Overall Score 4.5  


The X99 Chipset has been around for a while now and it’s about time we had a look at another offering from Intel’s premium desktop chipset. There are not many PC enthusiast motherboard manufacturers these days, with a few of the major players disappearing over the last decade. MSI have been around from the early days, and have endured a lot of change in the PC builder’s world, and the latest ranges have very strong branding and marketing so you have a good idea what you are getting into.

Do the products stand up to the hype? We have tested MSI products before and really liked them. Their MSI Nvidia GTX 980 Twin Frozr V is one of the most popular graphics cards to date and we like it lots too.

We were subtlety disappointed with the Asus Rampage V Extreme, though we do appreciate its talents, and even use it as one of our test motherboards for various set ups.

MSI have several X99 motherboards and today we have the MSI X99A Gaming 7 Motherboard for review.

Coming in about a third cheaper than the flagship Asus, it’s about where an X99 Chipset motherboard should be at around 200 pounds. Packing the usual X99 features like DDR4, the MSI X99A Gaming 7 Motherboard is sporting MSI’s own flavour of features and not at least including USB 3.1.

 MSI X99A Gaming 7
CPUi7 Processor Extreme Edition for LGA2011-3 Socket
ChipsetIntel® X99 Express Chipset
MemorySupport eight DDR4 DRAM Modules, 128GB Max
Speeds between 2133/3333MHz * (*OC)

Quad channel memory architecture
Supports non-ECC, un-buffered memory
Supports RDIMM 1Rx8 memory module(Operates in non-ECC mode)
Slots 4 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, support up to 3-way mode
1-way mode: x16/ x0/ x0/ x0
2-way mode: x16/ x16/ x0/ x0*, 16/ x8/ x0/ x0**
3-way mode: x16/ x16/ x0/ x8*, x8/ x8/ x8/ x0**

2 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots
* For the CPU that supports 40 PCIe lanes
** For the CPU that supports 28 PCIe lanes
AudioRealtek® ALC1150 Codec
7.1-Channel High Definition Audio
Supports S/PDIF output
LAN1x Killer E2205 Gigabit LAN controller
Multi-GPUSupports 3-Way AMD® CrossFireTM Technology
Supports 3-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology
Storage Interface10 x SATA 6Gb/s ports (2 ports reserved for SATA Express port)
SATA1~6 support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10
SATA7~10 ports only support IDE mode and AHCI mode.

1 x SATA Express port
1 x M.2 port, supports M.2 SATA 6Gb/s module* or M.2 PCIe module up to 32Gb/s speed
M.2 port supports 4.2cm/ 6cm/ 8cm length module
USBIntel X99 Express Chipset
6 x USB 3.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB 2.0 connectors)
6 x USB 2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB 2.0 connectors)

ASMedia ASM1142 Chipset
2 x USB 3.1 ports

4 x USB 3.0 ports
Internal I/O Connectors1 x 24-pin AT x main power connector
1 x 8-pin AT x 12V power connector
10 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x SATA Express connector
1 x M.2 connector
2 x USB 2.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
2 x USB 3.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 3.0 ports)
2 x 4-pin CPU fan connectors
3 x 4-pin system fan connectors
1 x Front panel audio connector
2 x System panel connectors
1 x TPM module connector
1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
1 x Power button
1 x Reset button
1 x OC Genie button
1 x Multi-BIOS switch
1 x Audio power switch
1 x Slow mode booting jumper
Back Panel Connectors1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse combo port
2 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x Clear CMOS button
6 x USB 3.0 ports
2 x USB 3.1 ports
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
1 x Optical S/PDIF OUT connector
5 x OFC audio jacks

 Product Shots

A standard package for a motherboard, though some labels included and the front panel block connectors are welcome.

Package and Bundle
Consumer Experience