|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: MSI Big Bang Marshal (B3) Motherboard|
|Posted by Winston|
|Tuesday, 19 April 2011 22:03|
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Intel got a huge battering from its partners over its controversial P67 (codenamed Cougar Point) chipset problem. According to some reports, it has cost Intel an estimated USD $1Billion to correct it (loose change for them really). Luckily, Intel managed to identify the problem as soon as it appeared, and has now released a new revision of the P67 chipset (B3 stepping).
So what was the original problem anyway? Well, if you didn't know ... it was to do with the performance of the onboard SATA of original P67 chipset. Over time, the performance of the SATA ports would degrade, giving users less than optimal results. The problem seem to only affect the 3rd and 4th SATA ports, and thereafter. However having said that, the performance of the first two SATA ports were unaffected, which is the reason why the problem was not discovered until later.
So has this damaged Intel's reputation? Yes, a little ... but everyone makes mistakes. It's what you do with these mistakes that counts, and thankfully, Intel did the right thing by correcting the problem as soon as they realised one existed. The new P67 chipset (B3 stepping) proved to be a welcomed solution for a lot of motherboard manufacturers, who's been holding backing on their production lines.
This motherboard is like nothing we've ever seen in our labs. It's absolutely jam-packed with some amazing features, including the use of "Military Class II" components, 8 PCI-E slots (2x16, 2x8, 4x1), onboard switches for on-the-fly overclocking, support both Nvidia SLI and CrossfireX, and much much more ... far many to list. It's seriously one hell of a motherboard for the extreme enthusiasts and hardcore overclockers.
Firstly, let's talk about the "Military Class II" feature from MSI. What MSI have done is to use components of the highest grade and quality for its construction. These include the use of Hi-c CAP, SFC (Super Ferrite Choke) and all solid capacitors, all of which gives the MSI Big Bang Marshal (B3) Motherboard unprecendented reliability, stability and longevity. Next we have MSI's APS (Active Phase Switching) for superb power efficiency. Oh, and let's not forget the OC Genie II, which intelligently auto detects the clock/voltage of the CPU, memory or iGPU for best overclocking option. And finally, MSI's innovative DrMOS ... which is also included as standard.
Other features include MSI's Click-BIOS, which is a mouse-controlled and easy to use UEFI BIOS interface, not to mention there's also Multi-BIOS feature for backup and emergency. For connectivity, the motherboard includes the support for 8 x USB3.0, 2 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire, 4 x SATA 3Gb/s, 4 x SATA 6Gb/s and 2 x eSATA. There's an onboard Creative X-Fi MB2 soundcard, which provides THX TruStudio PRO audio. Oh, I nealy forgot ... you'll also find a OCDashboard, which is a debug LED panel/widget for monitoring the health of the motherboard and various settings. It's perfect for any hardcore overclocker.
Boy! I'm out of breath ....LOL!
There's one thing which is quite odd with the MSI Big Bang Marshal ... its dimension and size is slightly bigger than your average ATX form factor (see photo here). On closer inspection, I released that the motherboard is actually in a XL-ATX Form Factor 34.5cm(L) x 26.4cm(W). It's the first we've come across. So one word of advice ... make sure your case can support this XL-ATX Form Factor.
There's no question the MSI Big Bang Marshal is going to ROCK ... but how far can it overclock our humble little Intel Core i5-2500K processor? Notice we're using an Intel Core i5-2500K and NOT a Core i7-2600K. We wanted to show you that a lower model processor can overclock just as well.
We'll be testing the MSI Big Bang Marshal motherboard, using the following components, which includes ... an Intel Core i5-2500K procesor (LGA 1155), Geforce GTX 560 Ti (1Gb GDDR5), 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600, Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 CPU cooler and a Adata HM-850W power supply.
OK, let's get cracking and take a closer look at the specifications and features of the MSI Big Bang Marshal P67 (B3) motherboard on our next page ...