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MSI X99A Workstation Motherboard Review

Rating: 9.0.

The Intel Broadwell-E generation is where the top end of the enthusiast market crosses over into the professional space. MSI’s X99A Workstation motherboard is based on the same consumer-oriented Intel X99 chipset as its high-end gaming products, rather than the business-focused C612, but with extra features aimed at the workstation user.

The MSI X99A Workstation therefore supports CPU overclocking, but is also qualified for workstation graphics cards, supports ECC memory (with a compatible CPU), and sports a U.2 connector. It also includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports and enough storage connectivity to satisfy a small cloud services provider, plus a bevy of USB 3.1 ports. But most importantly, it supports the latest Broadwell-E processors, which may not be the latest Skylake architecture from Intel, but are available with a lot more cores. Let’s find out what else it has to offer.



  • Intel Core i7 and Xeon E5-1600 v4 or 2600 v4 processors for LGA2011-3
  • Quad-channel memory up to DDR4 3333MHz
  • Up to 128GB memory
  • ECC memory (Xeon only)
  • 3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (maximum 32 or 24 lanes between them, depending on CPU)
  • 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots
  • 3-Way AMD CrossFire
  • 3-Way NVIDIA SLI
  • 7.1-channel Realtek ALC1150 HD audio
  • 2 x Gbit LAN
  • 10 x SATA 3
  • 1 x M.2 (PCI Express 3.0 x4 and SATA 6Gb/sec)
  • 1 x U.2 (PCI Express 3.0 x4 NVMe)
  • 1 x SATAe (PCI Express 2.0 x2)
  • Back panel: 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps), 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps), 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C (10Gbps), 4 x USB 2.0
  • Via internal connectors: 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps), 4 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo
  • Supports Microsoft Windows 7, 8.1, 10, Server 2012 R2 64-bit, Server 2012 64-bit, Server 2008 R2 64-bit

Price for this motherboard (at the time of writing): £335.10 (inc. VAT)

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