MSI has begun filling-in its X99A line of Broadwell-E motherboards with workstation-targeted options, built for compliance with ECC Registered DIMMs and with boosted maximum data throughput via M.2. The motherboard fits LGA2011-3 socketed CPUs, including Haswell-E and Broadwell-E, and supports SLI with nVidia Quadro GPUs for production workloads. Additional focus is placed on storage controllers and HSIO allocation, fitting for a board that will be deployed in workstation environments (e.g. render machines, CAD/ProE machines).
The X99A Workstation motherboard uses what appears to be an 8-phase power design for its core VRM, with additional phases for the memory. The VRM is comprised of titanium inductors with a max temperature of 220C, supporting higher current for extreme overclocks. Dark capacitors (solid caps) populate the board and VRM's capacitor bank, rated for a 10-year lifespan.
Other electrical focus points include grounding for all rear I/O ports – pretty common for ESD protection, these days – and circuit protection on the thick PCB.
MSI's Workstation boards go through additional validation over “normal” motherboards, including 7000 hours of high-voltage testing, thermal degradation testing, and EMI testing. This is the biggest value-add for production users, as the general guarantee is extended uptimes with intensive 24/7 workloads. Rendering models and simulations for extended periods (where a failure means lost work) would be an ideal use case match.
Learn more about the X99A Workstation here.
- Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke.