- Socket: LGA 2011-v3
- Chipset: Intel X99
- RAM Slots: 8
- Memory: 3333(O.C.)/3300(O.C.)/3200(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2133 MHz DDR4
- Ports: USB 3.1 Gen 1 x4, USB Gaming Port x2, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A x1, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C x1, Intel WiFi/Bluetooth x1, HD Audio Connectors x5, Optical S/PDIF x1
- Benchmark Results
- PCMark 8 Home: 4,320 points
- PCMark 8 Creative: 4,831 points
- PCMark 8 Work: 3,825 points
A Titanium Behemoth
We’ve got a triple whammy of brand new X99 motherboards this month, no thanks to Intel just recently launching their latest series of Broadwell-E processors. MSI is on board with their highest-end motherboard in the form of the MSI X99A XPower Gaming Titanium.
To start off, the motherboard’s PCB is encased entirely in a metallic sheen of grey. This, coupled with the Steel Armor reinforcements on the RAM, PCIe, and M.2 SATA slots ensures that both the slots are protected from possible bending issues.
The motherboard sports eight DDR4 RAM slots which supports quad-channel memory up to 128GBs of RAM, a very generous 10 SATA III ports, one M.2 SATA port, and a whopping five PCIe 3.0 slots for multi-GPU support as well as others, such as PCIe SSD, WiFi and many more.
The XPower Gaming Titanium motherboard is also very generous in terms of I/O, sporting two USB gaming device ports, four USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, as well as one each of USB Type-A and Type-C Gen 2 ports. If you’re looking to go wireless, the motherboard also has support for Intel WiFi and Bluetooth connections.
If you’re looking to do a fair bit of overclocking with this board, you’re in luck as the motherboard comes with a bucketload of options to help you do just that. The OC Engine feature, in particular lets you fine-tune BCLK numbers with minute adjustments from 100MHz to 125 and 167MHz straps to achieve maximum possible numbers in overclock.
Helped together with extreme socket designs which adds more pins to the CPU socket, premium power phases and overvoltage protection, you don’t need to worry too much about burning your processor and motherboard to push for those overclocking records.
In our case, we managed to overclock our Intel CPU to about 4.2GHz with relative ease, and with a better cooling solution, we’re fairly sure that the CPU will be able to clock even higher, with adjustments to both BCLK and voltage values are tested even further.
On top of an update to MSI’s UEFI Click BIOS 5, users can also easily recover a corrupted BIOS by connecting the power cable to the motherboard (no CPU required), inserting a USB drive with the BIOS files inside and using the Flashback hotkey on the motherboard itself.
CHIP CONCLUDE: The MSI X99A XPower Gaming Titanium is a motherboard to behold. It scores full marks from us in terms of performance and features, making it one of the motherboards to recommend if you’re looking to build a Haswell-E or Broadwell-E system.
(previously published in issue August 2016)