A value push for the mainstream gaming market.
MSI’s pushed Kaveri gaming in a big way for its CES 2014 motherboard lineup, with several products slated to be ready for AMD’s CPU launch.
MSI believes that the nearly-exclusive focus by competitors on reduced form factors underestimates the Kaveri-core’s potential market, and extends its game-centric products across a full range of form factors. The A88X-G45 Gaming tops its launch priorities list with support for dual graphics cards, a Killer Gaming Gig-E controller, and a full ATX layout.
Anyone looking to put a pair of cards into a smaller case can instead consider its A88XM-E45. All four memory slots remain, but the Killer NIC is replaced with a Realtek 8111G. Extra space between graphics slots should boost cooling, though most Micro-ATX cases will limit the second graphics card to a single-slot GPU cooler.
Builders who don’t actually need two graphics cards can achieve further space savings in the A88XI-AC. The DIMM slots are also reduced to two however, due to the form factor’s small size. Also unusual is MSI’s use of an Intel wireless controller on an AMD-based motherboard.
Another surprise tucked back into the corner of MSI’s display is its new J1800I, sporting Intel’s Bay Trail J1800 CPU onboard. Though it looks like an IPC or kiosk unit, MSI further claims this 10W platform has the punch to power many media center builds.