Back in 2011, that year’s Computex offered the opportunity to play ‘spot the X79’ motherboard, and there ended up being a significant number of models on display before launch.  Fast forward a number of years and ‘spot the X99’ is in full swing, although there seems to be less opportunity.  Only one motherboard manufacturer had an X99 motherboard on outward display to all press and the public, so when we went through MSI’s booth, we had a look.

Aside from the lack of a rear panel, there is clearly USB 3.0 and a number of SATA 6 Gbps ports to play with.  The spec list to the side mentions DDR4-2666 (OC), showing that 2666 MHz is an overclock frequency for the memory.  There also seems to be a reference to an M.2 x2 support, SATA Express support, and an Intel I218-V Ethernet.

Also at the MSI booth was a motherboard featuring a USB 3.1 controller.  

The Z97-G55 SLI used the ASMedia ASM1142 Controller that requires two PCIe 2.0 lanes, which puts more pressure on PCIe lanes given the new storage technologies implemented on the 9-series that also require PCIe lanes.

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  • p3ngwin1 - Friday, June 6, 2014 - link

    dual channel DDR4 ?

    i thought with DDR4 each DIMM had essentially it's own "channel" ?
  • LtGoonRush - Friday, June 6, 2014 - link

    I had also read that DDR4 moved to a point-to-point bus, but apparently there was a spec change late in the game to enable multiple DIMMs per channel at a cost to clockspeeds. It's rather disappointing that motherboard manufacturers are choosing to implement this outside of servers, I'd rather see more workstation/enthusiast boards with fewer, faster DIMM slots.
  • extide - Friday, June 6, 2014 - link

    You always have the option of not populating all the slots...
  • extide - Friday, June 6, 2014 - link

    This is a quad channel board, with 2 DIMM's per channel. Not sure what the deal is with the whole One Dimm Per CHannel thing... but I guess that's not that case.. It would be good for someone at AT to do a quick writeup on that, though!
  • ddarko - Friday, June 6, 2014 - link

    "Also at the MSI booth was a motherboard featuring a USB 3.1 controller. The Z97-G55 SLI used the ASMedia ASM1142 Controller..."

    Since this is an ASMedia controller, this means the real world speed of USB 3.1 on the board will be about the same as the native Intel USB 3.0 ports. Looking forward to it....
  • Alexvrb - Monday, June 9, 2014 - link

    Hey that's not bad! I was anticipating USB 2.0 speeds.

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