MSI teases high end motherboard with three M.2 slots

Why buy a motherboard with only one M.2 slot when you get one with three of them? That seems to be the question MSI is posing with what it claims is the "Best. Motherboard. Ever."

The supposedly best motherboard in the history of mobos does not yet have a name, or at least MSI isn't sharing that detail yet. In fact, it's not sharing very much about its forthcoming motherboard—just the teaser photo shown above, courtesy of Eteknix.

There a few things we can glean about the board from that photo. One is that it is a high-end offering. Another is that it is probably based on Intel's unreleased X299 chipset (Basin Falls) for Skylake-X. With three M.2 ports, four PCIe x16 slots, and a PCIe x1 slot for good measure, it would take a high-end Intel chipset to support all of those PCIe lanes.

Of course, we can't rule out Intel's existing X99 platform, but teasing a new board for what is soon to be a previous generation enthusiast chipset doesn't make a whole lot of sense. We can also probably rule out Ryzen, which only offers up to 20 usable PCIe lanes from the CPU and 8 PCIe lanes from the chipset for a two-way GPU setup. However, AMD is rumored to be releasing a higher end version of Ryzen called Whitehaven to compete with Intel's Basin Falls platform, so that is a possibility as well.

Beyond the PCIe lanes and copious M.2 slots, we can see that the PCIe slots are reinforced. There is also a BIOS switch at the bottom of the motherboard, along with three DIP switches. And onboard audio performance looks to be a point of emphasis as well.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).