18 Sep, 2017   Rakesh Sharma    Reviews . MSI X299 SLI Plus Review

With the new generations of processors showing up from Intel and AMD in the present market almost all motherboard manufactures and their marketing are going with “Gaming” or “Gamer” or likewise motherboard’s nomenclature with RGB lighting all over the motherboard, supposedly targeting the fast growing gaming community.

But still there are few new motherboards created which are more toward practice use than fancy showbiz. So today we are reviewing one such board from MSI, the MSI X299 SLI Plus motherboard. MSI’s solution for workstation build with dual Intel LAN, multi GPU support and lots of latest storage options.

Now let’s see what this MSI board have for us.

Features

  • Supports Intel® Core™ X-Series Processor Family for LGA2066 Socket
  • Support Quad Channel DDR4-4133(OC)+, Dual Channel DDR4-4500(OC)+
  • Dual Intel® LAN: The best solution for both Intranet and Internet through hardware design and bandwidth management offering the lowest latency.
  • M.2 SHIELD: Keep M.2 SSDs safe while preventing throttling, making them run cooler & faster.
  • DDR4 BOOST: Give your DDR4 memory a performance boost.
  • Designed for Extreme Performance: TURBO SOCKET with OC Genie 4, DIGITALL POWER Design
  • Lightning Fast Experience: TWIN TURBO M.2 and Intel® Optane Memory Ready, Turbo U.2, LIGHTNING USB 3.1 GEN2
  • MYSTIC LIGHT: 7 mixed color schemes / 8 LED effects controlled in one click
  • SYSTEM SAVER: 3 easy-to-use options to successfully boot your system again.
  • AUDIO BOOST 4: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive audio experience
  • MULTI-GPU: With STEEL ARMOR PCI-E slots. Supports 3-way NVIDIA SLI™ / AMD Crossfire™
  • VR READY: Best virtual reality experience without latency, reduces motion sickness
  • EZ Debug LED: Easiest way to troubleshoot

Specifications

Package

MSI X299 SLI Plus motherboard comes in a full black cardboard box. Looking at the front of the box, we see MSI logo with motherboard model no. At the rear of the box, we find that MSI goes into great detail on the specifications of the motherboard.

Inside the box

Looks

Board is a solid build in the mate black colour theme.

Removing Heat-sinks

MSI used aluminum heatsink in this board with plastic cover over it and RGB LED installed inside. The base of heatsink is having thermal pad installed.

I/O cover is just a plastic cover.

Component Layout

Let’s now see what all components MSI have planned for this board.

1. 2. 8-phase digital power controlled via IR35201 is IR (International Rectifier) PWM Controller IC driving pair of Nikos PK632BA and Nikos PK616BA as the high and low side MOSFETs with four more driving set which are located on the back of the motherboards alongside four phase doublers ICs making the whole 8-phase VRM section.

3. Two 2-Phase digital memory power supply section

4. ASMedia ASM1074 a four downstream ports USB3.0 HUB Controller

5. Intel i211AT Gigabit Ethernet controller chip.

6. 11. ASMedia ASM3142 a USB3.1 Controller

7. Intel i219v Gigabit Ethernet controller chip.

8. nuvoTon NCT6795D SuperIO chip monitors temperatures, voltages and other key metrics for normal operation

9. MSI Audio is powered by Realtek ALC 1220 120dB SNR HD Audio - The ALC1220 is a high-performance multi-channel High Definition Audio Codec with up to 120dB SNR for crystal clear audio along with premium quality CHEMI-CON audio capacitors for a warmer sound and OP1652 op-amp as buffer.

A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference. So licensing under Stereo mode produces high audio quality with excellent dynamic range.

RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing MSI High Definition audio against Asus Xonar U7 External Sound card. You can see clearly the difference between Noise level, dynamic rang and Total harmonic distortion percentage produced by MSI High Definition audio

RMAA Asus Xonar U7

RMAA MSI Audio

10. Intel X299 Chipset

11. MSI uses two SPI chip labeled MXIC MX 2SL12873F a capacity of 128 Mb for storing UEFI BIOS.

Testing

CPUIntel Core i7 7800X CPU
Board MSI X299 SLI Plus
RAM4 X 4GB Corsair DDR4
SSDSamsung PM830
CoolerThermaltake Water 3.0 AIO
GFX Gigabyte GTX 970
PSUThermaltake 850W RGB
CaseThermaltake View28
DisplayAcer S220HQL
OS Windows 10

BIOS

Bundled Software

Benchmarks

Overclocking

Power Consumption

Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS. Running Cinebench R15

Pros

  • Dual Intel G LAN
  • Not too much RGB lighting
  • Thermal shield for M.2
  • Stable OC

Cons

  • Plastic cover over I/O and especially audio section don’t have any metallic tape on inside for suppression of any interference.

Conclusion

MSI has done a good job with MSI X299 SLI Plus motherboard by giving all of the essential features needed for a good X299 build and you don’t feel like you are missing anything. The board don’t have too much of RGB lighting just RGB LEDs on heatsinks and a single RGB header, whereas mostly all high end latest generation boards are full of RGB LEDs, which is good and makes this board stand different.

At the price tag of Rs.23K (approx) the MSI X299 SLI Plus motherboard is one of the most affordable yet feature packed X299 motherboards available currently.

Manufacturers Info

Site Link

Thanks.

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