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MSI X99A Pro Carbon Motherboard Sports Front Panel USB 3.1 Type-C Support

MSI announced its new X99A Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard and claimed that it has the "world’s first" front USB 3.1 Type-C header.

The new header can connect just one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port on the front of the case. Four additional USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A front headers are also located on the board. There are also four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port and one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C port on the back of the motherboard. All of the USB 3.1 Gen 2 slots are powered by an ASMedia ASM1142 chipset, whereas a Via VL805 chipset is used to control four of the rear USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports. (That's a mouthful. If you're confused, revisit our USB Type-C / USB 3.1 primer here.)

The motherboard also offers 10 SATA-III (6 Gbps) ports, one SATA Express, one M.2, four PCI-E 3.0 x16 and two PCI-E 2.0 x1 ports. Enthusiasts will be glad to see that there is also a U.2 port available for you to connect ultra fast storage devices, but this port shares PCI-E lanes with the fourth PCI-E 3.0 slot.

MSI opted to go with a relatively high-end Realtek ALC1150 audio codec, which is protected from EMI by a protective shroud. MSI enables its Audio Boost 3 and Nahimic audio technologies to attempt to further boost the clarity and performance of the audio.

To improve the looks of the motherboard, MSI installed several RGB LEDs on the motherboard around the heatsinks and audio chipset. There is also an internal header to connect an additional LED strip. All of the LED lights can be controlled by software on the PC or through a smartphone application.

There is currently no word on pricing or availability.

MSI X99 Gaming Pro Carbon
ChipsetX99
Memory Support 8 x DDR4, Up to 128 GB, Up to 3466 MHz
PCI-E4 x PCI-E 3.0 x162 x PCI-E 2.0 x1
Storage10 x SATA-III1 x SATA Express1 x M.2 Key M1 x U.2
USB1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A (Back Panel)1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C (Back Panel)4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (Back Panel)4 x USB 2.0 Type-A (Back Panel)1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (Front Panel)4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (Front Panel)4 x USB 2.0 Type-A (Front Panel)
AudioRealtek ALC1150
NICIntel i218-V

Update, 5/13/16, 5:15pm PT: Fixed a spec error.

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  • hatib
    can guys someone clarify me that why the heck is there a sata express connection even though we don't have any drives which sata express
    Reply
  • Quixit
    can guys someone clarify me that why the heck is there a sata express connection even though we don't have any drives which sata express

    Motherboard manufacturer's haven't given up on the stillborn, idiotic, standard yet.
    Reply
  • George Phillips
    The names of these exotic and super motherboards sound like super cars or super bikes. It's a hard choice between MSI and ASUS X99 boards for my next build.
    Reply
  • FlayerSlayer
    "There are also four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port and one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C port on the back of the motherboard."

    That's incorrect. There are not two separate Type-C ports on back. The listing for "one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port" should be removed.

    four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports,
    one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, <------ false
    one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port,
    one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C port
    on the back of the motherboard.
    Reply
  • voodoochicken
    can guys someone clarify me that why the heck is there a sata express connection even though we don't have any drives which sata express

    Motherboard manufacturer's haven't given up on the stillborn, idiotic, standard yet.

    Essentially it's already bought and paid for. It's like half a port extra on top of the existing SATA ports. However, I am concerned about the lack of useful USB-C products announced, let alone actually being released.
    Reply
  • DookieDraws
    I don't particularly care about having the RGB lighting, but those are some very nice looking motherboards. I like them!
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    USB 3.1 gen 1 type A, type C USB 3.1 gen 2 type A, type C... omg just stick with one freaking standard already......
    Reply
  • Valantar
    "DDR4 Steel Armor." Wow. That made me laugh. I guess this is due to the absolutely huge amount of motherboards failing due to excessively heavy RAM sticks... *rolls eyes*

    Seriously, though. I get "gaming" gimmicks, overclocking gimmicks, even visual gimmicks like RGB lighting. But steel reinforced RAM slots? I guess the on board capacitors will get the "steel reinforced" treatment next, given that actual risk of failure due to mechanical stress apparently isn't a factor in this at all.
    Reply
  • scolaner
    USB 3.1 gen 1 type A, type C USB 3.1 gen 2 type A, type C... omg just stick with one freaking standard already......

    Just a transition time in the industry, my friend. In time, you'll see Type-A ports disappear...

    Although the variation in *what* can go over Type-C is...super confusing.
    Reply
  • Nuckles_56
    The board actually looks quite good until the LEDs are turned on...
    Reply