MSI brings forth the big guns, and means
Intel's new high performance chipset, the
X79 was released not too long ago, and with much to talk about. It has native
USB 3.0 and PCIe 3.0 support, which means less latency in data transfers, and
less heat. MSI, a name synonymous with PC components, has just recently
launched its flagship model for the new X79 chipset with the new Big Bang
XPower II motherboard.
Featuring a not-too-often seen XL-ATX board
design, the XPower II features a whopping eight memory DIMMs, capable of doing
dual, triple and quad channel memory setups, and up to seven PCIe slots for
Quad SLI or Quad CrossFireX configurations.
The XPower II also has some pretty interesting
heatsink designs as you can see on the VRM (gatling gun) and the chipset (open
magazine) to further play on the gimmick that they're a Military Class-3
certified product. On the back, the XPower II features six USB 2.0 ports, dual
Gigabit Ethernet ports, optical and digital S/PDIF outputs, four USB 3.0 ports,
and standard audio jacks and a clear CMOS button.
On to the meat of the review, the XPower II
is an overclocking beast. Not only does the UEFI BIOS help a lot in making the
BIOS neater and streamlined, the Direct OC feature also makes it easy instantly
overclock your processor with the press of a button. In our tests, we used an
Intel Core i7-3960, and as we turned on the Turbo boost it automatically
overclocks the processor from 3.20GHz up to 3.90GHz. We further played around
with the base clock numbers and managed to overclock it further to 4.5GHz
before it refuses to switch on at all.
Other great features the XPower II have on
offer come from the software side. First off is the Big Bang Control Centre
which provides users with overclocking options that need to be otherwise done
from the BIOS. Another software would be the ClickBIOS II, which is basically a
carbon copy of the UEFI BIOS system, but instead of having to boot into it at
startup, you can directly access it from the software and it has all the
options the UEFI BIOS does.
MSI Big Bang XPower II
Platform: Intel 2011
Form Factor: XL-ATX
Memory type: DDR3
Performance 5 stars
Features 4 stars
Design 4 stars
Value 3 stars