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MSI Big Bang XPOWER Intel X58 motherboard review

Rating: 9.0.

2010 has been a strong year for MSI so far. They have been releasing some amazing products, such as the R5870 Lightning which not only scored very highly on KitGuru but left us feeling that it was one of the best video cards ever made.

Today we are going to look at the latest product from MSI, the Big Bang XPower Motherboard. This is a X58 Socket 1366 motherboard and the specification list is simply staggering. At £270 inc vat in the UK, its certainly not aimed at the faint of heart – this is a high end enthusiast grade board for people who want the ultimate performance product.

As with the R5870 Lightning we reviewed, the Big Bang is built with Military Class components and to the highest standard possible. When you hear that this meets the temperature requirements of US Department of Defense MIL-PRF-39003L standard, you know they mean business. They are keen to mention on their literature that this is ‘the same class of components as used on NASA satellites or space shuttles'.

Buzzwords aside, what you can be sure is that the MSI Big Bang board is accepting no compromises and while the price is high, it is clear that MSI are targeting the Asus Republic of Gamers audience by offering a similarly specified board.

The MSI Big Bang XPower board supports up to six single slot graphics cards for extreme multimonitor use and it also will cope with QUAD SLi and Crossfire X configurations from both nVidia and ATI. Extreme overclocking is also supported as MSI have included a second 8 pin CPU connector to the motherboard for increased stability. The same goes for graphics cards, as there is an additional 6 pin PCI-e on the board for overclocking stability.

Socket 1366
Chipset X58+ICH10R
CPU Support Intel i7 1366 socket
DDR 3 Memory support 800/1066/1333/1600/1800/2133
Memory Channel Triple
DIMM Slots Six
Maximum memory support 24GB
PCI-Ex16 Six
PCI-E Gen 2.0 Gen2 (2×16, 2×8, 2×4)
PCI-Ex1 One
Raid 0/1/5/10
LAN 10/100/1000 x 2
USB 2.0 Ports (rear) Six
USB 3.0 Ports (rear) Two
Audio Ports (rear) 6+Coaxial SPDIF/Opticial SPDIF
1394 Ports (rear) One
3x SLI Yes
Crossfire Yes
Green Power Genie Yes

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