MSI Teases Black And White Z170 Krait Before Skylake Launch

MSI's Krait branded motherboards are based on a simple design: a mid-tier board with a certain chipset, with a black and white design. This cool color scheme is their main selling point, and the Z170 Krait that MSI is teasing on its Facebook pages is no exception.

MSI didn't reveal any official specifications, but from the image alone we can already tell a good bit about the board. It is an ATX motherboard with four memory slots, three PCI-Express x16 slots (one of which is clearly wired to only eight lanes, three PCI-Express x1 slots), and an old-school PCI slot. Additionally, there are six SATA 6 Gb/s slots, two of which are reserved for a SATA-Express connector that should be good for 16 Gb/s.

The board has MSI's Audio Boost 3.0 chip aboard, which sits on a separate part of the board to minimize interference, and it has a clear white line acting as a trace path to show the separation.

Additionally, below the left VRM heatsink is a chip with red text on it. We can't read it clearly, but it appears to be a Killer networking adapter. However, Krait motherboards haven't typically come with Killer networking adapters, so that would come as a bit of a surprise.

Topping it off, but what's become somewhat of an expectation on today's boards, is an M.2 slot, which clearly shows support for multiple card lengths.

Of course, the 100-series boards from Intel haven't launched yet, and we can't talk about Intel's side of the feature set, either. Exact specifications of the board remain unknown, too, so all of the above is simply based on what we can see from the image MSI provided.

While we wait for the launch, chances are there will be a couple more pre-launch reveals or teasers, so sit tight and enjoy the show.

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Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • bochica
    The two red texts are "Audio Boost" and "Gaming LAN." Tech Power Up is saying a Killer E2205 is equipped.
  • Quixit
    It's pretty idiotic to go through all the trouble of building a white and black board just to ruin it with two chips labelled in red. If I bought this, I'd try and scrape that text off, failing that I'd paint over it.
  • danlw
    Since you say you can't talk about the Intel side yet, can you at least tell us when the NDA expires, i.e. when we can expect the reviews to go public? Or are NDA expiration dates also taboo per the NDA?
  • JackNaylorPE
    MSI's Z97 Gaming series kicked some serious tail outperforming many of the competition's boards costing as much as $175 more. The Krait however was a big disappointment .... had several black / white builds on hold for users but after seeing the performance results, they went another way. Hopefully this one doesn't suffer this shortcoming