MSI joins the race with a new Z87 Haswell motherboard.
Having already revealed its Z77 motherboards, MSI unveiled their prototype Haswell Z87 Chipset motherboard at CeBIT 2013. Though this prototype socket LGA1150 motherboard looks like something from 20 years with its defaced chips, plain heat sinks and mustard yellow PCB, it actually includes most of the features we've come to expect from a modern motherboard.
Starting with the I/O Panel, the board features six USB 3.0 ports with two more USB 2.0 ports below the PS/2 ports. Also included are Gigabit ethernet, HD audio, two HDMI jacks, one DisplayPort connector, Optical TOSLINK and a Clear-CMOS button.
Moving to the middle we can see four DDR3 memory slots which should offer support for up to 64 GB of memory, three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, four PCIe 2.0 x1 slots and 2 USB 3.0 headers. The board also features eight SATA 6 GB/s connectors, but doesn't seem to offer any provisions to connect eSata or mSata drives. Interestingly, there is a blue 7 pin connector next to the standard 24 pin ATX power connector which serves a still unknown purpose.
The CPU socket is surrounded by an impressive 16-phase VRM design, and even features two 8-pin EPS connectors which indicates that the board could support very power hungry CPUs. This being said, we can't think of any current or upcoming chips that would require this amount of power and the general trend has been towards improved CPU lithography and efficiency.