MSI X299 SLI Plus: motherboard for Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X

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At the MSI company, in addition to widely known series of game motherboards, exist as well simpler products which are nominally ranked as a professional series. MSI X299 SLI Plus — one of them.

There is no emphasis on additional equipment rooms or program “gaming” attributes, the principal emphasis is put on the technical equipment. The model which got to our laboratory was slightly higher than the simplest X299 on the basis of a hub. First of all, the number of outputs of USB of third generation is increased here.

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Package and complete set.

The MSI X299 SLI Plus is in a box of the normal sizes. Except large designation of model on the face there is nothing interesting. On a reverse side there is a board photo, the image of the back panel, the table with the main characteristics and a collage from features of technical character.

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According to the status, there is no word about illumination or about program additions. The set of delivery differs in nothing remarkable, it is possible to call it start.

Here is: the multilingual instruction for fast installation, an instruction for incorrect installation of modules of memory, a disk with drivers and a company software, a card of registration of the buyer, two SATA 6Gb/s cables, one of which with the Gamma-type connector on one of the ends, the stub for the casing added by a sticker in black tones with character designation of all slots, the double rigid bridge for the SLI organization.

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Appearance of  the MSI X299 SLI Plus

On a board provided many auxiliary indicators, several buttons and one switch for operation with two chips of CMOS. Overall dimensions conform to the ATX standards, available nine holes under case screws. The topology of the printed circuit board rather difficult, is present at a reverse side a considerable number of elements.

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Heat sinks and decorative slips are fixed by means of screws. The cooler on PCH composite, the lower part is the heat sink, and upper is supplied with three light waveguides for illumination (the same way constructed also the bigger heat sink, for needs of the power supply regulator CPU).

There are two slots of M.2, the upper seat has a restriction of length under the set devices, but the heat sink where quite massive thermospacer appears the heatconductor is fixed there. Eight slots of SATA, two of which cross type, are also prepared. Still unsoldered one slot of the U2 type.

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At the same time to use all these interfaces it will not turn out as resources of a chipset are restricted. For the case USB cables there are five receptacles: one symmetric and two traditional under third generation of the interface and two more — for its second version.

Along the lower edge stands, smaller on overall dimensions, are located. Separately there is a wish to select presence of buttons for start-up and restart of system. Under each chip with UEFI is on the indicator, right there unsoldered also the switch for interaction with them.

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Many indicators are in the upper part of a board. Principal — for the POST codes. Simpler option for the same purposes — from four LEDs, the forming EZ Debug LED complex is near. The fifth, being is slightly higher than remaining, signals about processor type (Skylake-X or Kaby Lake-X), thereby specifying the number of available slots under a random access memory.

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In our case it shone in red color. Couple more of LEDs of two-color execution are at receptacles under coolers. Their role — indication like the used method of deceleration of turns. Over each of slots under the RAM there is a white LED signaling about existence of the module.

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Still there is an indicator of the active status of XMP, below the main slot of a supply. Three full-scale slots of PCI-E x16 are connected to the slot of the CPU. Screened will be able to locate a large number of lines. The diagram will depend first of all on type of the used processor. Two PCI-E x1 and one not listed long slot work together with X299 hub.

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The sound subsystem is based on a basis of the high codec from Realtek — ALC1220. The screening constructions are not provided, there are one auxiliary OU and considerable number of special condensers. In a decorative slip the back panel has no shining elements, it not too massive and will hardly hinder placement of cooling systems on the processor.

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The stabilization of processor tension is based on the eight-channel International Rectifier IR35201 PWM controller. However, for CPU Input Voltage only four “phases” are used. On a reverse side it is possible to see four doublers of IR3598. Then, in each of neogenic channels, the number of elements was doubled, having placed them both from the board face, and from back. It turned out on each of eight channels on four transistors, only 32 pieces mean.

Two more placed under the heat sink participate in formation of CPU SA Voltage. Models and the vendor are traditional not the first year for production from MSI – it is PK616BA and PK632BA from Niko Semiconductor. The slot for power supply unit only one — eight-contact, thus is easy to realize — for extremal accelerating actions this board was definitely not projected.

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On force heat sinks the spacer of the sufficient area appears the heatconductor, and on chipsetny paste is used. To filling of the back panel of questions is not present any. For convenience removed buttons on reset of the CMOS settings and another here — for fallback recovery of a firmware.

Perhaps, the modern version of USB (3.1 Gen2) and/or the wireless adapter fixed on a board will be necessary for someone, but with such wishes it is necessary to increase the budget provided under the motherboard.

Watch further tests in the second part of the review.

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MSI X299 SLI Plus: motherboard for Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X was last modified: September 25th, 2017 by Jim McDonald