Motherboard Reviews

MSI X99A Gaming 9 ACK Motherboard Review

« UEFI Overview | System Benchmarks (CPU, Memory, Compression, Multimedia) »

Test System and Testing Procedures

Processor Intel Core i7-5960x (Retail)
CPU Cooler
Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme with Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound
Power Supply
NZXT Hale 90 v2 1000 watt power supply
Memory Kingston Hyper X Fury DDR4 2400MHz CL 15
Storage Samsung EVO 840, Kingston Predator M.2 SSD
Graphics Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Gaming G1
Drivers 3.00 BIOS, Intel Chipset Driver 10.0.3, NVIDIA 335.23 WHQL drivers.
Motherboard(s) MSI X99A Gaming 9 ACK, Gigabyte X99 Gaming 5P, Gigabyte X99M Gaming 5, EVGA X99 Classified
Network Cisco 2906 8 port desktop switch, 10ft CAT 6 cables, Asus RT-N66U (configured as AP)
Operating System Windows 8.1 Professional, fully patched.

Latest working BIOS, updates and drivers were used at the time of the review. Each test was conducted at least three times for accuracy. UEFI defaults are loaded for stock settings and XMP profile is loaded. Overclock results are for showing the maximum overclock obtained for each board. To eliminate any variances between motherboards and find a common ground, at this point we’ve set a standard of a maximum vCore of 1.35 volts. I was able to reach 4.4GHz result with 1.328V core for the MSI X99A Gaming 9 ACK. This is the lowest Vcore at this speed for any of  the 4 X99 boards I have tested. Overclock stress testing was run non stop for 24 hours. If the board reset or posted errors, the BIOS was reset and the overclock was reduced by 100MHz increments. If the motherboard does not load the XMP profile values correctly for the overclock testing, values will be manually set to keep it standard across the board.

OCGenie was able to reach the following overclocks without any interaction from me, except for pushing the button and changing the DIP switch for the gear ratio. 2 hour stability test was ran to verify stability.

OC Genie Gear 1 3600 MHz
OC Genie Gear 2 3800 MHz




System Benchmarks

  1. wPrime 32M
  2. Aida64 Engineer 4.30.2900
  3. CineBench R15
  4. PCMark 8 v2.0.228
  5. WinRAR 5.01
  6. Handbrake 0.9.9
  7. x264 FHD 1.0.1

Subsystem Testing

  1. CrystalDisk Mark for SATA and USB tests
  2. DPC Latency
  3. Rightmark Audio Analyzer 6.4.0
  4. Passmark Performance Test 8.0 – Network Speed Graph
  5. JPerf 2.0.2
  6. LAN Speed Test 3.4

Gaming Benchmarks

  1. 3DMark (Firestrike test) v1.2.362 – Default Preset
  2. Tomb Raider – Built-in Benchmark, Low preset on 800×600
  3. Bioshock Infinite – Built-in Benchmark, Low Preset on 640×480
  4. Sleeping Dogs – Built-in Benchmark, Low Preset on 640×480


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