After launching a set of eight new FM2+ motherboards earlier this week, MSI once again provided a new hope for AMD enthusiasts with the debut of the MSI AMD 990FXA GAMING motherboard, featuring USB 3.1. It's also the "world's first" AMD motherboard with NVMe support.
The new MSI AMD 990FXA GAMING motherboard has the usual assortment of enthusiast-level features you would expect from MSI's GAMING series, such as Crossfire and SLI support, plentiful I/O and expansion options, Audio Boost 2, and Killer LAN. In addition, the new AM3+ socket board sports two USB 3.1 Type-A ports in the rear, and it is the first AMD chipset motherboard to support NVMe, finally introducing next gen features to AMD's fan base.
The MSI 990FXA GAMING AMD motherboard is not the first MSI product to offer USB 3.1 and NVMe support. Several of the company's Intel motherboards were recently refreshed to include the coveted USB 3.1 ports, and a simple BIOS update has brought NVMe compatibility to all of MSI's Intel 9 Series motherboard offerings. USB 3.1 debuted on MSI AMD FX processor platforms back in March, and until now, NVMe compatibility was never a part of AMD's feature set.
Disappointingly missing from the new 990FXA GAMING motherboard is an M.2 slot of any kind, making AMD's plunge into new technologies seem more like a dipping of the toe in some areas. While the company's recently leaked R9 380 has the enthusiast gaming community salivating at AMD's potentially throne-claiming new flagship graphics card, the 990FXA leaves us wanting more from the value-oriented offerings and feature sets of AMD motherboards.
Perhaps a new generation of FX processors is on the horizon? Rumors have been stirring for months that AMD would be releasing a new x86 micro-architecture in late 2015, but until then, the MSI 990FXA GAMING motherboard finally brings Team Red to the table when value-oriented gamers are looking for some "future-proof" features in their next system purchase with USB 3.1 and the addition of NVMe compatibility.
We await information on pricing and availability.