In the wake of Computex, let’s see what MSI has in store for us for the rest of 2016.
Most of the big players used Computex to launch or at least talk about new kit. The last range of motherboards and graphics cards from MSI was extensive so we were keen to understand that to expect for the remainder of 2016.
The key boards at the top end are the new models for the X99 Titanium and Carbon ranges – these are high-end, enthusiast level motherboards representing the ultimate in performance, connectivity and of course, aesthetics. Sporting U.2 and M.2 storage capability, USB 3.1 with Type C, E-SATA, more overlocking features and some interesting visual features, the X99A XPOWER Gaming Titanium has it all. The other board that “looks the goods” is the Z170A MPOWER Gaming Titanium, providing the same high end experience as the X99 version but for the Z170 chipset at a more affordable platform price.
The Carbon range is well represented in the refresh with RGB LEDs present on the X99A Godlike Gaming Carbon, X99A Gaming Pro Carbon and the Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon motherboards. These are designed to fit in with any themed build gamers might be planning with the mystic light effect boasting 17 effects and over 16 million colour possibilities.
It’s pleasing to see front USB 3.1 Type C, ready for VR headsets and new technology but with the convenience of front panel access. The down side is that now we will all have to buy new cases that have the new connectivity on them – first world problems, right?
Build quality seems to have been kicked up a notch in the latest refresh with the Steel armour around the PCIE slots. We’ve seen other manufacturers using this as well and despite never having an issue with a PCIE slot splitting, we’d rather have the added structural integrity than not.
The black and white Krait boards are still around, including the Krait Gaming 3X which is the 30th Anniversary model but another very interesting board is the all-white B150M Mortar Arctic Edition – possibly the most intriguing of the lot as far as we’re concerned. This board has a unique white appearance, is likely to be at a very competitive price point and could mean that those on a budget could still have an awesome looking rig if they are happy with the compromises that the B150 chipset. The essentials are all there and despite the lack of overclocking, the B150M Mortar Arctic Edition paired with a cheaper non-K CPU could mean that gamers have a little more cash to go all out on a high end graphics card. The board is shown below with M.2 connectivity, PCIE armour and a nice looking colour scheme.
We can’t leave out AMD either, MSI also has a new 970 chipset model, The 970A Gaming Pro Carbon. Since the socket is old, and many people have AM3 CPU’s, MSI released a model with an up to date feature set including gen.2 USB 3.1 Type A and C, good quality Intel lan, improved audio and the Mystic Light function.
We’re really keen to see some local pricing on the motherboard range in particular but the range itself really looks promising.
MSI’s graphics card range is also growing and we are seeing more variants of the high end cards than in the past. The Twin Frozr cooler is now up to it’s 6th revision boasting new TORX 2.0 fans with double bearings, 8mm heatpipes and RGB lighting. The fans will stop at low/idle workload to give the lucky owner silent running. The Twin Frozr VI cooler is found on the “Gaming X” series of cards from MSI.
We also see the hybrid cooled MSI Sea Hawk GTX 1080 edition with the Corsair Hydro series cooler brandishing a 120mm radiator.
The Armour Edition GTX1080 also has a familiar look to the previous NVIDIA cards with black and white theme and twin fans. At idle or low workload, the fans will actually stop for silent running.
The future looks impressive for the PC gaming market with some really strong products about to hit the shelves. There is something for everyone at all price and performance points and it is also really good to see that you can get a nice looking board in the budget range without sacrificing too many bells and whistles.
We are waiting to see what the GTX1070 and Radeon RX480 designs have to offer but expect it to be similar to the GTX1080 line-up. We can only hope.