MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

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MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:27 am

MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

If you are looking for a board that will support a crazy amount of graphics cards, the latest Intel processors, and can supply the necessary power for some extreme overclocking the MSI Big Bang XPower may be the board for you! Read on to find out how this motherboard that comes out next week performs when we put it to the test!

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Article Title: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1327/1/
Pricing At Time of Print: $299 MSRP
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:29 am

great looking board, but I really dislike the position of the two white SATA 6Gbps headers facing up like that. Why would they not put them on a 90 like all the other black SATA II 3Gbps headers? Other than that the boards layout and colors look great.

The DDR3 slots are made to function with the video card in, but without the tabs on the PCIe x16 side it's nearly impossible to put a RAM fan on the modules. I'm a big fan (no pun intended) of RAM fans, so I hate it when board companies do this.

What voltages can be checked using the v-kit that you talked about on page three? I didn't see any mention of that and see six slots in the blue bracket.
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby XstollieX » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:39 am

The blue bracket allows you to check five different voltages. You can check CPU, VTTD, DDR, IOH,and ICH. the sixth slot is the ground plug. I am not sure why they didn't put the SATA 6Gbps headers on a 90 like the others but it would have made a lot of sense.
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:45 am

Very nice... Will the board handle new Low Voltage memory kits that use less than 1.2V power on the DDR3?
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby XstollieX » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:56 am

I will set the board back up and let ya know later today.
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby Sttm » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:38 am

How is that included sound card? Is it actually an improvement over standard integrated HD audio, and on the level of a Xonar or Xfi card?

If it is, then this board could actually be a good deal.
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby XstollieX » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:58 am

To be honest with you I am not much of an Audiophile, I have always been fine with the onboard audio.

Big Bang gaming motherboard features Quantum Wave™ audio processing, combing THX TruStudio PC with Creative EAX® ADVANCED HD™ 5.0 to deliver the most powerful and realistic gaming audio performance available from any motherboard.

Featuring THX TruStudio PC created by THX, Quantum Wave™ can deliver the fullest audio experience for games, music and movies while remaining true to the source and intention of the artists who created it.

EAX® stands for Environmental Audio eXtensions and is a programming interface that allows developers to access the special features of Sound Blaster® cards. Compared to the previous generations, the latest EAX 5.0 allows users to have more realistic and incredibly immersive audio to games!
From the MSI Big Bang XPower page from MSI's site, it looks like it has alot of potential. I am looking at ways to test sound cards now, I will be setting up the XPower board again later this evening, and I will let you know if I find a good way to test audio quality.
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:07 pm

The only real way to tet audio is with something like Rightmark Audio Analyzer. http://audio.rightmark.org/index_new.shtml

I used to use it in all the motherboard reviews we did back in 2005-2007, but didn't think that most readers knew wtf they were looking at.

You can see it being used here - http://www.legitreviews.com/article/414/7/

A few sites like ixbt still use it:

http://www.ixbt.com/mainboard/foxconn/f ... i55h.shtml

They just show the results though and don't compare it to anything.

It's easy to run as you just plug a cable in from the mic to the audio in and run the benchmark... It's just having people understand the results and why it matters that is tricky. I just tried it on my Gigabyte X58 Extreme motherboard and it runs just like it used to 3-4 years ago:

audio.jpg

audio2.jpg
audio2.jpg (64.71 KiB) Viewed 2982 times
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby XstollieX » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:47 pm

That is the software I found while googling, if I can find a cable(not sure if I have one) I will give it a go otherwise I will have to p/u a cable somewhere either tonight or in the morning.

Edit, Found one, must have come with a monitor
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby Cannyone » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:01 pm

Depending on how this board is priced, I might get one for my backup system. I've had a few MSI boards in the past that I liked allot. :) But if its too much on the far side of $300 I'll probably go with an EVGA X58 FTW3, or an Asus P6x58D Premium.
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby XstollieX » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:03 pm

Cannyone wrote:Depending on how this board is priced, I might get one for my backup system. I've had a few MSI boards in the past that I liked allot. :) But if its too much on the far side of $300 I'll probably go with an EVGA X58 FTW3, or an Asus P6x58D Premium.

It is being priced at $299 when it hits the egg next Wednesday
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby supersquarewalrus » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:08 pm

Good Review.

What where the temps of the north bridge IOH Chipset during testing? MSI X58 boards usually has high north bridge temps, it would be great to know if i would need to modify the NB chipset with an aftermarket heatsink. Can you post the idle and full load temps for the north bridge chipset?

One other question, is this board like the fusion series, where you can use a HD 5870 with a HD 5770 in crossfire?

Thanks.
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby XstollieX » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:23 pm

supersquarewalrus wrote:Good Review.

What where the temps of the north bridge IOH Chipset during testing? MSI X58 boards usually has high north bridge temps, it would be great to know if i would need to modify the NB chipset with an aftermarket heatsink. Can you post the idle and full load temps for the north bridge chipset?

One other question, is this board like the fusion series, where you can use a HD 5870 with a HD 5770 in crossfire?

Thanks.

I will be setting this system back up later this evening or first thing in the morning and I will post the NB temps. As for the crossfire question, no the XPower doesn't have the Lucid chip so you wont be able to mix and match like you can with the fusion
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby geokilla » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:54 pm

XstollieX wrote:
Cannyone wrote:Depending on how this board is priced, I might get one for my backup system. I've had a few MSI boards in the past that I liked allot. :) But if its too much on the far side of $300 I'll probably go with an EVGA X58 FTW3, or an Asus P6x58D Premium.

It is being priced at $299 when it hits the egg next Wednesday

That's pretty expensive. But then again, you pay for what you get. This board looks very promising as displayed in the review, except for the lack of PCI slots. I wish it had at least 1 PCI slot.

I noticed that overclocking seems to be average and like most motherboards, whether they're $100 or $400, the MSI top out at around the same frequency which in this case is 4.2Ghz.
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby XstollieX » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:11 pm

geokilla wrote:
XstollieX wrote:
Cannyone wrote:Depending on how this board is priced, I might get one for my backup system. I've had a few MSI boards in the past that I liked allot. :) But if its too much on the far side of $300 I'll probably go with an EVGA X58 FTW3, or an Asus P6x58D Premium.

It is being priced at $299 when it hits the egg next Wednesday

That's pretty expensive. But then again, you pay for what you get. This board looks very promising as displayed in the review, except for the lack of PCI slots. I wish it had at least 1 PCI slot.

I noticed that overclocking seems to be average and like most motherboards, whether they're $100 or $400, the MSI top out at around the same frequency which in this case is 4.2Ghz.
I think I will be able to get past the 4.2GHz, 4.2 came pretty easily, but I was starting to get into temps that I don't care to hit 80+, I know those temps are still safe but this chip is only a few weeks old. I was only running a single fan on the Thermalright Venomous X so once I get back from Alabama I am going to push it further with dual fans or I may throw it under some water cooling. The price, like you said you get what you pay for, with the MSI Big Bang XPower I feel that you are getting more than what you pay for, I am most likely replacing my EVGA system board with it.
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby XstollieX » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:47 am

Apoptosis wrote:Very nice... Will the board handle new Low Voltage memory kits that use less than 1.2V power on the DDR3?

Apoptosis, Currently the Voltage for the DDR3 only drops to 1.2Volts, so it's not clear if they have plans to go lower for these new kits. I have an e-mail into MSI and I will let you know what they say
supersquarewalrus wrote:Good Review.

What where the temps of the north bridge IOH Chipset during testing? MSI X58 boards usually has high north bridge temps, it would be great to know if i would need to modify the NB chipset with an aftermarket heatsink. Can you post the idle and full load temps for the north bridge chipset?

One other question, is this board like the fusion series, where you can use a HD 5870 with a HD 5770 in crossfire?

Thanks.
msi-temps2.jpg
supersquarewalrus, I also took the temeratures of the chipset heatsinks with an infared thermometer. The SB heatsink was sitting at 56.4C and the NB was only 51C. If you have some decent airflow in the case you should be fine. Hope that helps ya :)
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby supersquarewalrus » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:42 pm

XstollieX thanks for the additional test, the board is very similar to the eclipse and eclipse plus. It seems MSI tackled the high IOH temps, which is a good thing. i may consider upgrading to this board, but i really wish you could mismatch a hd 5770 and 5870 in crossfire.
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Re: MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Postby kyra13 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:09 am

An extraordinary motherboard with an exemplary sound solution and even an external overclock LCD dashboard. Have a 24hr-printer-cartridges.com peek, and be shocked and awed .. this is one fine motherboard
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