MSI's X99S Gaming 9 ACK Packs Two Killer Networking Adapters

If you liked what you saw when MSI revealed the X99S Gaming 9 AC motherboard, you might like the new X99S Gaming 9 ACK even more. KitGuru managed to have a look at it at the Beat IT event MSI was hosting in Taiwan.

The motherboard is almost identical to its older sibling, carrying the X99 chipset, an LGA2011-3 socket and eight DDR4 memory slots. It also comes with the built-in "Streaming Engine" AverMedia capture card, and it is styled to match most readily-available gaming hardware. Additionally, it has more connectivity than you'll need on most gaming systems, and it comes with the company's Audio Boost hardware for improved sound from the onboard sound chip.

The previous X99S Gaming 9 AC came with a Killer E2200 NIC and an Intel Wireless AC adapter, but the X99S Gaming 9 ACK eschews the Intel adapter for a Killer 1525 from Qualcomm. The Killer networking adapters come with specialized hardware and drivers which are built to deliver better prioritization orders, supposedly reducing latency in games. Image Source: KitGuruImage Source: KitGuru

On top of that, MSI boasts that you can use the two Killer adapters together in a "Smart Teaming" configuration to achieve a higher bandwidth. The Killer 1525 adapter is good for up to 866 Mbps, which combined with the Gigabit Killer E2200 NIC should theoretically allow you to pull up to 1866 Mbps over your network to your machine. In practice, we doubt that you'll pull that kind of bandwidth with a single application; however, for multiple applications it can be useful.

MSI's example is where you're streaming a game of League of Legends onto League of Legends will work over the Ethernet interface, ensuring the lowest latency possible, while the Twitch stream will run over the wireless connection, ensuring that the video game gets the lowest latency possible.

Considering this board has a built-in capture card, and the refreshed networking interfaces, the MSI X99S Gaming 9 ACK is probably the easiest solution for game streaming that you can buy.

The company hasn't announced pricing yet, although we expect that the premium for the wireless Killer interface won't be more than $40. The original X99S Gaming 9 AC retails for about $405.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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