With Skylake chips still selling through retailers for a significantly greater price than Intel may have intended, the HEDT X99 platform quickly becomes an even more appealing option to power users. The six-core Haswell-E 5820K is faster than Skylake's flagship 6700K and is available for around £40 less. The next critical item in a similarly-priced Haswell-E vs Skylake build is a cost-effective X99 motherboard. Enter MSI's X99A SLI Plus.
Serving up the core features that one would expect from an X99 mainboard – 3-card SLI/XFire, 10 SATA ports, and a PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 connector – MSI is aiming for the value section of Intel's HEDT platform motherboard market. Scanning through the checkout at around £170, retailers are able to sell MSI's X99A SLI Plus as one of the lowest cost LGA 2011-3 motherboards available.
But with the added bonus of USB 3.1 to help boost its already-healthy feature set, MSI isn't aiming for bargain-basement performance brackets. So how does MSI manage to hit such an aggressive price point and do those compromises come at the expense of performance?
- Supports Quad Channel DDR4-3333(OC) Memory
- USB 3.1: Delivering speeds up to 10Gb/s, USB 3.1 offers performance twice as fast as a regular USB 3.0 connection.
- Turbo M.2: delivering next generation M.2 Gen3 x4 performance with transfer speeds up to 32 Gb/s
- SATA Express + USB 3.1 + SATA 6Gb/s
- Multi-GPU: NVIDIA Quad SLI & AMD Quad CrossFire Support
- OC Engine: For More Flexible BCLK Adjustments
- USB Steel Power: Super Stable 5V Power & Better Signal Transmission over USB
- Intel® Gigabit LAN: Always connected with Intel® Gigabit LAN networking
- Military Class 4: Top Quality & Stability
- OC Genie 4: Overclock in 1 Second
- Click BIOS 4: Easily Fine-tune Your System