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MSI Big Bang XPower II X79 Monstrosity Smiles For The Camera

Discussion in 'News' started by btarunr, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    MSI is among the most secretive companies with their socket LGA2011 motherboard early information as the big Sandy Bridge-E day approaches (mid-November), yet we managed to score some early pictures of their top-end product from our spy-satellites and a network of cold war era retirees. Enter the MSI Big Bang XPower II, the company's top-tier socket LGA2011 motherboard for enthusiasts. This board is designed in the XL-ATX form-factor, and will fit in cases with at least 10 expansion slot bays. Thanks to the added board area, it's able to accommodate both a strong VRM, and high room for expansion (with eight DDR3 memory slots and seven PCI-Express slots).

    To begin with, the LGA2011 socket is powered by a 24-phase VRM that makes use of driver-MOSFETs, solid-chokes, and High-C POSCAP capacitors. The memory is powered by a 4-phase VRM. The board draws power, apart from the 24-pin ATX, from two 8-pin EPS connectors, and an optional 6-pin PCIe (to stabilize PCIe slot power delivery). We can see many accessories to this VRM, such as phase-loading LEDs, and consolidated voltage measurement points. We are particularly intrigued by the design of the heatsinks over the VRM and chipset. The one over the VRM looks like the barrels of a Gatling gun, while the one over the chipset looks like a small piece from an ammo belt. You will either love it or detest it.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Moving on to expansion, although the LGA2011 processor gives out 32 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes for graphics, the board is facing a lane budget deficit to wire its seven PCI-Experss x16 slots. Perhaps there is a PCI-Express bridge chip to give out additional lanes. The lane configuration is not known.

    With storage connectivity, this board will give you a total of six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, from which two come from the X79 PCH, and four from additional controllers. Apart from the two 6 Gb/s ports, the X79 chipset also gives out four SATA 3 Gb/s ports. There are no eSATA ports. The board has a total of eight USB 3.0 ports, all driven by Renesas-made controllers, out of which four are on the rear panel, and four by internal headers. A nice touch here is that the front-panel headers are angled and laid beside the SATA port clusters.

    The board features a high SNR (signal-noise-ratio) HD audio CODEC (probably ALC889), backed by Creative's X-Fi MB2 software that gives it even higher fidelity and more features. X-Fi MB2 software works on top of the HDA CODEC's native drivers, and so there is zero scope for any audio driver-related problems. The CODEC is wired to 8+2 channel analog outputs, optical and coaxial SPDIF outputs. There are two gigabit Ethernet connections, and surprisingly, both are driven by Intel-made gigabit Ethernet controllers. One of the two is driven by a compact 8257x series chip wired to the chipset's GbE lane, while the other is a full-fledged PCIe GbE controller. Both are backed by Intel's solid ProNetwork software and low-overhead drivers. Firewire and USB 2.0 make for the rest of the connectivity.

    [​IMG]

    The MSI BigBang XPower II will be backed by a feature-rich UEFI firmware. Expect it to be among the most premium LGA2011 boards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  2. the54thvoid

    the54thvoid

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    The ammo belt heatsink looks like a packet of yellow crayons.
     
  3. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Bingo.
     
  4. entropy13

    entropy13

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    If we're judging by the looks, I'd definitely prefer this over Gigabyte's attempt for something "military."
     
    heky says thanks.
  5. TheLostSwede

    TheLostSwede

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    Maybe they're special MSI bullets ;)
    They won't kill, only mame...
     
  6. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Nice! Although, it's either my eyes deceiving me or does the last pic of the I/O look like the boards is pre-warped from the factory? A nice feature to have :roll:
     
  7. _JP_

    _JP_

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    Impressive hardware, silly looks.

    What's with the gun-themed heatsinks lately? It looks silly. :laugh:
    When I buy a motherboard, I want the felling of having good hardware, not "If this fails, I'm going to gun someone down!".
    I see the MSI vs. Gigabyte marketing feud goes beyond the PCI-e 3.0 stuff... :ohwell:
     
    blibba says thanks.
  8. mstenholm

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    Yes it is curved.
    Like when some prduceres of heat sink said it was intentional for better performance :roll:
    Please stop this amy theme. Yet another mobo that I will not buy for that reason alone.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  9. Animalpak

    Animalpak

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    Haha gatling gun !

    I want one with the RPG rocket build in
     
  10. Steven B

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    wow haha
     
  11. pantherx12

    pantherx12 New Member

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    Would of been a really nice looking motherboard if they hadn't of spoilt it with that tacky heatsink.
     
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  12. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Military components = we must add silly heatsinks. Which is a reason i wont by them as i want one that looks like they actually thought about cooling performance and not this rubbish..

    So glad i am thinking of waiting till next year as this crappy designing and odd looks over performance is just not except able on these expensive motherboards.
     
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  13. ensabrenoir

    ensabrenoir

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    Asus is the only one who got the military theme right all others = fail.

    Would've been a nice board if not for the deadly crayons......
     
  14. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Hey, I like the yellow crayon theme too! lol. I'm sorry to disappoint, but I neither love nor hate the silly military marketing. It's a nice board, which I would be happy to buy and I look forward to some benchmarks.

    Oh and nice TPU-sourced article bta, quite the scoop you have there. ;) Has anyone else noticed the TPU watermarks on the photos?
     
  15. EarthDog

    EarthDog

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    If that was giga, it would get rejected in RMA (that happened to me with a UD7).

    Yeah, whats with the crayons?

    And the TPU photos... what, ya'll breaking the NDA? Better you than me!
     
  16. Damn_Smooth

    Damn_Smooth New Member

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    What is with all of the lame SB heatsinks lately? Gigabyte with guns, Asus with fans, MSI with bullets. Is anyone going to make a SB-e board that isn't butt ugly? Seriously, this board would look so awesome without those bullets.
     
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  17. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Running boards in sub-zero conditions can lead to warpage. Your position, Earthdog, probably made that RMA denied. :laugh:

    That said, the number of boards I have received with out-of-box socket warp is nearly 90%. Much better recently.

    Secondly, TPU is not the source of these photos, and I am TPU's board reviewer, and I do not have any NDA with MSI, nor do I have any MSI X79 products. Got questions like that, always best to ask the OEM before making accusations.;)
     
  18. EarthDog

    EarthDog

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    Nope, cad. It didnt run cold ever. That (PO)shit was warped out of the box and denied solely because of that.

    Hope your surgery went well BTW. ;)
     
  19. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Don't matter what really happened though...it matters what they assess.

    Still waiting for surgery.
     
  20. EarthDog

    EarthDog

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    Riiight, just correcting your false assumption. ;)

    Same.. better ask the source than making accusations that I warped the board going cold. Go under the knife already grumpy guy! the gas will do you well.

    So qubit bricked on his statement that alluded to the fact that it was TPU's... nice.
     
  21. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    I didn't assume anything. Just putting that out there. They do have a legit reason for denying RMA on warped boards. Doesn't mean that's the story with your own, but it's something every user should be aware of.

    You insinuated that they have no reason to deny RMA for baord warpage. they do, wrongly assessed or not.
     
  22. 20mmrain

    20mmrain

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    Can we say *Cough* Rip Off *Cough* come on MSI
     
  23. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    To break an NDA, we'd have to sign one first.

    Like I said, our spy-satellites and retired soviet spies did the espionage.
     
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  24. the54thvoid

    the54thvoid

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    We can and you did.

    And enough of the military theme. If these boards are truly designed for techies and enthusiasts shouldn't the boards have heatsinks shaped like ninja stars, warp coils and buxom babes?
     
  25. Maban

    Maban

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    That's interesting, cause I saw another site post these pics and the source was listed as the KGB.
     

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