Skip to main content

MSI Announces First RGB-Lit Motherboard, 'X99A Godlike Gaming'

Back at Computex, we saw MSI show off its X99A Godlike Gaming motherboard. The board features a high-end feature set on the X99 platform, and comes with one particularly remarkable feature: RGB lighting.

Starting with the basics, the E-ATX board has an LGA2011-3 socket that's wired to eight DDR4 memory slots as well as five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. Storage connectivity is handled by ten SATA3 (6 Gb/s) ports, two of which are reserved for a SATA Express connector, and there is one Turbo M.2 slot capable of transfer speeds up to 32 Gb/s.

MSI really wanted to up the ante on this board. Therefore, it comes with heaps of non-standard features, including advanced Killer networking, Audio Boost 3 Pro technology, USB 3.1, a "Godlike design with heavy plated armor," Military Class 4 components, dedicated gaming device ports, and heaps of extra software to get the best out of the board.

The styling of the board is simple: a black PCB design with armor over many parts of the motherboard, which is themed in red and black. Underneath several of these elements are LEDs, which the user can control through MSI's software or mobile app with various different effects. There are 2000 colors to choose from, and a handful of different effects ranging from simple ones such as plain "on" and breathing, to more complicated effects such as rainbows, waves and something that looks like Tetris. You can play with the preset options on MSI's product page. MSI calls the RGB lighting feature "Mystic Light."

Networking on the MSI X99A Godlike Gaming is handled by two Killer E2200 networking adapters and a Killer Wireless AC 1535 radio, which together form the Killer Doubeshot-X3 Pro networking suite. All these connections can be used in tandem, with different tasks being routed over different radios for a total bandwidth of up to 2867 Mb/s. Do note, this isn't the so-called aggregate teaming you'll see on some other motherboards – here, in the Killer software, you'll have to specify which traffic goes over which networking adapter.

The Audio Boost 3 Pro kit is powered by the Nahimic Sound Technology, which is backed by an ESS ES9018K2M DAC, two headphone amplifiers, gold-plated audio jacks, and a switch to map the headphone amps to the front output of the case or to the dedicated 6.3 mm headphone jack, and it is all placed on an isolated part of the PCB to minimize interference.

Rear I/O connectivity is lavishly handled by four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 port, a USB 3.1 port, dual gigabit Ethernet Ports, connectors for the wireless radio, HD audio jacks, optical S/PDIF out, and a single 6.3 mm large gold-plated stereo headphone jack. To top it off, MSI also included a USB Type-C port (with USB 3.1) on the rear I/O, and there are two onboard headers for four USB 3.1 ports as front I/O connectivity.

MSI did not reveal pricing for the board, although it wouldn't surprise us if it ends up costing near or over $500.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • SirDrannik
    "MSI Announces First RGB-Lit Keyboard, 'X99 Godlike Gaming'".

    Keyboard? Typo there, I believe.
    Reply
  • Tiffany Monyata
    "MSI Announces First RGB-Lit Keyboard, 'X99 Godlike Gaming'".

    Keyboard? Typo there, I believe.

    Major typo :P
    Reply
  • N.Broekhuijsen
    Major Typo Fixed. :)
    Reply
  • Alec Mowat
    Major Typo Fixed. :)

    I still see Keyboard.
    Reply
  • tom10167
    you'd think they'd have a picture you know, of the lighting
    Reply
  • SirDrannik
    you'd think they'd have a picture you know, of the lighting


    It sorta does shows the lighting. The first picture, it looks like red lightning. Not sure. The Image is tiny when I click on it
    Reply
  • biggestinsect
    Nice enough looking board. Not sure I would buy something calling itself Godlike - a little presumptuous. OK with the pointless RGB lighting, always liked blinking lights that serve little to no purpose. Think MSI should have used a more neutral than red secondary color to make the RGB more effective. No matter what color the LEDs it will be red.
    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Major Typo Fixed. :)

    I still see Keyboard.

    Same. It probably hasn't migrated to their cache servers yet.
    Reply
  • scolaner
    Yyyyyikes. Sorry gang. The hamster wheel spun off track. Fixed.
    Reply
  • N.Broekhuijsen
    Correction: Only Private Typo was disciplined. Major Typo now also corrected.
    Reply