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Three-Way X99 LGA 2011-v3 ATX Motherboard Shootout

MSI X99S Gaming 7 Firmware

Our CPU reached its approximate 4444 MHz 1.30 V limit at an actual 4446 MHz on the X99X Gaming 7, thanks to a slight rounding difference on the 101 MHz base clock setting.  

The X99S Gaming 7’s 1.30 V CPU core setting was detected as such by CPU-Z, and the full-load temperatures produced were very close to that of the other two contenders in today’s comparison.

The X99S Gaming 7 tried to set our DDR4-3000 RAM using the CPU’s 1.25x strap to run 125 MHz with a 24x multiplier. Failing that, we reduced our BCLK to 124 MHz at DDR4-2976.

Everything about the DRAM is adjustable per-channel, including the voltage level. Fortunately, selecting “Link” as the main menu’s “DRAM Timing Mode” allows us to set identical timings for both channels, without manually entering those values twice.

Like some of its competitors, MSI allows custom fan slopes to be configured in firmware. Unlike other competitively-matched features, such as overclocking profile registers, MSI does its fan control a little more stylishly.

MSI even adds “Board Explorer” to show the detected location of each connected device. A mouse-enabled interface, hovering over the highlighted areas reveals more information about devices attached there. This is great for builders who can’t figure out whether or not a component is being detected.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • dgingeri
    "LGA 2111-v3"??

    Did something change?
    Reply
  • west7
    In the 3D gaming page it should been i7-5760x not i7-4790 and fix the LGA 2111-v3 typo and why there in no SLI/crossfire test?!
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    12 Phases Six Phases Eight Phases what!
    Reply
  • Daniel Ladishew
    Can't wait for them to review some of the other manufacturer's products in the X99 category. The ASUS board especially.
    Reply
  • chiefpiggy
    Noob question: would my socket 1150 i5 4670k work with one of these motherboards or do I need one of the Haswell-E processors?
    Reply
  • sportfreak23
    14199415 said:
    Can't wait for them to review some of the other manufacturer's products in the X99 category. The ASUS board especially.

    +1
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    14199118 said:
    "LGA 2111-v3"??

    Did something change?
    LGA 2011 uses DDR3 while LGA2011-3 uses DDR4 so the sockets are different to prevent people from putting the wrong CPU in the wrong motherboard.

    I think there were other changes but this is the big obvious one.
    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    it should be mentioned (and maybe it was, just not on the first page) that you only get the 40 pci e lanes if you purchase the two higher tiered haswell-E chips. The lowest end model does not support 40 lanes, I think it supports 28.
    Reply
  • dgingeri
    I was commenting on the typo of "2111" vs "2011".
    Reply
  • vincevdc
    The MB grid on page one shows that the MSI X99S Gaming 7 mb has an Intel Z97 Express chipset. This is a typo...
    Reply