MSI X99S SLI Plus Motherboard Review

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dor_nob

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I think "mainstream" is something difficult to define. There are a lot of variables to consider when selecting a motherboard for a build (a big one being price), and the selection is made based on the needs of the individual who the build is being done for. "Mainstream" for a gamer or video editor will be different than "mainstream" for a casual internet browser. I think there is no single mainstream part(s).
 

mapesdhs

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"... The -5820K's frequency is 25% slower and it has 12 of its PCIe 3.0 lanes disabled. ..."

This notion of selling crippled parts is extremely annoying. It would bother me less if the CPU was designed from the ground-up to be a 28-lane part, hence less transistors, less heat & power usage, more oc headroom, etc. But selling something that's deliberately hobbled in this way is a step backwards IMO. It also makes the 4820K a rather peculiar chip, since that does have 40 lanes. There's clearly no reason for the 5820K to be restricted, it's just a lockout, most likely done with dies that have faults in the relevant silicon. Tell ya what, let's market cars with one broken wheel as 3-wheelers, because that's a good idea.

I'll be benching a 4820K soon with some 980s, anyone care to make predictions on how it'll compare to a 5820K for typical results? (3DMark11/13, etc.)

IMO the entire 5K lineup is wrong, and it's only the way it is because there's no competition. The 5820K should be a 6-core with full lanes (40, whatever), the 5930K should be 8 core with the same no. of lanes, the 5960X should be 8 or 10 core at a higher clock with a lot more lanes (64, 80, etc.), enough for full 4-way x16 with plenty to spare for M.2, priced accordingly high to make it attractive to those happy to pay oodles for something really groundbreaking, rather than the lame 3GHz lapdog we have atm which IMO is not remotely the woohaa 8-core I was hoping for.

Remember, the 3930K was an 8-core chip with 2 cores disabled, so we know Intel can easily produce affordable 8-core dies. The XEON line shows there are no technical hurdles to this (the specs of the 2687W v3 and 2697 v3 suggest the 5960X could easily have been made to run at 3.6+ base clock, they use the same lithography). Instead, it's now 2 generations past when we could have had a mid-range consumer 8-core, but we don't because Intel still doesn't need to make one.

I hope AMD can get back into the game if for no other reason than to force Intel to stop messing around and finally push the tech forward in the manner we all know it's perfectly capable of doing. Enough with the tech crippling already!

Ian.

PS. Likewise, I'm tired of the mainstream chipset still only havng 16 lanes (ie. Z97 atm), resulting in all sorts of faffing around with SLI/CF tradeoffs vs. M.2/etc. usage. It's the mainstream chipset which needs to be more like 28 lanes by now, not the bottom of the high end.



 

vertexx

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Crash - for 2-way SLI, can you use slots 1 and 3 if you want the spacing for better cooling? Would that be running x8/x8? I think the documentation recommends using slots 1 and 2 for dual, which has held me back from buying this board.
 

tical2399

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Crash - for 2-way SLI, can you use slots 1 and 3 if you want the spacing for better cooling? Would that be running x8/x8? I think the documentation recommends using slots 1 and 2 for dual, which has held me back from buying this board.
Yea cause pcie 3.0 8x is really going to hurt you performance. Sarcasm aside. There is not a card in existence that going to be bottlenecked by pcie 3.0 8x. Titan x included.
 

danlw

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Even with the tight spacing in the bottom two slots, I suppose you could run 4 cards if they had water blocks on them.
 

Crashman

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Yes, I'm trying to find these wherever I can and fix them before they get published. One chart gets copied to the same test on another spreadsheet but doesn't always get the hardware updated in the title.
 

baazing

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Crash - for 2-way SLI, can you use slots 1 and 3 if you want the spacing for better cooling? Would that be running x8/x8? I think the documentation recommends using slots 1 and 2 for dual, which has held me back from buying this board.
I can verify that this will work. I have this mobo with a 5820k and 2 780 ti's with nzxt kraken g10 mounted coolers which forced me to place the second card in the 3rd pcie x16 slot, as they're 3 slot coolers. I verified that both cards get pcie 3.0 x8 bandwidth through the utility in gpuz.
 

Crashman

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It's pretty crazy, hence the craziness of giving it the top award :)
 

vertexx

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Great - thanks. So the next X99 board that allows for 3xSLI plus M.2 x4 with a 5820K is the ASRock X99 Formula at $260 or the Professional at $266 after rebates.

I've been going back and forth between this MSI X99 SLI and the ASRock X99 Formula. The MSI gives me over $100 back for graphics or a bigger SSD.

For the extra $100, the X99 Professional would give perhaps a slightly better overclock (~200MHz if I'm lucky?), dual M.2, dual LAN, probably a slightly better sound implementation, and the ability to go 4xSLI if I ever upgrade from the 5820K (not likely).
 

roastmaster

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MSI really stepped up their game and should be consider one of the best of the best MB maker out there. I want to see more GPU from MSI as their video card is also awesome!
 

tical2399

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I bought this board in November before I saw any reviews based on the full speed m.2 and 8 slots. Glad to see it get big props. If only the board was black and blue it'd be perfect.
 

farlp

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At work we bought a significant number of these board to act as headless Linux servers - it backfired to the extreme. From PXE problems to the absolute inability to boot without a GPU, combined with abysmal tech support, we have lost money by not going immediately with a different brand/model.
But, it might be the answer for the more pragmatical windows/mainstream users. Good luck!
 

Shiftnplay

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The new X99A SLI PLUS has usb 3.1. My X99s SLI PLUS hasn't.
My system took 2 mins in the bios to up the 5820k cpu from 3.30GHz to 4.40GHz stable and air cooled.
 

Shiftnplay

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No complaints at all. When going into the Bios to adjust the multiplier and core voltage, I expected it to take a lot longer and have problems booting, but it was straight forward and I'm really pleased with it.
 

LostAlone

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You either invest or not. Considering I would not buy a £65 H97 board off those guys cos I cant be bothered rebuilding a 4460/270x build 2 months/ 2 years down the line or messing about setting it up I deffo wouldnt waste time and effort with their stuff on a big socket build..
Save (what %age?) on a 2 grand pc? Its not for me.
You can buy a Skoda vehicle; it will have a VW engine, VW gearbox, VW brakes and differential etc,but it was still built on the cheap by a workforce with no edjumacation in a barn using plastic seat covers and goat spit adhesive.
Some things its better to just pay for.
So I take it you've had a bad experience with MSI? Do you want to explain what happened instead of just shouting your mouth off?
 

mapesdhs

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Have to say, when people ask, I normally recommend ASUS or Asrock. The latter inparticular have really good support, at one point even sending me custom BIOS releases to help with RAID card issues on P55 builds.

Ian.

 

vertexx

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At first, I was happy to see this review, but now the price of this board has jumped by $30-40 since. It was sitting around $190-200. Now it's at $230. Thanks Crash.....
 

tical2399

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I kinda figured that would happen. When it first came out it was like $220 or something like that. Then I saw it for a long time in that $180 range. As soon as I saw this positive review I knew that was a done deal.
 
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