MSI fired off its X299 salvo at Computex 2017, which includes a slew of new boards in the Enthusiast, Performance and Gaming series. The X299 Basin Falls chipset brings the first consumer-centric chipset for Intel's new Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X chips, which come bearing a higher TDP range that tops out at 165W for the 18-core/36-thread Core i9-7980XE. It's easy to imagine we could see up to 250W, or more, when overclocking, so stable power delivery to the LGA2066 socket is a must. Let's see what MSI brings to the table.
X299 XPower Gaming AC
The XPower Gaming AC features the DrMOS 12+1+1 phase design and an 8+4 pin connection. Eight DDR4 slots (Quad-Channel DDR4-4266+) flank the LGA2066 socket, and you can sprinkle up to 16.8 million colors across the board through SMI's Mystic Lights setup. Dual Intel LAN makes an appearance, along with three M.2 slots and a Turbo U.2 port. One of the M.2 slots features a nice Gullwing cover/heatsink, while the other two have standard heatsinks. For those with serious storage performance on their mind, we also see the novel M.2 Xpander-Z to the right of the board. This PCIe riser card houses two additional M.2 SSDs. The Xpower Gaming AC also offers ten SATA 6Gb/s ports for more mundane storage tasks.
The Tomahawk comes with MSI's M.2 Shield FROZR, which is fancy speak for an M.2 SSD heatsink. The system also features U.2 SSD connectivity and a front USB Type-C connector. Audio Boost 4 with Nahmic 2 provides the audio. MSI also offers a front USB TYpe-C connector. MSI also provides VR Boost, which is designed to provide smooth performance in VR, AR and MR. Or, as we like to call it, XR.
X299 SLI PLUS
The SLI PLUS comes with dual LAN with 15KV protection for the networking, thus shielding it from pesky lighting strikes and static electricity. The board also has two M.2 slots along with a U.2 port that has limited utility, there just simply aren't any new U.2 SSDs available. The board supports USB 3.1 Gen2 along with the Mystic Light setup.
X299 Gaming M7 ACK
The X299 Gaming M7 ACK features a 10+1+1 phase DigitALL VRM power design and MSI's Turbo socket. It also features two Killer E2500 NICs and a Killer 1535 Wi-Fi adapter. You can also use Killer's Double Shot PRO feature for link aggregation, which combines the two gigabit Ethernet ports into one wide pipe.
X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
The Gaming Pro Carbon AC features interchangeable heatsink covers, seen to the right of the placard, that allow you to customize the board to your preference. MSI's X-Mounting accessories also allow for 3D printing support and modding, an interesting touch, and the Mystic Light RGB LEDs completes the modding-inspired features. The board also features Game boost, which automatically overclocks the system.
Power delivery comes courtesy of MSI's ten-phase DigitALL design with Titanium Chokes 2. Two SSD heatsinks of varying lengths, dubbed M.2 Shield v2's in MSI lingo, cover the two M.2 ports. A single U.2 connector awaits those rare 2.5" consumer SSDs.
MSI hasn't revealed pricing or availability.