MSI Big Bang XPower II - Military Precision

5/11/2012 9:39:15 AM

MSI brings forth the big guns, and means business

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.

Description: MSI Big Bang XPower II

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.

Description: MSI Big Bang XPower II

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.

Description: MSI Big Bang XPower II

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

Price $528.95



Platform: Intel 2011

Form Factor: XL-ATX

Chipset: X79

Memory type: DDR3


Performance 5 stars

Features 4 stars

Design 4 stars

Value 3 stars

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