We don't have any boots on the ground at Gamescom in Germany, but news regarding some of the products on display there has reached our ears regardless. MSI has a VR booth set up powered by the GTX 1080 Gaming X graphics card, but it's also showing off some new stuff. The company is premiering a pair of motherboards—including one for Socket AM3+—as well as its first CPU cooler.
The motherboards are both blacked-out beauties. The MSI 970A Gaming Pro Carbon has carbon-fiber-patterned accents on the heatsinks and the requisite Mystic Light RGB lighting. It's equipped with an ASMedia ASM1143 controller that provides four USB 3.0 ports and two USB 3.1 ports through Type-C and Type-A connectors. The new board also has an M.2 slot with four lanes of PCI Express 2.0 connectivity for transfer rates up to 20 Gbps. Aside from those rarely-seen-on-AMD features, the board is a pretty standard AMD 970 chipset motherboard, with support for four sticks of DDR3-2133 RAM and support for graphics cards in SLI or Crossfire.
The other motherboard MSI is revealing uses Intel's X99 chipset. The X99A-SLI is (somewhat ironically) an update of the older X99A-SLI Plus. It drops the older board's VIA USB controller for an additional ASMedia chip. It also trades up to Realtek's ALC1150 audio codec. Otherwise, like its predecessor, it has a pair of USB 3.1 ports, three-way SLI and Crossfire support, and 32 Gbps M.2 and U.2 connections. New to this board is ECC Registered memory support with a compatible CPU.
Last but not least, MSI is bringing its heatsink design expertise to the Core Frozr series of CPU coolers. Two models are coming: the Core Frozr L, and the Core Frozr XL. The primary difference seems to be that the Core Frozr XL will have a dual-fan configuration, as well as configurable RGB lighting. Both coolers are tower-style heatsinks designed for 120mm fans, with solid-copper baseplates mated to 8-mm heatpipes. MSI says the Core Frozrs will be available "later this year."