrite chokes and tantalum capacitors to provide smooth reliable power for overclocking. The V RMS have two dedicated heat sinks, with the heat pipe connecting them and supplemental CPU power is delivered via eight pin and four pink connectors at the top of the board.

You should have no need for a discreet, sound card thanks to the audio boost. Three pro configuration on the god light gaming, carbon powered by Anna hemic and supporting both 7 1 channel surround and high impedance headphones via the quarter inch rear Jack. 

Ms, I went with chemi-con audio capacitors, independent Texas Instruments, amps for each audio pathway and another ESS saver es nine zero one, eight DAC for the big headphone jack. It supports up to 600 ohm impedance headphones. All these audio components are EMI, shielded and can be further tweaked and tuned, using the naheem ik software on two rear pedal io on the left or a ps2 combo port and a couple USB 2.0 ports.

Next, to that is a clear CMOS button and then your fastest invest is USB 3.1 gen2 ports in type a and type C trim which are controlled by an as media, asm1, 142 chip to the right of that our dual killer: a 2400 Gigabit rj45 LAN ports And four more USB 3.type-a connectors. 

You can effectively combine these killer NIC ports with the killer. 800. 2.11 AC, Wi-Fi card right next to it for two thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven megabits per second of theoretical throughput using MSI's killer, doubleshot x3.

Pro software, which kind of combines them all together, it also does packet prioritization. So your gaming packets get priority over, say your windows update packets, for example, the 802 dot eleven AC Wi-Fi is dual band and it also supports miracast. 

Finally, you've got your gold plated audio connections, this big quarter-inch jack for headphones and eighth inch jacks for Mike in 7.1 channel surround out or an optical Toslink s/pdif connection. Is that all no not quite let's take a look at the UEFI and then we will wrap things up with an RGB LED mystic light demo guys.

I am now tapping delete, so I can jump into the BIOS here and give you guys at least a quick walkthrough, to show you kind of what to expect. I'M not going to go into detail with all the different things, but hopefully at least you know, give you a better idea and hey first off on a point out: you got full mouse and keyboard support. 

The mouse was even plug and play. I boot it up without it plugged in and - and I just plugged it in, and it worked at least I did that early. What I was kind of browsing through here at first anyway, you'll notice, that you got x99 a got like gaming, carbon, with even the carbon version of the Buy.

They block that everything here you know it's kind of cool at the top. You got sort of a quick view of different things, like your CPU temperature, what's installed with the a 20k current memory configuration and what it's all set to, as well as a boot device priority, and you can drag and drop stuff right here. 

If you want to change up your boot devices, you also have quick access to buttons like OC Genie, so you can activate that here, rather than going through the pushing the actual button on the motherboard there's, also an X MP button. 

You can use that to quickly enable XMP mode for your memory yeah and that some shortcuts in the top right, let you take a screenshot, for example, add things to favorites or there's even a drop-down here for different languages. Settings tab over here is going to have access to some basic stuff like system status advanced.

This also get you your boot priority. This has more boot options than any motherboard. I'Ve ever different, there's actually 13 different food options in the boot prior to here. It'S a lot anyway also some security options, if you want to add an admin password or save and exit here's your overclocking area. This is what probably a lot of you interested in.

I'Ve already switched this over to advanced mode, it's in simple mode by defaults, but here you can access well lots of the stuff you guys are probably familiar with if you've done much overclocking on x99. Again, i'm not going to explain what all these are.

But i will say that if you mouse over each one, the area over here on the right side will sort of give you a little rundown of what what it all is and give you a little bit Better idea of what you're doing as you're, making adjustments to all these digital power delivery ringing bus voltage all all that good stuff. 

ou know you play with all these settings and that's how you overclock it's a simplest explanation. Whatever clock you've ever seen anyway, CPU specs down here as well as memory and CPU features, the EM flash function is available right here. This will allow you to easily update the BIOS from a USB Drive.

Then, if you mess all over to the right here, you've got an actual pop out that comes out so slow light access profiles, so you can easily save to profile. You can even load them onto a USB or recover them from a USB Hardware. 

Monitor will access the hardware monitor function which takes a little moment to load, but then you get access to CPU and system temperatures at the top. You can access all of the fans, and here I really like what they've done with a smart fan mode gives you four different points of intonation or I don't know what these are there's a term for that. But then you can drag these around.

So you can give yourself a nice easy fan curve. So you know your fan stays pretty quiet until things actually start to get warm or that kind of thing you do have that also available for your system fan. So I only have one system fan plugged in, but by default you just have a single guy. 

You can drag around here or you can turn on smart fan mode and that will again give you that fan ramp-up option, which is really really nice to have actually really like what MSI has done with the fan. Control see.

Finally, you've got the board Explorer and this is just a board Explorer. It will show you actually pretty accurately as you mouse over different things, what everything is and what's installed, if you mouse over the SATA, for example, you get sort of a blow-up look at the SATA ports. 

If you mouse over something where something's connected like the CPU, it will tell you that you have a 5820k installed or whatever CPU you haven't have installed same goes with your memory slots. You can even get a close-up of the i/o and, what's currently plugged into the i/o like the mouse and keyboard anyway. 

That'S that's pretty handy moving right along to an LED lighting demo - and I can I get things situated here. The first thing that I did actually was go back into the UEFI BIOS and I disabled the LEDs on the board, because this board has several LEDs other than the five points of lighting that you get right out of the gate. 

It'S got some LEDs on the rear, i/o and the NIC slots back there that are red. It'S got some more LEDs down here, like a blue one and you can go into the UEFI BIOS and you can disable all of those. It will also disable your surface mounted power reset buttons up there. The one thing it does not turn off is a debug led LED down here in the lower right.

I wish you could do that too. So MSI make that happen in the future. Maybe I'm loading up the mystic light app, there's actually two ways to control the LEDs on this board. If you're not running the app or you're, not booted up into Windows and running the software directly from MSI, everything will be read kind of  like you see it right now, if you get the app, you can load it up and it connects directly via bluetooth.

There'S a Bluetooth, actually an add-on mini PCIe chip on this board. It'S kind of hidden underneath the shroud, but it is there and then you can use mystic lights, so mystic light is, is pretty full-featured actually they've had this since about last year. 

So, first off you can just bring up the color wheel and it can kind of tap wherever you want on the wheel. It'Ll tell you what color you choose down there in the middle, and I have what I like about this board. Is none of the LEDs shine right right out at you, they're, actually all directed down onto the board, so you'll notice, there's a bank down here on the lower left kind of near the sound there's a small light.

That'S in the chipset, which kind of shoots out to the side that one's really a lot less visible than the others, but it is still there. You would be able to see more of it up above if the graphics card wasn't blocking it by the way, if you're wondering why I'm using a GTX 970 in this build it's because it's the only card, I could find it didn't light up on its own And didn't really conflict for the color scheme. 

I put a black piece of tape over the blue on it, so everything else would stand out a little bit better and there beyond that. There'S another Bank of lights. That'S up here, just below the CPU socket. That'S kind of right where the just it's right where the heatsink is, and it's just north of where the GPU is then.

Lastly, at two more sets one is up up by the power delivery, very top of the board and then there's another set. That is just to the left of the memory slot kind of between the rear i/o and the memory, which is also a little bit more difficult to see, but gives gives a pretty cool effect down in there anyway.

Moving on aside from just choosing, you know between different what different colors that you might want to put on. There there's also some functions on here, so there's a gaming function that you can enable and that will actually actively interact with games that you might be playing in various ways.

I didn't try that out too much. There'S a breathing function, of course, that you can do so yeah flashing, which gives kind of kind of makes it look like old, like lightnings going off, and this will also cycle between colors. 

So it's kind of cool. Now you have snack which allows you to stack some different functions, so this is this kind of it's kind of wild. You know it just kind of jumps between a bunch of different things. Again, it's cycling between colors, it's flashing. We have the wave function that I kind of like, so this will kind of cycle through a wave, different colors across the board. 

Of course, if you really want, you can just turn them all off, and then they only only DS, you're left with is debug led down there, which, which is still fairly useful. There'S one other function you can do in here and that's in the Far rate. This is on the app again and you can hit play and you can load up a song and you can have it go along with music.

So this is a this. Is a Ben princey album? I hope guys can't hear very well because I don't wan na get flagged anyway. He did the FTL soundtrack and everyone should go check out his stuff. I'M not going to play too much of this because, as you can maybe tell it's kind of cycling through along with the music, so that's a pretty cool function too.

Anyway, a very full-featured app and there's a lot of cool things you can do with it. I'M pretty impressed so in conclusion, the things that I like about this motherboard are one that MSI listened to fans such as myself last year when we said that we wanted a blacked out version of this board instead of the original red highlighted version. 

Two would be that the LED options and Bluetooth control of the LED options are very well implemented and very flexible. Just a lot of fun to play with and three would be. Of course, the extreme cooling and overclocking features that have already been put to good use.

On the non-carbon version of this board, with some really really extreme overclocks, as for cons, I would have liked to see maybe another fan, header or two, and although the LEDs are awesome, I was really hoping to see an RGB header on the board itself. 

I probably wouldn't mention this if I hadn't recently reviewed the ASUS Maximus 8 formula, which allows you to add more lights to the case and have them also controlled by the board. Lastly, it's just really expensive at $ 600 MSRP is $ 50 more even than the original x99, a goblet gaming that launched in 2015. So, to sum up, this is a niche motherboard that is probably out of the price range for most people. 

That said, it certainly lives up to the godlike moniker thanks to the build quality and features and for those who can afford it, it will certainly be the centerpiece of future epic gaming and workstation desktop builds.

I personally can't wait to see the first monstrous build the feature, this board a 69 50 X and a 4-way next-gen GPU configuration assuming, of course, that all the rumors about those things turn out to be true. That'S all for this review, though. 

If you enjoyed it, then you can help me out by supporting my cause ways to do. This include hitting that like button right down there, wherever it happens, to be using my amazon link in the description when you're shopping for stuff on Amazon. Picking up one of my brand new shirt designs at store, pulsar Burnett, I've also still got hoodies mugs and pint glasses, so get them too, while they're hot.

And finally, you can subscribe to my channel if you're not already, and as always - I probably wouldn't mention this. If I hadn't recently reviewed the ASUS Maximus 8 formula, which allows you to add more lights to the case and have a goddamn train roll by right as you're in the middle of your goddamn, outro cue train, you you right in the Train. Whole trains have train holes to what they have intercourse with