Written by Michael Larabel in Motherboards on 24 October 2014. Page 2 of 5. 6 Comments

Board Layout:

There isn't anything too unusual about the layout of the MSI X99S SLI PLUS motherboard but they do manage to pack a lot of components onto this ATX board. There's four DDR4 memory slots on each side of the CPU socket area and a heatsink covering the CPU power circuitry above the LGA-2011v3 socket, but these components should be far enough away from the CPU socket area to avoid any potential obstacles with large CPU heatsinks or water blocks.

Covering the X99 chipset is a wide heatsink while running parallel along the front edge of the motherboard PCB are eight of the SATA 3.0 ports with the other two being positioned at the bottom edge of the PCB. An added benefit for users like us who are frequently tinkering with motherboards in open-air setups, along the bottom edge of the motherboard PCB are physical power and reset buttons along with an OC GENIE button for easy overclocking.

The expansion slots on this motherboard include four PCI Express x16 and two PCI Express x1. Between the top two PCI-E x16 slots are the PCI-E x1 slots as to not obstruct too many x16 slots when installing dual-slot graphics cards. Behind the lower PCI-E x1 slot is also the M2.x4 connector.

Rear I/O panel ports include eight USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, one PS/2, clear CMOS switch, one Gigabit Ethernet, and the audio jacks. The only potential downside from the I/O connectivity options on this motherboard is having just one Gigabit Ethernet slot; most Linux users will be fine with just one connection but there's many that would like to see two network connections.

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