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FRONTPAGE MSI Big Bang-XPower II X79 Motherboard Review

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Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Wow, it looks like MSI done a bang up job :p I was surprised that this was able to surpass the RIVE. the RIVE set the bar pretty high but it looks like this board is far superior. nice to see it is sitting around the same price point.
 
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EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
EXCELLENT review and board... wish I had that much luck with the boards in my house!!! :)
 

Brolloks

Benching Senior on Siesta, Premium Member #8
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Location
Land of Long Horns
Thanks guys, it was a real pleasure working with this board, it just feels powerful and stable when you OC with it.
 

dejo

Senior Moment Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
very nice review my friend.
impressive that it outclocked the asus rampage board. Maybe we are finally going to see what msi boards are really capable of, sad that the older boards always seemed to have bios issues. great boards but lame bios's.
I am impressed and may have to give MSI a chance when I do upgrade to the new 2011 socket board
 

PolRoger

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Looks like MSI has brought out a strong competitor with this X79 board! It is impressive that you were able to surpass the RIVE using both the same chip/cooling. Any comments on MSI's implementation of LLC (vdroop control/7 levels) vs. the Rampage IV? or even to some of Gigabyte's recent offerings?

Edit: "dejo" make a good point... I wonder how good MSI's BIOS support will be? That seems to be a strength for Asus ROG's boards.
 
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Brolloks

Benching Senior on Siesta, Premium Member #8
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Location
Land of Long Horns
I found when I set v-droop to auto I got the most stable v-core, in the last ss I set v-core to 1.55v in the BIOS and it stayed at 1.544...oh and I did run WPrime at 5.25 Ghz but did not include a ss as it was with HT disabled, it passed 32M, did not get to run 1024M, probably would have failed due to heat, my room was a toasty 22 C
 

Robert17

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Nice review; looks like you had fun from start to finish. I'm trying to imagine what this thing will do when, as ZZ Top says " you got me under pressure". Fully loaded, 4 gpu's, full RAM load, dewar, and a six pack.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
Excellent review, Edmund. It looks like a fantastic performing board (although I'm not a huge fan of the bullets and gatling gun look
 

MattNo5ss

5up3r m0d3r4t0r
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Great review and awesome board there! Now just put waterblocks on the board.

The gatling gun heatsink is for better 3DMark05 and 3DMark06 performance on the first GPU test... :rolleyes:
 

Brolloks

Benching Senior on Siesta, Premium Member #8
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Location
Land of Long Horns
Edit: "dejo" make a good point... I wonder how good MSI's BIOS support will be? That seems to be a strength for Asus ROG's boards.

Good question...I got the board last week Thu and since then got 2 BIOS updates, I was happy with the 1st update and did not even try the last one so I think MSI has stepped up their game quite a bit.

Nice review; looks like you had fun from start to finish. I'm trying to imagine what this thing will do when, as ZZ Top says " you got me under pressure". Fully loaded, 4 gpu's, full RAM load, dewar, and a six pack.

Thanks and...:rofl:Good reference there
 
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EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I can add a bit to their bios support...

There were some issues (multiplier/throttling) with their Z68 board I reviewed here. When contacting MSI with the issues, their team got right on it and a resolution was out within two weeks, IIRC. So yes, they are on top of things.
 

Brolloks

Benching Senior on Siesta, Premium Member #8
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Location
Land of Long Horns
Here’s the updated BIOS for the XPower II: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/46401386/Big_Bang_XPowerII_version_10F_beta_BIOS.zip

Change log.
1. Fix when manually slecet bclk ratio, system hang by error bclk.
2. Fix when disable "hyper-threading" with "Active processor cores" select to 1, hang"0D"
3. Fix system always reset on 19h issue when use SanMax SMD-2G88N7P-13HM or SMD-2G88N7VLP-13HM memory.
4. Fix system hang on 19h issue when use GOODRAM GY1600D364L9/4G memory.
 

MarkS

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
Oklahoma City
Small typo on the memory portion.

The XPower II offers quad channel memory with 8 DIMM slots which can accommodate up to 128 GB od(sic) RAM (32 GB per slot). RAM overclocking is rated to be 2400 MHz, but MSI has reported to have achieved 2500 MHz, this obviously depends on the quality and rating of your RAM kit. Inserting the RAM sticks into the slots is made easy by Eazy DIMM design, essentially you only have one set of clips, this feature has been around for a while.

128GB is 16GB per slot, not 32.


Other than the ridiculous HS design (what are we 10 here?) the board looks great. GJ Brolloks :)
:thup::salute:
 
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