MSI's new Socket FM2+ boards are primed for Kaveri


— 6:27 PM on January 11, 2014

AMD will release its first Kaveri desktop processors on January 14. At CES this week, MSI was showing several new Socket FM2+ boards ready for Kaveri. Most of them conformed to either Mini-ITX or microATX form factors, but there was one full-sized ATX model in the mix.

The smallest FM2+ board on display was the A88X1. This Mini-ITX specimen has two DDR3 DIMM slots, one PCIe x16 slot, four SATA ports, and integrated Wi-Fi via an Intel Mini PCIe controller. The onboard components have a slick, all-black look—even the FM2+ socket.

On the microATX front, MSI displayed both the A88XM-E45 and the A88XM Gaming (shown above in that order). The A88XM-E45 has dual PCIe x16 slots and eight SATA 6Gbps ports. The A88XM Gaming features a similar layout, but it has two PCIe x1 slots instead of one, its SATA ports all point sideways (handy for systems with long graphics cards), and there's Audio Boost onboard audio that's segregated from the rest of the motherboard's circuitry.

As you can see above, a "moat" of trace-less board material stands between the audio circuitry and the rest of the motherboard's components. A small number of power and data traces bridge the moat, of course, but the insulation should otherwise keep onboard audio relatively free of interference. If I recall correctly, MSI premiered this design on its Z87-GD65 Gaming motherboard for Intel Haswell processors.

Last, but not least, MSI showed the A88X-G45 Gaming. (Apologies for the blurry picture.) This one has a full ATX layout with more expansion slots than the A88XM Gaming, and it also features Audio Boost integrated audio.

The A88X1, A88XM-E45, A88XM Gaming, and A88X-G45 Gaming are all due out in late February.

   
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