Legit Motherboard Reviews
MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review
|Date:||Thu, Jun 10, 2010 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Dan Stoltz -|
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
When it comes to performance, the MSI Big Bang XPower performed right on par with the other X58 boards that we tested today. Where the MSI Big Bang XPower excelled was overclocking.
As I stated in the beginning of the review, the MSI Big Bang XPower was designed for the enthusiast and the extremist. One of the features that I failed to mention previously was how all of the heatsinks are attached. Unlike many of today's boards that use push pins and springs to secure the heatsinks, the MSI Big Bang XPower heatsinks are all attached with screws. This will make the removal of the heatsinks extremely easy for those who will be firing up the board with some liquid Nitrogen or Dry Ice cooling in place.
One little piece of info that I discovered when I was toying with the MSI Big Bang XPower deals with the BIOS. While I had the system overclocked to 4.2GHz I decided to throw in the pair of GeForce GTX 465's that we reviewed here and see how the pair of them would perform in a system at 4.2GHz. Unfortunately, the system wouldn't boot into Windows. All that I got was a black screen and a mouse pointer. I was a little bit disappointed. So I began some basic trouble shooting to isolate the issue. I tried the Galaxy GeForce GTX 465 and the EVGA GeForce GTX 465 SC individually and saw the same result. I then put the HIS Radeon HD 5870 back in and the system booted fine. I contacted MSI about the issue and they sent me a new version of the BIOS. I updated the BIOS to version V1.1B1 and was able to boot right into Windows with the pair of GeForce GTX 465's with no problem. I am not sure which version of the BIOS that MSI is shipping the Big Bang XPower with, so if you are planning to use a GeForce GTX 400 series be ready to flash the BIOS if you can't get into Windows. The procedure to flash the BIOS from a USB flash drive is made simple using the M-Flash utility.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with the MSI Big Bang XPower. The MSI Big Bang XPower has all the latest features like SATA3 and USB3.0. It will support up to six graphics cards for some serious multi-monitor action, or some serious folding for you folders out there. Plus it performs as well as any of the other boards that we tested today. Throughout the benchmarks today it was in the top spot or right there. The MSI Big Bang XPower was never far behind the leader when it wasn't doing the leading. I was easily able to hit a 4.2GHz overclock with minimal effort. The only issue I had I stated above and that was easily resolved by MSI with a quick BIOS update.
Legit Bottom Line: The MSI Big Bang XPower will be a force to be reckoned with. The MSI Big Bang XPower has the features of an Extreme Board at the low price of $299.00, which is a comparable price to many main stream boards!
Questions or Comments? View this thread in our forums!
Page 1 - MSI Big Bang XPower Explodes Onto the Scene
Page 2 - MSI Big Bang XPower Box and Bundle
Page 3 - MSI Big Bang XPower, A Closer Look
Page 4 - MSI Big Bang XPower Bios
Page 5 - Legit Reviews Test System
Page 6 - PCMark Vantage
Page 7 - 3DMark Vantage
Page 8 - Super Pi
Page 9 - Cinebench R11.5
Page 10 - SiSoftware Sandra 2010
Page 11 - x264 HD Video Encoding
Page 12 - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.
Page 13 - Colin McRae: DiRT 2
Page 14 - Overclocking the MSI Big Bang XPower
Page 15 - System Power Consumption
Page 16 - Final Thoughts and Conclusion