Last week, MSI launched a slew of new USB 3.1 equipped motherboards. Today, the company is releasing more details on one of the AMD-based products: the MSI 970A SLI Krait Edition. This upcoming motherboard is geared towards gamers using AMD FX (AM3+) processors and supports multi-GPU setups (both SLI and CrossFire). The 970A SLI Krait Edition has a black and white color scheme with rich expansion options and large aluminum heatsinks over the VRMs and northbridge.
The AM3+ processor socket sits to the left of four DDR3 memory slots. Six expansion slots take up the majority of the lower half of the board and include two PCI-E x16, two PCI-E x1, and two PCI slots. Six SATA ports occupy the bottom-right corner with four at 90-degree angles. MSI is using its latest “Military Class 4” capacitors and other hardware along with gold audio traces connecting the rear IO audio jacks to the onboard sound chip.
Speaking of rear IO, you will find the following ports on the 970A SLI Krait Edition.
- 2 x PS/2
- 6 x USB 2.0
- 2 x USB 3.1
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 6 x Analog Audio
The main feature that MSI is pushing with this new board is the addition of two USB 3.1 (Type A) ports to the AMD platform. This is the first AM3+ motherboard to support the faster standard – up to 10 Gbps using an Asmedia ASM1352R controller – while also being backwards compatible with older USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices.
MSI has not yet released pricing or availability, but expect it to launch soon for less than $100.
Few specifications have been released about this board so far, as well as no timetable for the launch. It is a finished product and should be out "soon" as Tim mentioned.
There are a few things we can gather from the photo of the board. The audio solution is not nearly as robust as we saw with the 970 Gaming motherboard. I doubt it will have the headphone amplification, and the filtering is going to be less due to fewer caps used. The audio is still physically isolated on the PCB, but it has not received the same focus as what we saw on 970 Gaming.
It looks like it is a full 8+2 power phase implementation, as it is taking up more space on the board than the 6+2 unit on the 970 Gaming did. This should allow for a greater selection of CPUs to be used, as well as potentially greater overclocking ability. It does not feature a separate SATA controller, so all 6 SATA ports on the board are handled by the SB950. There are no external e-SATA ports, which really is not a big deal as those are rarely used.
This looks to be a nice addition to the fading AM3+ market. For those holding onto their AMD builds and wish to upgrade, this looks to be an inexpensive option with next generation connectivity. MSI looks to have paid the licensing fee necessary to support SLI, plus they utilize the same AMD 970 chipset on the 970 Gaming that is not supposed to be able to split the 1 x 16X PEG connection to 2 x 8X slots. Some interesting design and chippery are required to that.
Seems a bit odd that they
Seems a bit odd that they went with the AMD 970 chip set for a board earmarked for an enthusiast/gamer audience. A board with the 990 chips would be a more compelling upgrade for existing 960/970 owners, giving you a better chipset AND wonder USB. Guys who already have 990s wouldn’t be forced to downgrade chipsets just to get 3.1. (Not happening…)
Any word on whether there is also a USB 3.1 header on the board for plugging in case port(s)/card reader? A card reader with a 3.1 port built in would be tempting.
If you remember a few weeks
If you remember a few weeks ago, MSI had a press release talking about all their new USB 3.1 boards that they were releasing. In there was mention of this board (970 KRAIT) as well as a 990FXA Gaming board. So yes, MSI will be releasing such a monster in the very near future.
Thanks for the reply and the
Thanks for the reply and the updates of the original post.
What I find odd is that AMD
What I find odd is that AMD is not competing anymore. Seeing them adopt this before DDR4 is a stark admission that they are not going to bother. They simply don’t have the horse in the barn to do so.
We will be waiting a mighty long time before the general consumer market will adopt products that use 3.1 while DDR4 is a subtle but significant improvement they could have ganged this up with.
Well, they may have 14nm and DDR4 in 2016. Then again … they may not.
“Seeing them adopt this
“Seeing them adopt this before DDR4 is a stark admission that they are not going to bother.”
Lol OK, just release a motherboard that magically supports ddr4 sure.
“DDR4 is a subtle but significant improvement they could have ganged this up with.”
subtle, expensive, and significantly negligible improvement yes.
“Well, they may have 14nm and DDR4 in 2016. Then again … they may not. ”
of course they wont
DDR4 is a “significantly
DDR4 is a “significantly negligible improvement”.
If you’re doing not much more than playing games and cruising porn, I suppose so.
Well, USB 3.0 spec was
Well, USB 3.0 spec was finalized in 2008, hit the consumer in 2009, and chipset support was announced by AMD in… 2011.
Not sure if 3.1 is being supported here via the venerable AMD 970/950 combo, or did MSI source a third-party controller that is doing the lifting?
Either way, getting a new spec available on AMD boards at the same time as Intel boards (for a change!) isn’t a cause for complaining.
Everyone is using a 3rd party
Everyone is using a 3rd party chip for USB 3.1. Intel hasn't integrated it into their product stack so far, but will be curious to see if it is a feature that makes it into the next gen chipsets this late Spring. This board still uses the same SB950 southbridge that only features native USB 2.0 support.
Actually, as far as USB 3.1
Actually, as far as USB 3.1 is concerned, I agree. My point was that AMD used to keep up across the board and DDR4 is a glaring hole in that competition AFAIC.
To me, both products are about as useful to the the general public right now as lead nickles until they actually have and use the applications that can take advantage of them.
AMD is staying competitive,
AMD is staying competitive, but we just see them move in different directions. The A88X chipset is fully featured with 8 SATA6G ports and 4 USB 3.0 ports. Kaveri is rumored to have native support for DDR-4 with its memory controller, but AMD does not feel that DDR-4 is ready for a budget oriented APU. Roadmaps show that to be an option in 2016. Interestingly enough, Kaveri's memory controller looks not only to support DDR-3 and DDR-4, but also GDDR-5. They kept it pretty flexible, but that is not a stretch considering they have Joe Macri likely calling the shots on what their products should support in terms of memory.
It is just unfortunate that these advances have not translated into AM3+ support.
USB 3.1 is coming from an
USB 3.1 is coming from an ASMedia chip on the board separate from the AMD 970 chipset
Any info on the power
Any info on the power delivery of the board?
The 6core (phenom II) and 8 core (FX) parts tend to hit the VRM protection throttle threshold at around 1.48 – 1.5V when overclockig, if the board has less than 8 phase power delivery to the CPU.
can i put an AMD A10-7850k
can i put an AMD A10-7850k APU in this mobo?