They ARE raising the bar with these MOBOs.
They're good looking as well,...
When it comes to Motherboards, Asus is a name that really stands out. I’m not saying that they’re the perfect manufacturer, but they are known for products that perform admirably while being rich with features. As far as overclocking is concerned, Asus boards are some of the best on the market for reaching stable and high clocks. This leaves other manufacturers with a great deal to live up to when they try and release a board that can compete with the current market. Fortunately, MSI is looking to not only compete, but win in the high end motherboard market with their new Gaming Series and OC Motherboards. While I’m sure everyone is dying to know about Intel’s next chipset, those features are going to be far from what is going to set MSI*apart. To begin with, the overclocking potential looks like it’s going to raise the bar quite a bit. The DigitAll Power feature provides digital control for increased stability. While that is becoming a more standard feature for overclocking boards, there’s more details sweetening the pot here. First, there’s water cooling connectors added to the heatsink and an optional OC Fan Stand the sits securely to the motherboard for better air flow control. Next, the board comes with a host of buttons for things like going straight to the bios and even being able to completely clear the cmos without removing the battery. The most revoltionary feature though, is the ram overclocking utility in the Bios. Their engineers worked with top overclockers so that all you have to do is set the frequency and CAS latency and the motherboard will do the rest. Ram overclocking many times is not worth the trouble but this feature will make that a thing of the past. While overclocking features are important, looks and sound aren’t something to be ignored. The dragon logo is once again inspiration for the design of the board. From heatsinks designed to look like dragon claws, to the black and red color scheme, everything about these boards scream awesomeness! They even touched up the I/O shield to look great as well as adding a force absorbing layer to protect the ports from bumps or hard plug ins. While the aesthetics are great, the sound quality also looks like three steps above top notch. MSI added more voltage regulation and separated circuits from the other components to keep the audio quality as clear as possible. While that can help to certain degrees, what was really interesting was the added power to the sound amplifiers. With sound, there only so much you can do with quality before you simply need more power to get the experience you want. The Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 and Audio Boost 2 will add quality to both USB headsets and audio jacks so that the need for an additional sound card would be fairly redundant for gamers. These are by no means a comprehensive list of the features these boards are coming with. At this point, it’s hard to find any area that MSI left out when improving their motherboard line. While the other features may be ones that are fairly common in other markets, I believe that consumers are going to be hard pressed to find a board that has as robust of a feature list as what MSI is offering. Once again, I don’t believe they came to compete, they came to win! If you’re looking to upgrade as soon as Intel releases their next gen architecture, I’m not sure how you could do any better than MSI Gaming Series or OC Motherboards.
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|CPU: i7-2600K and FX-8350|
|M/B: Gigabyte on both|
|RAM: 32GB DDR4-3200 and 64GB DDR4-3000|
|GPU: 980Ti SLI and RX480 Crossfire|