MSI's flashy, feature-packed X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC mobo has been around since Threadripper's launch back in August. That board is now getting a less-ostentatious sibling in form of the X399 SLI Plus. The board's enormous TR4 CPU socket is flanked by eight DDR4 DIMM slots capable of running up to 128 GB of memory in four-channel mode at speeds as fast as 3600 MT/s.
Like all X399-based boards, the SLI Plus has tons of PCIe lanes to go around. The board sports four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, though only two are reinforced with steel jackets. That's probably not an issue since three- and four-way GPU setups are largely exercises in benchmark one-upmanship these days anyway.
The four full-length PCIe slots are augmented by a pair of PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. Digital pack rats can cram three M.2 SSDs onto the board itself and add up to eight additional SATA drives. NVMe drives can be strapped together in RAID 0, 1, and 10 configurations using AMD's recently-released X399 NVMe RAID support. The networking subsystem isn't as full-featured as the one on the Gaming Pro Carbon AC, as it contains only a single Intel-controlled Gigabit Ethernet port.
The ATX-sized X399 SLI Plus has RGB LED illumination on the I/O cover and the chipset heatsink, plus two additional headers for connecting RGB LED strip lighting. Buyers can control the light show using MSI's Mystic Light utility. The rear I/O panel sports tons of USB 3.0 ports plus USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C jacks, CMOS clear and BIOS flashback buttons, and the usual smattering of LAN and audio connectors.
MSI didn't provide pricing or availability information, but we think the X399 SLI Plus will hit streets before the end of October with a price tag smaller than MSI's X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, which is on sale at Newegg right now for $350.
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