News Categories

The MSI X299 XPower Gaming AC motherboard offers top-of-the-line performance in a stealthy black package

By Koh Wanzi - on 11 Jul 2017, 5:52pm

The MSI X299 XPower Gaming AC motherboard offers top-of-the-line performance in a stealthy black package

Image Source: MSI

MSI has formally announced the X299 XPower Gaming AC, its flagship Intel X299 motherboard designed for enthusiasts and overclockers. We first got a peek at the board at Computex, but it looks like MSI is now getting ready to roll the board out. 

It also seems like MSI has made some minor aesthetic tweaks since then, replacing the paler I/O cover and heatsinks with darker-colored components. The now black-clad board offers a stealthy, understated look that should blend in with most builds, but the Mystic Light LEDs add an extra bit of flair. There are lights built into the I/O cover and PCH heatsink, and you’ll get to choose from up to 17 different lighting effects.

In addition, the board supports MSI’s new X-Mounting system, which we first saw back at Computex. You’ll be able to 3D-print accessories such as an M.2 fan stand, GPU holder to further modify or personalize the board. MSI is making its own templates available, but you can opt to design your own as well.

However, you’ll have to dig deeper for the good stuff, which includes a 14-phase power design, an external clock generator for higher and more stable overclocks, and titanium chokes that MSI says enable better efficiency.

Another new feature is an updated version of MSI’s M.2 Shield, which MSI introduced on its Intel Z270 boards to help keep those small M.2 drives cool. Dubbed M.2 Shield FROZR, the new implementation connects a heatsink that sits on top of the M.2 SSD to the PCH heatsink, so there’s a wider area for heat dissipation.

MSI X299 XPower Gaming AC

The first iteration of the M.2 Shield didn’t exactly work that well, and some sites even noted increased temperatures, so the updated design will hopefully bring some improvements.

MSI has thrown the kitchen sink at its latest flagship, and the X299 XPower Gaming AC packs plenty of features and then some.

It comes with 10 SATA 6Gbps ports, three M.2 sockets, and even a single U.2 connector. On the networking front, you’ll get onboard 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi and dual Intel Gigabit LAN controllers.

An M.2 Xpander-Z PCIe add-on card is bundled with the board. This provides two further M.2 sockets, for a total of five.

Furthermore, up to 4-way NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFire is supported if you use a 44-lane CPU like the new Intel Core i9-7900X (3.3GHz, 13.75MB L3 cache).

Join HWZ's Telegram channel here and catch all the latest tech news!
Our articles may contain affiliate links. If you buy through these links, we may earn a small commission.