MSI X99A Gaming Pro Carbon 42

MSI X99A Gaming Pro Carbon Motherboard Review

  1. Introduction and Packaging
  2. Accessories and Specification
  3. Motherboard Layout Overview
  4. Sub-component and compatibility Overview
  5. Test System and Testing Metholody
  6. CPU Overclocking and Memory Profile benchmark
  7. SATA Performance Testing
  8. USB 3.1 Gen 1 Transfer Test
  9. Conclusion
  10. Online Purchase Links

Disclosure: This review unit is provided by MSI. This is the first MSI motherboard review that I am publishing.


The Intel X99 platform is a long running one thanks to the inclusion of the Broadwell-E series. The newer X99 motherboard has incorporated additional functions such as USB 3.1 gen 2, higher memory clock support, U.2, etc.

Then there is the RGB bling too (Mystic Light) which will easily put the ’70s or ’80s do-it-yourself home disco kits to shame! Most components are now RGB-fied. Personally, it’s not my cup of tea. But as long as it does not interfere with the function and layout of the motherboard and its priced well, who cares??

The MSI X99A Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard is one of such motherboards. An all black with steel reinforcement (MSI calls it Steel Armor) around the DIMM and PCIe x16 slots gives a cleaner look. This is more subtle compared to many gaming motherboards with bonkers looking MOSFET and heatsink design. The layout made a good impression about its clean ATX layout. Packing multiple functions, including dual USB 3.0/3.1 port for the front panel, 10 SATA III, 1x M.2 and 1x U.2 port. I am very happy to see a gaming motherboard that has free space between the LGA socket and the first PCIe slot.

MSI multi-coloured light is not technically RGB (or is it?) since it lists as 16.8 multi colour effect around the chipset heatsink borders, I/O shield area and the usual audio area. MSI also provided more ways to have bling by providing an RGB LED connector and an extension cable.


The motherboard packaging is pretty much standard like many brands. But it does show off the entire board with full RGB glory at the back, along with features the motherboard carries.

The motherboard is kept in an anti-static bag as it should be, with series of cables provided with it. MSI also provided a good looking case badge and SATA cable labels.  MSI provides a total of six SATA cables, a motherboard user guide and quick guide, drivers disc, I/O shield, two SLI bridges, two LED extension cables- 40cm and 80cm & a door hangar.

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