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MSI Big Bang Marshal Motherboard Review

By on February 3, 2011
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The finest Sandy Bridge motherboard yet.

Good: Steady overclocking performance, 4-Way SLI/CrossFire, Nvidia & AMD hybrid performance, X-Fi MB2 audio
Bad: XL-ATX size doesn't fit all cases, Lucid Hydra chip doesn't deliver performance in all games
Price: AED 1,200
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

The MSI Big Bang Marshal is designed with extreme performance in mind, so it’s not surprising to see 4 DIP switches to tune the voltage settings and another 4 to enable/disable the extra PCIe slots. Moving below, there are the voltage check points for which the cables are already included. Underneath that are the USB 3.0 headers, again, for which 2 brackets are provided with 2x USB 3.0 ports each. Below that are the 4x SATA III (6Gbps) ports and 4x SATA II (3Gbps) ports. [EDIT: MSI have informed us that they will be mounting the B3 version chipsets on all the BBM motherboards to resolve the SATA 3 issue on all intel P67 series platforms. Look at the end of the review for a provisional way to resolve the issue for the time being]

Let’s have a look at the rear panel now, with 8x USB 3.0 ports; coupled with the 4 headers, that’s a total of 12x USB 3.0 ports. Then there are 4x USB 2.0 ports, 2 of which also double as eSATA ports. Dual LAN Gigabit ports are obviously present, and finishing things off are the 7.1 HD audio connectors powered by a Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 chip which allows for THX TroStudio Pro and EAX Advanced HD 5.0 audio.

Like I said before, nothing was spared in the making of the Big Bang Marshal, which is why MSI decided to slap together all of this on an XL-ATX board. Make no mistake; this thing is huge, requiring 2x 8-pin power connectors up top, in addition to the 24-pin main connector. There’s also an additional 6-pin power connector for when you have all PCIe slots in use. Our 1200W Cooler Master PSU proved ample for the job.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

Comments
  • mohammed

    DAMN this is MONSTER!!

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  • Leocaldas

    Can you put 8 Ati for 8x Crossfire?

    • http://twitter.com/taimoorh Taimoor Hafeez

      As I said in the review, most cards nowadays are dual-slot based, so you cannot physically install 8 cards as there won’t be space for that many. Also, neither ATI nor Nvidia supports 8x CrossFire or SLI, they are limited to 4x.

  • Super XP

    Yes I believe you can so long as it supports Crossfire “X” which means multi-card Crossfire. But you will either have to go water cooling for go for the less powerfull single cooler cards to have them fit. Though you can always get 4 x Dual-Slot cooling cards for 4 way Crossfire X…

  • Super XP

    Yes I believe you can so long as it supports Crossfire “X” which means multi-card Crossfire. But you will either have to go water cooling for go for the less powerfull single cooler cards to have them fit. Though you can always get 4 x Dual-Slot cooling cards for 4 way Crossfire X…

  • Super XP

    Yes I believe you can so long as it supports Crossfire “X” which means multi-card Crossfire. But you will either have to go water cooling for go for the less powerfull single cooler cards to have them fit. Though you can always get 4 x Dual-Slot cooling cards for 4 way Crossfire X…

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