Micro-Star International, better known as MSI, has announced plans to release a family of gaming motherboards under its G Series brand, featuring Qualcomm's Killer E2200 high-performance network chip.
Currently, the company is only offering teasers as to its plans with the promise of a full reveal at this year's CeBIT event in Hanover next month. The first of these teasers points to a partnership with Qualcomm to give the boards high-performance network capabilities designed specifically with gamers in mind. Based on the Killer E2200 chip, an embedded-only sequel to the Killer 2100 NIC
released by Bigfoot Networks in 2010 prior to its acquisition by chipset specialist Qualcomm, the G Series' network capabilities are tipped to be top of the line.
'We are truly excited to cooperate with Qualcomm on the implementation of their unique technology on our soon-to-be announced gaming motherboards,
' crowed Ted Hung, vice-president of MSI's motherboard division. 'This puts MSI in the driver's seat for gaming motherboards with a balanced line-up that hits all critical price-points for gamers.
The Killer E2200 chip offers full compatibility with Windows 8 and Linux - something the E2100 version doesn't offer - along with an enhanced client package that allows gamers to set custom prioritisation and have finer-grained control over their network traffic. The result, in theory, is a board that offers on-line gamers a smoother experience - something that didn't really pan out during our testing of the Killer 2100.
MSI has also released an image detailing a feature it calls Gaming Device Port, which sees a red-tinted block on the motherboard's input-output (IO) section play host to a single PS/2 and two USB 2.0 ports designed specifically for gaming keyboards and mice. Unlike regular PS/2 or USB ports, MSI claims, the Gaming Device Ports are optimised for high-polling rate mice running at 500Hz to 1KHz. Claims of lowered response times - dropping from 8ms to 1ms, MSI claims without reference to how it measured such things - are hard to quantify, but the company is also packing three times the thickness of gold plating onto the contacts to increase durability. The result, MSI claims, are ports rated for ten times the connections and disconnections of rival motherboards - something LAN party addicts may find a major selling point.
Sadly, that's all the details MSI has provided thus far, but given the G Series boards are aimed at gamers it's fair to assume there will be a host of other features including dual-BIOS, hefty heatsinks, and - hinted by the presence of a small switch next to the Gaming Device Port - special overclocking features for those who like to get the most from their rigs.
MSI's G Series motherboards are to be unveiled at CeBIT 2013 early next month, with retail availability hopefully soon to follow.