MSI Big Bang XPower
The MSI Big Bang XPower is a premium LGA1366 motherboard, and enthusiasts will no doubt be looking at it as an option for their next system, particularly if SATA III and USB 3.0 are on the wish list of items. And make no mistake about it, the Big Bang XPower should definitely be on the purchase shortlist.
In terms of layout and design, the Big Bang XPower is extremely good with only a couple minor niggles, such as the 8-pin power connectors positioned slightly away from the board’s edge, and a lack of an additional fan header located in the right side of the board. There is also the possibility that a graphics card installed in the bottom PCI-E slot will will block the Direct OC and Genie buttons. These are very minor issues though, and are by no means any sort of dealbreaker for the Big Bang XPower; fact is, this board is extremely capable and impressive.
In terms of performance features, Direct OC is extremely handy and impressive when fine tuning your overclock, and the OC Genie is particularly useful for novice overclockers with its wonderfully simple and quick controls. A 1-second button push is all it takes, and for mainstream users or novice overclockers, it doesn’t get any simpler than that. Unfortunately, OC Genie uses some very conservative presets rather than dynamically-adjusted settings, thus limiting the potential overclock results. The advantage of this, however, is that the Big Bang XPower is rock solid.
As for the extreme nature of this board, dropping in a 980X hex-core with a bucket of graphics cards is a drool-inducing prospect that few people often get the opportunity to do. Looking for a monster Folding @ Home rig? Well the Big Bang XPower is up to task, no question. Further, if you have aspirations of sub-zero overclocking, then the huge open area around the socket will make setup with your cooling pot a piece of cake; there’s so much room to work with on this board. It didn’t achieve the highest overclocking results we’ve accomplished to date, but it can certainly hang out near the top of the heap.
The Big Bang XPower is available for approximately $300 USD, which is actually a good deal for a premium X58 motherboard, and certainly the cheapest one with this many PCI-E slots available. MSI has tossed just about everything but the kitchen sink into this board and package, yet offers some amazing potential at a great price for what you get. Admittedly, few people will need this much horsepower and won’t fill all those PCI-E slots, but for those that do, there is slim pickings available on the market and this board is one of the best options.
MSI has really nailed down a winner here, in terms of quality, features, performance, and price. That’s an impressive combination no matter how you slice it. The MSI Big Bang XPower is an excellent motherboard, but particularly for those looking to harness some graphics horsepower in a multiple card setup.
MSI Big Bang XPower