MSI Big Bang XPower Intel X58 Motherboard
Author: Frank Stroupe
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 07-26-2010
Provided by: MSI

The LGA 1366 Core i7 processor and the X58 Express motherboards to support it were released in late 2008. It was an awesome system with its new technologies and triple channel memory and nearly two years later I am still impressed. But in that time new technologies have emerged. USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s, and Intel's new 32nm factory are just some of the new things we have seen over the past months.

Nearly a year later, Intel released its LGA 1156 version of the Core i7, along with the P55 chipset. This system had some real CPU/chipset architecture changes, so much that the Northbridge was completely eliminated. System performance in this new Core i7 series was very close to that of the earlier i7, so much so that I assumed the X58 had just been made obsolete. It was hard to believe that such an awesome system would last only a year. I was very pleased to later find out that Intel was merely waiting to get their 32nm factory online to build the next LGA 1366 processors.

Intel's release of the six-core Gulftown, the Core i7 980X Extreme, has created the need for updated X58 motherboards. Sure, a simple BIOS flash on most of the existing X58 boards will allow you to get some six-core goodness, but you will be lacking the new much faster data transfer methods, along with some other new technologies created by the motherboard manufacturers in the past couple of years.

Micro Star International, better known as MSI, should need no introduction. They have been around for nearly 25 years building high quality motherboards, video cards, and other PC related products. Their motherboards rank right up there with the “household name” companies. Today I will be looking at MSI's latest X58 motherboard, the Big Bang XPower.

Sporting USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s, this board also has some construction features that probably make it the best-built X58 board on the market and has all of the niceties found on MSI's other Big Bang gaming boards. Will the XPower satisfy? Read on to see!

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