While many of our readers continue to ask questions about Intel's sixth-generation platform, MSI was trying to steal the show by flaunting its RGB LED X99A Godlike Gaming motherboard at the front of the booth.
A phone app controls the "Godlike Gaming's" lighting, while aluminum frames add rigidity to PCIe x16 slots. We'll let you guess which of these two features make the board a better-functioning product, and which simply adds flair.
|Z170A-G45-Gaming||B150M Pro-VD||Z170A-G43||B150M Pro-VDH||Z170A PC Mate|
|Form Factor||ATX||Micro ATX||ATX||Micro ATX||ATX|
|Expansion Slots||3x x16, 4x x1||1x x16, 2x x1||2x x16*, 2x x1, 3x PCI||2x x16*, 1x x1||2x x16*, 2x x1, 3x PCI|
|Memory Slots||4x DDR4||2x DDR3L||4x DDR4||2x DDR3||4x DDR4|
|Storage||1x 32 Gb/s 6x 6 Gb/s (2 for SATA-E)||6x 6 Gb/s (2 for SATA-E)||6x 6 Gb/s (2 for SATA-E)||6x 6 Gb/s (2 for SATA-E)||1x 32 Gb/s 6x 6 Gb/s (2 for SATA-E)|
|Rear USB||4x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0||2x USB 3.1, 4x 3.0, 2x USB 2.0||4x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0||6x USB 3.0|
|Video||DVI, VGA||DVI, VGA, HDMI||DVI, VGA||DVI, VGA, DisplayPort|
|Audio||3 Analog||5 Analog, 1 Optical||3 Analog||5 Analog, 1 Optical|
|Network||2x Gig-E, 1x 867 Mbit Wi-Fi||1x Gig-E||1x Gig-E||1x Gig-E||1x Gig-E|
|*unspecified lane count|
The design of its other boards helped us to confirm the extra four PCIe 3.0 lanes of the Skylake integrated PCIe controller. While the enthusiast-grade Z170A-G45 Gaming shows PCI-Express switches for setting SLI-enabling x8-x8 mode, MSI only confirmed CrossFire capability for lower-priced models. Unlike SLI, AMD CrossFire can run on x4 slots.