Monday, November 7th 2011

MSI Big Bang XPower II X79 Monstrosity Smiles For The Camera

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.
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.

The MSI BigBang XPower II will be backed by a feature-rich UEFI firmware. Expect it to be among the most premium LGA2011 boards.
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70 Comments on MSI Big Bang XPower II X79 Monstrosity Smiles For The Camera

Some slap a fan on the heatsink, some a magazine, what's next? A grenade? Rocket launcher? :laugh:
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Pro Indian Modder
are those copper tips on the bullets heatpipes :confused:
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I want a motherboard with a Barbie heatsink on it! So things can get really hot... :)
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The Von Matrices
Why do all XL-ATX motherboards still only have 7 slots? I thought their main advantage over ATX was their 9-slot length.
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What now? After unsuccessful 'political' sue on GIGABYTE, you just follow their moves. GREAT!
I wonder what those board designers were thinking of? Being tough is not about how it looks but on how it performs. Pleaseeee.....get yourself some respect by not following others.
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laszlo said:
you can't pass through airport security with this

is designed at al-qaeda instructions packed with explosives and at a certain received command from them kabum
haha..THAT's correct! laughing my ass off now!!!

What was wrong with this kind of cooling! IT WAS AWSOME DESIGN!!! IMO!

or they could use chip HS'inks like those...they work well TOOO!!


EDIT: HAHAHA found a nice pic!!!
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well, at least if this motherboard fails you could take out those crayons and draw a picture of how big you think your penis is. Nice work MSI, you're aiming for the perfect market there ;)
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good overall layout , high quality components . That heatsink might look silly , but its not a dealbreaker imo . The board`s price is what concerns me , nerdy heatsinks just scream "overpriced" . I wish i wouldn`t have to sell my soul to own such a platform . Oh well .. moving on ..
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look like they stole a design from gigabyte
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AthlonX2 said:
look like they stole a design from gigabyte
I agree, and if they had to steal something they could've stolen something worthy to :laugh:
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btarunr said:
And guess which manufacturer is behind that amusement park themed heatsink
Hint: It's not Abit or DFI. ;)
Posted on Reply
_JP_ said:
Hint: It's not Abit or DFI. ;)
Another Hint : It's not ASUS or Gigabyte :roll:
Posted on Reply
The Von Matrices
It may not have been the most thermally effective or aesthetically pleasing heastink, but it certainly was better than an ammo clip.

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Hayder_Master said:
Like the top heat sink, munigun disgn, great look and also the idea have good cooling performance.
Thing is because of the stupid design the cooling performance won't be good, it will be crippled.

Now this isn't the best example, but just google image searched heatsink and it's one of the first results.

That's how a heatsink should be designed surface area, and lots of it.

That's how it dissapates heat, for what ever reason everyones moved onto massive blocks of shaped metal instead, sure they soak up a lot of heat but they hold on to it, it's stupid costs them more money and due to that costs us more money.

Like a lot of other people I'd rather have a heatsink that performs better so I don't have to worry about cooling so much and I can overclock more.
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I agree pantherx12, it's just plain stupid to not maximize heatsink performance on high end motherboards.
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The X-Fi MB 2 solution is garbage. It's just a Realtek chip rebranded. You basically get a software volume knob from Creative and the audio still sucks. You still hear interference when you move the mouse.
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My name is Dave
That's not a fault of the X-Fi solution...there are other boards with this problem that are not X-Fi, or Realtek. but yes, it is just a software package.
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Editor & Senior Moderator
zx679 said:
The X-Fi MB 2 solution is garbage. It's just a Realtek chip rebranded. You basically get a software volume knob from Creative and the audio still sucks. You still hear interference when you move the mouse.
Plug your headphones to the front-panel, not rear panel. The front-panel cable dampens all the electrical noise.
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