Blacked-out MSI X99S SLI motherboard looks menacing

Intel's Haswell-E high-end desktop processor has yet to arrive, but motherboard makers are already teasing products designed for it. MSI released a picture of its X99S SLI Plus on Facebook last night. Behold the blacked-out aesthetic:

The accompanying caption doesn't say much, but we can glean a few details from the picture. This thing has four PCIe x16 slots, eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and eight Serial ATA connectors. An M.2 socket and SATA Express port are also visible in the sea of blackness.

As much as I like the murdered-out look, the lack of color makes it difficult to determine how the slots and ports are connected. We'll have to wait to find out how many of those PCIe slots have Gen3 lanes, whether any of the storage interfaces are linked directly to the CPU, and how much of the onboard storage relies on auxiliary controllers.

At least we shouldn't have to wait too long. This morning, ASRock announced that its X99 Extreme4 is the first X99 board to be receive official Windows 8.1 certification. That release doesn't include an image of the Extreme4, but if the certification process has begun, finished products must be just around the corner.

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