MSI Big Bang Xpower II First Touch

Discussion in 'Intel x86 CPUs and chipsets' started by booj, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. booj

    booj Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,468
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Hey Guys

    Over the weekend I had a play with a shiny new MSI Big Bang Xpower II. It's the flagship board in MSI's X79 range.

    MSI have loaded the board with features for overclockers. There's a fully featured UEFI BIOS, voltage read points, direct base clock control, debug LED, supplementary PCIe power, dual 8pin CPU power, dual BIOS and more.


    Big Bang Beefy Black Box
    [​IMG]

    Box Rear
    [​IMG]

    Accessories
    The Xpower II comes with a full bundle of accessories
    [​IMG]
    8x SATA 6GB/s Cables
    2x eSATA Cables
    2x CrossFireX Bridges
    1x SLI Bridge
    1x Long SLI Bridge
    eSATA bracket
    I/O Panel
    USB 3.0 PCI bracket
    Voltage Read Wires
    2X case connectors

    The board
    [​IMG]
    The board is XL-ATX so careful consideration needs to be taken regarding case selection. The layout is pretty good. The only thing I really notice is that the direct base clock, PCIe switch and reset switches would be hidden in a full 4way setup.

    I think the Gatling gun is ok as its fairly subtle (if a Gatling gun on a motherboard can be!) but the bullets aren't to my taste. They are very heavy and do a good job of cooling the board.

    Rear I/O Panel
    [​IMG]


    PCI-e Slots
    [​IMG]
    The board comes with a PLX bridge chip running off the PCH to provide extra PCIe lanes for all the slots. The PCIe slots are wired as follows. Note that all the PCIe 2.0 slots must share 8x lanes.

    PCI-E 3.0 @ 16X
    PCI-E 2.0 @ 8X
    PCI-E 3.0 @ 8X
    PCI-E 2.0 @ 8X
    PCI-E 3.0 @ 16X
    PCI-E 2.0 @ 8X
    PCI-E 3.0 @ 8X


    Bullets
    [​IMG]

    Socket & PWM Area
    [​IMG]
    The socket area is nice and clean for easy insulation.


    BIOS Switch and Auto OC button
    [​IMG]


    The thing that impressed me most about the Xpower II was the base clocking capability. My 3960X hasn't proven to be the greatest base clocker, but it was taken to new heights on the Xpower II. It is the only board I have tested that allowed it to post on the 167 strap. Pay no attention to the 32m times due to different memory speeds & timings.

    167Mhz strap @ 160Mhz BCLK
    [​IMG]

    125Mhz Strap @ 134Mhz BCLK
    [​IMG]

    100Mhz strap @ 107.5Mhz BCLK
    [​IMG]

    Quad Channel DDR3-2500
    [​IMG]
    Memory clocking is pretty good now on the later BIOSes :D

    The MSI Big Bang Xpower II impresses with its easy overclocking and unrivaled base clock performance. i7 3820 overclockers take note! The BIOS has greatly matured. Memory overclocking is good and the board is stacked with overclocking features. This isn't a review per se but what I have seen is impressive. For a first touch I'd have to say this is perhaps the best MSI overclocking board I've seen and certainly the most hassle free. :thumbup:

    Down the track i'd like to give it a run with multi GPUs and some sub zero on the CPU :D

    Cheers
     
  2. saba

    saba Evil Vizier

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2001
    Messages:
    2,711
    Location:
    Melbourne
    So are the onboard ICs, like the networking and audio, cheap and nasty shit like Marvell, or are they Intel/Broadcom?
     
  3. plzdontbetaken

    plzdontbetaken (Banned or Deleted)

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    240

    • Supports dual PCI Express LAN 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet by Intel 82579V and 82574L.

    Chipset integrated by Realtek® ALC898


    However has the XFI software setup on it as well.
     
  4. SiriusDragon

    SiriusDragon Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,353
    Location:
    Sydney
    Ah good, they fixed the horribly placed supplementary PCI-E power connector from the earlier revisions that I saw :Paranoid: It seems like a pretty good mobo! I wonder if there will be waterblocks so the fugly heatsinks can be replaced :sick:
     
  5. bobbth

    bobbth Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    680
    Location:
    Hastings usually.
    Looks like it would be a nice mobo if it weren't for the horrible chipset/vrm heatsinks, do they seriously think we're all thirteen? :sick:

    It would look rather sexy if it had a block on it though! :thumbup:
     
  6. demowhc

    demowhc Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,846
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Lol yeh great board but the heatsinks are nub.
     
  7. WTF?

    WTF? (Banned or Deleted)

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Is this a joke? Isn't the chipset cooling a direct rip-off from the Gigabyte design? which incidentally also looks terribly childish.
     
  8. pOpArOb

    pOpArOb Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,067
    Location:
    Canning Vale 6155
    this is the board that is at the top of my list for X79 board to upgrade to from my X58, has everything I need, I dont care about the audio as I have pcie soundcard, what I am interested in is if the 2 onboard NIC's can be teamed, I currently use a 2port pcie intel nic for this, so if the onboard can do the same with no loss... PERFECT!
     
  9. trackhappy

    trackhappy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    2,359
    Location:
    Caboolture, QLD, 4510
    How many SATA ports?
     
  10. pOpArOb

    pOpArOb Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,067
    Location:
    Canning Vale 6155
  11. Dan N

    Dan N Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    659
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I would buy this one but that annoying bullet heatsinks......why why why
     
  12. HUMMER

    HUMMER Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Messages:
    8,786
    Location:
    sydney
    have to agree. it was as it the design was thought about by a 5 year old.
     
  13. SmolderinCorpse

    SmolderinCorpse Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Australia
    Holy hell.. all those PCI slots.. the DIMM slots.. my god...

    It looks great!

    ... Except the bullets kind of make it look lame-ish
     
  14. scotteee

    scotteee Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2,511
    agree bullets look a bit "lord of war" ;)

    Just looking at the vcore needed on that 3960X to achieve 4.6ghz is really high, was this on auto?
     
  15. OP
    OP
    booj

    booj Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,468
    Location:
    Adelaide
    It doesn't need that much. I had it set high for messing around with base clock and ram clocking.
     
  16. Frag

    Frag Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    4,780
    Location:
    Perth
    I am first to say I dont care what computers look like "inside" but that would have been a damn nice board if they didnt include the stupid "magazine" heatsink... what a let down :(

    How have you found the bios?
     
  17. OP
    OP
    booj

    booj Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,468
    Location:
    Adelaide
    BIOS is good. Some MSI boards in the past haven't been fabulous in that regard, particularly on the memory compatibility and clocking side. On later BIOS', this and the X79A-GD65 are quite good.
     
  18. pOpArOb

    pOpArOb Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,067
    Location:
    Canning Vale 6155
    I dont care too much about the stupid bullets, when I upgrade from x58 to this, I plan to get a full cover waterblock for this board
     

Share This Page