MSI Launches New X79 Flagship Big Bang-XPower II Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | January 5, 2012 - 01:44 PM |
Tagged: x79, msi, motherboard, big bang II, big bang 2

MSI is hoping to make a "big bang" with their new flagship Big Bang-XPower II X79 based motherboard. The board itself is full sized ATX, and sports a dark matte gray PCB with glossy black connectors and heat-sinks. The rear IO is aluminum and the PCH heat-sink has six copper heat-pipes (or supa' pipes as we like to call them around the office). The board has quite a few overclocker and enthusiast friendly features.

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Specifically, the new Big Bang II is based on the X79 chipset and is ready to accept a Sandy Bridge-E (Socket 2011) processor. A total of 8 DIMM slots makes for some quad channel goodness, and MSI claims that the board will be able to support up to 128 GB (RAM Drive anyone!?) of RAM when 16GB DIMMS become available. Further, the motherboard is PCI-E 3.0 compliant and is ready for 4-way SLI or Crossfire multi-gpu setups in addition to sound cards and RAID controllers thanks to its seven total PCI-E expansion slots.

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All this kit is going to need quite a bit of power, and MSI has gone so far as to brand their motherboard with the "Xtreme Power Design," which seems to indicate they mean serious business. More than the name, the two 8 pin and 1 6 pin (in addition to traditional 24 pin ATX power) connectors for the CPU and Graphics/PCI-E 3 devices respectively. The two CPU power connectors deliver 300 watts while the VGA connector can provide an additional 150 watts of power to compliment the total maximum power draw of 770 watts (!). (Needless to say, I would need a new PSU to push this board to its max). Managing this power is a 22 phase PWM "with hybrid design power" using solid and Hi-c capacitors. The VRM area of the board is massive, in other words.

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The overclocker friendly features include voltage check pins for CPU, RAM, and chipset, and a backup BIOS with accompanying switch. Further, a Direct Overclock button to adjust the CPU BCLK (in intervals as small as .1MHz), and power and reset buttons on the board itself are also included. Last up is a feature called PCI-E CeaseFire, which allows users to completely turn off graphics cards without needing to physically remove them from the motherboard by using a series of switches next to the Direct OC buttons. MSI claims that the Big Bang-XPower II is "the optimal weapon for enthusiast overclockers to break world records."

Rear IO includes a PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, six analog audio jacks, S/PDIF optical and coaxial audio outputs, a Clear CMOS button, and a Firewire port.

Needless to say, this board boasts quite a few features! More information can be found here.

Source: MSI

Gear Up with MSI: Win Intel Motherboards, GeForce Graphics Cards

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards | November 30, 2011 - 11:13 AM |
Tagged: z68, x79, sandy bridge-e, msi, GTX 580, GTX 560, giveaway, contest

This is a pretty big week here at PC Perspective as we released our highly anticipated review of the Intel Sandy Bridge-E and X79 platform.  If you haven't read that over, you need to do so, right away!!  But we also have some impressive gear to giveaway thanks to our friends at MSI and their "Gear Up with MSI" campaign!

What are the prizes?  I know that's what you want to know first...

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Wow, these are some stellar prizes!  First prize basically gets the components required for one of the fastest gaming rigs on the planet while the 2nd prize will be able to play Batman: Arkham City with all the top settings! 

So what do you have to do to win these prizes?  The steps are simple:

  1. Make a comment on this post thanking MSI for this kick ass contest!!  That's pretty simple right?  You don't have to register, though we would appreciate it!
  2. Like MSI on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MSI.ComputerUS
    1. (Just a hint, they have a lot of Facebook-specific contests throughout the year!)
  3. Like PC Perspective on Facebook: http://facebook.com/pcper
  4. Follow PC Perspective on Twitter: http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. Circle PC Perspective on Google+: http://gplus.to/pcper
    1. (Another hint, comments on our G+ post about this contest get another entry!)

We will pick random winners in our pool of entries on Wednesday, the 7th of December!  Sorry, US and Canada residents only for this one!  If you don't have a Facebook/Twitter/Google+ account commenting here will still enter you.

Oh, and if you haven't seen the other contest MSI is running around the release of Batman: Arkham City, you should check out this page on their site.  Posting a photo of yourself dressed up like Batman has never been so lucrative! 

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The Grand Prize for MSI's Batman Photo Contest!!

Winners Announced!!  Sorry about the late update, but we did pick our winners!  The first prize went to use "Equinox2355" and the second prize went to "Deman".  Thanks to everyone for participating and we'll have more contests very soon!!!

Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

A Temporary Card with a Permanent Place in Our Heart

Today NVIDIA and its partners are announcing availability of a new graphics card that bridges the gap between the $230 GTX 560 Ti and the $330 GTX 570 currently on the market.  The new card promises to offer performance right between those two units with a price to match but with a catch: it is a limited edition part with expected availability only through the next couple of months.

When we first heard rumors about this product back in October I posited that the company would be crazy to simply call this the GeForce GTX 560 Ti Special Edition.  Well...I guess this makes me the jackass.  This new ~$290 GPU will be officially called the "GeForce GTX 560 Ti with 448 Cores". 

Seriously.

The GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Core Edition

The GeForce GTX 560 Ti with 448 cores is actually not a GTX 560 Ti at all and in fact is not even built on a GF114 GPU - instead we are looking at a GF110 GPU (the same used on the GeForce GTX 580 and GTX 570 graphics cards) with another SM disabled.  

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GeForce GTX 580 Diagram

The above diagram shows a full GF110 GPU sporting 512 CUDA cores and the full 16 SMs (simultaneous multiprocessors) along with all the bells and whistles that go along with that $450 card.  This includes a 384-bit memory bus and a 1.5 GB frame buffer that all adds up to still being the top performing single graphics card on the market today.  

Continue reading our review of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Core Graphics Card!!

MSI's All-new X79 Series Mainboards Deliver Superior Stability with Military Class III Components

Subject: Motherboards | November 16, 2011 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: msi, x79, X79A-GD65 (8D), X79A-GD65, X79A-GD45, X79MA-GD45

(Industry, CA) -- Leading international mainboard and graphics card manufacturer MSI today announces the official release of its X79A-GD65 (8D), X79A-GD65, X79A-GD45, and X79MA-GD45 mainboards. The new mainboards are based on Intel's latest X79 chipset and uses the LGA 2011 socket supporting the 2nd generation Core i7 processors. The X79A-GD65 (8D) features with 8 memory DIMMs, supports 16GB DDR3 memory modules, bringing maximum capacity up to a staggering 128GB! For superior quality and stability, MSI X79 series mainboards adopts Military Class III components. With DrMOS II - the next generation of DrMOS with improved double thermal protection - the lifetime of components is maximized, even in warmer environments or when the machine is heavily overclocked. MSI X79 series mainboards also feature the latest PCI Express Gen 3 bus and MSI's proprietary Click BIOS II for maximum performance and user convenience. When taking into account all of the other advanced technologies supported such as 3-Way NVIDIA SLI and 4-way AMD CrossFireX multi-GPU processing technology, THX TruStudio PRO sound, Multi-BIOS II, Control Center II, and Super Charger, MSI X79-series mainboards are simply the best choice for enthusiasts!

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New Military Class III Components and the Next-gen DrMOS: DrMOS II
MSI X79 series mainboards maintains MSI's commitment to product stability and reliability by introducing Military Class III components. In addition to the use of Tantalum core capacitors (Hi-c CAP), Super Ferrite Chokes (SFC) and Solid Capacitors (Solid CAP), MSI now incorporates next-generation DrMOS II design. While competitors are just beginning to adopt a DrMOS solution, MSI's DrMOS II provides an integrated and fully-automated Double Thermal Protection to maximize the lifespan of components – even in warmer environments or when heavily overclocked. All Military Class III components have passed MIL-STD-810G certification, making MSI's Military Class III components synonymous with premium quality and ultimate stability.

Double the Bandwidth with PCI Express Gen 3
MSI's X79 mainboards support the latest PCI Express Gen 3 standard to deliver a staggering 32GB/s of bandwidth, double that of the previous generation. PCI Express Gen 3 support can also be enabled or disabled through the BIOS interface to ensure compatibility with graphics cards regardless of whether users use a PCI Express Gen 3 graphics card!

World's 1st Unified UEFI & Software Graphical Interface – Click BIOS II
MSI's Click BIOS II is the world's 1st to provide a unified graphical user interface under both UEFI & Windows. System settings can be adjusted using the mouse or even LCD touch control under different environments. Click BIOS II can not only save overclocking settings to a USB storage device but also upload them for sharing with other overclocking enthusiasts. This convenient and intuitive design is the result of continual technological breakthrough developed by MSI for its flagship mainboard line.

Easiest One-second Overclocking Technology – OC Genie II
MSI's proprietary OC Genie II can achieve amazing performance increases in just one second. CPU and memory performance are optimized without compromising system stability, significantly saving the time required by overclockers for fine-tuning. Once the user enables OC Genie on MSI's X79 mainboards, the clock rate on the Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition processor pumped from a default of 3.3GHz to 4.0GHz. The 21% increase enables users to enjoy the performance boost from overclocking with ease.

Comprehensive Support for Multi-GPU Processing Technology
MSI X79 mainboards fully support 4-way AMD CrossFireX and 3-way NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU processing technologies, providing the most scalability and performance for gamers who require extreme gaming performance.

THX TruStudio PRO Surround Sound Technology for the Best Audio Experience
MSI X79 series mainboards are all equipped with THX TruStudio PRO audio technology for the best sound quality. Experience the most immersive surround sound effects when you are watching Blu-ray movies, other media, or playing 3D games!

Multi-BIOS II Offers Safe and Convenient BIOS Switching
MSI's X79 mainboards support the latest Multi-BIOS II technology. The integrated dual BIOS design improves safety and convenience by allowing enthusiasts to use a switch on the mainboard to manually switch between different BIOS setups when one is corrupted by overclocking or other factors.

Super Charger Charges Your iPad / iPhone / Smart Phone, Even When Computer is Powered Off!
MSI's X79 mainboards support Super Charger fast charging technology to deliver triple the current of standard USB 2.0 interfaces. Even if your computer is switched off, you’ll still be able to quickly recharge your iPad/iPhone or smart phone to ensure you always stay connected!

Source: MSI

A new processor needs a new home; meet the X79 chipset

Subject: Motherboards | November 14, 2011 - 04:02 PM |
Tagged: X79A-GD65 (8D), X79-UD5, x79, P8X79 PRO, msi, lga2011, Intel, gigabyte, DX79SI, asus

If you want to run a Sandy Bridge E chip, you are going to need a new motherboard as they use a brand new socket.  The upgrade isn't just about the socket though, as there is a noticeable increase in PCIe 3.0 lanes possible on the X79 chipset as well quad channel memory.  At The Tech Report is a look at motherboards from four major vendors, the Asus P8X79 PRO, Gigabyte X79-UD5, Intel DX79SI, and the MSI X79A-GD65 (8D).  Unfortunately Intel is plagued by issues with storage, while not the same as we saw in their previous chipset the port count is still lower than we expected and the RAID software is still labelled as a beta product.  Indeed by the end of the review it seems that each board did at least one thing to disappoint The Tech Report, though they hold hope for future revisions.

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"If you want to get in on Intel's new Sandy Bridge-E CPU, you'll need an LGA2011 motherboard. We've gathered four examples from Asus, Gigabyte, Intel, and MSI to see which one makes the best foundation for an Extreme Sandy build."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

X79 Motherboard Roundup Video Preview

Subject: Motherboards | November 14, 2011 - 02:51 AM |
Tagged: x79, video, msi, Intel, gigabyte, asus

I am sure by now you have been reading our review of the new Sandy Bridge-E processors, in particular the Core i7-3960X, but we only had a brief mention of the various X79 motherboards we had in-house in that article.  (Which if you haven't read yet, you definitely should!)

Over the course of the last 14 days or so, we have seen and played with:

  • ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
  • ASUS Sabertooth X79
  • ASUS P9X79 Pro
  • MSI X79A-GD65 8D
  • Gigabyte X79-UD3
  • Intel DX79SI

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We will have reviews of all of these boards in the coming days, but I wanted to at least make sure you saw each of these motherboards in our video roundup and preview.

Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more on the X79 platform and Sandy Bridge-E!!

More industry fallout from the flooding in Thailand

Subject: General Tech | November 9, 2011 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: asus, gigabyte, ECS, asrock, msi, market share

With HDD shortages come a reduced demand for most PC components as shipping a system without a hard drive tends to be frowned upon.  This will be hitting motherboard makers fairly hard over the last quarter of 2011.  DigiTimes reports an estimated 20% drop for Gigabyte; MSI, ECS and ASRock are expecting around a 10% decrease and ASUS projects somewhere in the neighbourhood of 5-10%.  We can certainly hope that there will be discounts offered in the attempt to focus on upgraders.  A nice price on some of the new motherboards that have just come onto the market might draw the attention of those who already have a fully functional PC but are considering a possible hardware refresh.

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"Motherboard makers have been impacted by HDD shortages arising from flooding in Thailand since mid-October, and are expected to see their fourth-quarter shipments decrease 10-15% on quarter, according to industry sources.

Gigabyte Technology may see shipments falling 20-25% from five million in the third quarter to below four million in the fourth."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: DigiTimes

MSI's new mid price, moderately powerful gaming laptop

Subject: Mobile | November 8, 2011 - 02:02 PM |
Tagged: msi, gaming laptop, GT683R

MSI's new gaming notebook has a 2.6GHz i5-2410M, a GTX560M 1.5GB and a strangely unbalanced RAM setup with a single 4GB and a single 2GB stick of DDR3.  Externally, two USB 3.0 and two USB2.0 are available, a single eSATA port, four audio jacks, a card reader and HDMI and VGA will give you external video.  The external video may be quite important to you if you plan on gaming as the default 1366x768 resolution will not stress the GTX560M.  Drop by Madshrimps for a complete look at MSI's competitively priced GT683R gaming laptop.

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"After testing MSI's GT780 gaming notebook I must admit I was pretty impressed by it's allround and gaming performance. Of course, a high end gaming notebook also carries a pretty beefy price tag. big screen , decent powerful GPU and CPU, 8Gb of ram, dual harddrives. Well the price tag for the included components was fair, but what happens if you want a gaming notebook and don't have 1500 euros to cash out? Todays reviewed MSI GT683R laptop might have you covered for a fraction of the price. The specifications of the GT683 don't seem that impressive at first glance, but maybe it can still pack some serious punch. Let's open the box and see what's inside."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

Mobile

 

Source: Mad Shrimps

Meet MSI's new X79 series

Subject: Motherboards | November 7, 2011 - 02:35 PM |
Tagged: X79MA-GD4, X79A-GD65 8D, X79A-GD65, X79A-GD45, x79, msi

MSI sent us a little tease showing off their upcoming X79 motherboards, with 3 ATX models and an mATX as well.  You can see the MSI X79A-GD65 8D, the MSI X79A-GD65, MSI X79A-GD45 and the X79MA-GD4 pictured below.  The most obvious difference between the first two models is the number of DIMM slots, with the 8D sporting a total of 8 slots compared to 4 in the second model, though both do support Quad Channel DDR3.  The second two have less PCIe slots than the higher end boards, with the X79MA board being the mATX member.

All three full sized boards support OC Genie, and all support THX audio, bear both SLI and CrossFire logos and MSI's Military Class components.  The two GD65 models both have V-Points for checking voltages across the board, though only the 8D model has LCD readouts for post codes.  Click on the pictures below for much larger versions.

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and a late addition from MSI

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Source: MSI

A best of three HD 6950 battle royal

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 26, 2011 - 05:36 PM |
Tagged: hd 6950, amd, gigabyte, msi, xfx, factory overclocked

Heading to The Tech Report will bring you to a round up of HD6950's including Gigabyte's GV-R695OC-1GD, the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC and the XFX HD-695X-ZDDC.  The GPU clocks range from 830MHz to 870MHz and RAM ranging from the stock 1250MHz to 1350MHz, with the MSI and XFX offering their own overclocking tools and Gigabyte relying on the Catalyst Control Center for further overclocking.  MSI's offering came out looking very good, with the best performance and the best power efficiency and thanks to a mail in rebate it picks up the best ratings in the round up.  It is a close race though with the cards performing very similarly, as you can see in the review.

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"We've gathered three souped-up Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards from Gigabyte, MSI, and XFX. Which one delivers the most bang for your buck?"

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards