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MSI Big Bang XPower II Review

By on January 17, 2012
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Big Bang returning in all its glory.

Good: Competitive performance when overclocked, Easy UEFI BIOS for overclocking & tweaking, Multiple Gen 2.0 & Gen 3.0 PCIe slots, Spacious layout, High-end capacitors
Bad: Need to make sure XL-ATX size is compatible with desired PC case
Price: AED 1,600
* 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 original MSI Big Bang Marshal made quite a stir at the Tbreak office last year, and now with the new XPower II version, history is set to repeat itself.

Carrying the Big Bang moniker, the new XPower II motherboard is quite obviously an ATX sized monstrosity, but the packaging seems deceptively mid-sized. The glossy gold and black color scheme looks really nice, without looking overly flashy. It somehow reminds me of the design aesthetics of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Given that a lot of attention has been paid to the design of the XPower II, the case has a flap which allows you to get a glimpse of the motherboard itself. All around it are lists of features that make the XPower II such a special board.

Opening up, you’ll notice a ton of manuals, cables and accessories. First off there are two quick start and installation guides. Then there’s an overclocking guide along with a ‘Certificate of Quality and Stability’. There is another overclocking record sheet, perhaps on this motherboard itself, which shows the highest overclocking results achieved by MSI’s own engineers. I believe this sheet was just given along with the review samples.

Moving along, we have a front bracket which has two USB 3.0 ports and a back panel eSATA bracket. Then there are eight SATA cables, three SLI cables for a 4-way SLI setup and a CrossFireX cable. Finally, there are the V-Check point connectors for reading voltage of various components.

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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.

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