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MSI's Four New Motherboards Includes Gold PCB Model

At CES, MSI announced four new motherboards divided between the Skylake LGA 1151 and the Haswell-E LGA 2011-3 sockets.

Three of these motherboards are targeted at enthusiasts and share many features including support for USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) connections, M.2 ports and steel plated PCI-E slots. These boards also feature support for Audio Boost 3 and Nahimic Audio Enhancer 2, which can simulate surround sound audio from a 2D source.

I had a chance to try Nahimic Audio Enhancer 2 while watching recorded game footage of Battlefield, but I had mixed feelings about the software. The game used an arrow to point in the direction that sounds were coming from, and although the audio did sound more dynamic as if it was all around me, the arrow always seemed to be pointed in the wrong direction. Several times I thought the audio sounded like it was behind me, but the arrow pointed forward.

It is hard to say if the audio sounded like it was coming from the wrong direction because of a problem with the Nahimic Audio Enhancer 2, a problem with the headset, or if the arrow point in the direction of the noise was simply off.

The X99A Godlike Gaming Carbon and one of the Skylake Z170 motherboards, the Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon, also feature MSI’s Mystic Light technology that allows you to customize the color coming from the motherboard’s LED lights.

The lower-end motherboard in the group is the MSI B150M Gaming 3X, which is targeted at gamers but uses a lower-end B150 chipset and doesn’t possess an M.2 port or a third-party controller chip for USB 3.1 Gen 2. This board still stands out, however, because MSI opted to make the PCB a gold color, which is easily noticeable in the ocean of motherboards with black PCBs.

MSI CES 2016 Motherboards
ModelB150 Gaming 3XZ170A Krait Gaming 3XZ170A Gaming Pro CarbonX99A Godlike Gaming Carbon
ChipsetB150Z170Z170X99
Memory Support2 x DDR4-2133 MHz4 x DDR4-3600 MHz4 x DDR4-3600 MHz8 x DDR4-3400 MHz
SATA6 SATA-III6 x SATA-III (Two Reserved For SATA-Express)6 x SATA-III (Two Reserved For SATA-Express)10 x SATA-III (Two Reserved For SATA-Express)
M.2No1 x M.2 Key M1 x M.2 Key M1 x M.2 Key M
USB6 x USB 3.1 Gen 14 x USB 2.02 x USB 3.1 Gen 26 x USB 3.1 Gen 18 x USB 2.02 x USB 3.1 Gen 26 x USB 3.1 Gen 18 x USB 2.02 x USB 3.1 Gen 28 x USB 3.1 Gen 16 x USB 2.0
Nahimic Audio Enhancer 2NoYesYesYes

There is currently no word on pricing or availability for these motherboards.

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  • Gam3r01
    That gold motherboard looks... Old.
    I have an old board that ran an Athlon X64 in my room (for no real reason) in storage, looks pretty similar at first glance. Yellow PCB, not much on the board, just as ugly.
    Reply
  • hdmark
    That gold motherboard looks... Old.
    I have an old board that ran an Athlon X64 in my room (for no real reason) in storage, looks pretty similar at first glance. Yellow PCB, not much on the board, just as ugly.

    Im kinda with you but I think with the right setup... the mobo could look pretty good. not sure what colors... but maybe a white and gold look? could be interesting
    Reply
  • toddybody
    Definitely agree that the gold boards look "old", but man alive I love it :)

    How great would one of those be with a flat almond colored (i.e, Gateway circa 97') CASELABS enclosure. MMmmmmmHHmmmmm
    Reply
  • Gam3r01
    Definitely agree that the gold boards look "old", but man alive I love it :)

    How great would one of those be with a flat almond colored (i.e, Gateway circa 97') CASELABS enclosure. MMmmmmmHHmmmmm
    I wasnt around for said era of computers, so I dont share the same ideals haha.
    I do think companies should try to get away from black boards. My board is brown, but still they are bland.
    I feel like its the wrong kind of gold color thats throwing me off... Needs to be more... well gold, shiny, stuff like that.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    With these "new" motherboards, I thought they would move away from SATA Express and add some U.2 ports. I'm tied of these right-angle ports that most mfgs are choosing to use for both SATA/SATA Express. It's a pain when you have to open up a case again because the non-locking cable came off slightly when you were fixing another cable.

    I think it's also a bit of a waste that they add these decorative covers to components. It reminds me of the newer car engines with covers added. Unless it's tied to a heatsink, it really doesn't add anything of value; just makes more junk to recycle later on.
    Reply
  • joex444
    USB2.1 Gen 1... I think you mean USB3.1 Gen 1 aka USB3.0.
    Reply
  • dudmont
    Toddy, I'm so with you. I smiled when I saw it. I'm not a fan of the LEDs and all the colors of new stuff. Pardon how this comes out, but it's like they let a girl into the factory to make em all look "pretty".
    I'm in my 30s but I now feel old.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    I do sort of like it. It looks very natural.
    Reply
  • Wisecracker
    Didn't Abit make puke-yellow motherboards back in the 'Slot1' days?

    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    I forgot to mention the gold board is a prototype, and MSI said one of the changes they plan to make before it goes into production is to change the red RAM and PCI-E slots with something more appealing.

    I'm honestly glad they are trying something, I'm tired of every motherboard being black and red.
    Reply