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[Xbit] MSI Big Bang X-Power 2 Review

post #1 of 29
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http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainboards/display/msi-big-bang-xpower-ii.html

Not exactly a favorable review for the X-Power 2:
Quote:
Conclusion

All manufacturers try to present their products in the best way. Therefore, you will never come across any mention of the fact that MSI mainboards are the only ones out there that are unable to change the processor Vcore in Offset mode. Therefore, no one will ever tell you that MSI Big Bang-XPower II is so huge that there are very few cases out there that can actually accommodate it. However, it looks like no one really thought about possible incompatibility when they designed MSI Big Bang-XPower II. And that is because this mainboard wasn’t intended for common everyday work inside a system case. It is a platform for extreme overclocking experiments and breaking records, and therefore there is no need for normal dimensions, nominal settings or power-saving modes. In fact, I think this line from one of the recent press-release could be a good illustration of the situation today: “ASRock, one of the three largest mainboard makers…” That’s it: ASRock has already become No.3, and it looks like MSI lost its positions in the top-three category. Of course, there are many ways to attract attention in the overclocker and enthusiast world, but unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult to overlook the fact that despite multiple advantages, the sales of MSI mainboards continue to drop and the company has really hard time maintaining its position in the market. Does it mean that something is wrong with MSI mainboards after all?
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post #2 of 29
sucks for them. Asus and gigabyte ftw as #1 and #2
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post #3 of 29
Reminds me of the Marshall and their dumb choice to go with Hydra. Brilliant.
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post #4 of 29
The board is XL-ATX... that's no secret. No need to mention it on every page. Also, how is the inability to change voltages in an offset mode a con? The only manufacturer I've ever seen use that consistently is EVGA, and it always threw me off because I had to figure out what all the defaults were. Absolute voltages are much easier.

This review seemed poorly written (full of typos) and not well thought out. I don't like MSI boards at all, but there's no way I'd take anything in this review seriously.

EDIT:

This one takes the prize:

table2.png

X79 overclocking is so similar I can't believe they couldn't get within ~50MHz on every board. And what do you do when you can't reach the same speeds? Run all of the tests at different speeds and assume linear scaling, of course! doh.gif
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post #5 of 29
Who are they appealing to with that bullet clip looking heatsink?
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post #6 of 29
Surprising, I heard a lot of good things about it. Also it irks me that they keep bringing up the large form factor in such a negative way. As an owner of an HPTX capable case, I was looking into getting larger boards. If you have an ATX-only or EATX/ATX case, don't look at boards that aren't that size. It's a pretty simple concept. As someone who runs a 24/7 system, the low power consumption here is quite a nice surprise I think.
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post #7 of 29
Conclusion, XBit labs have no idea how to OC, they just look at the specs, the price and whatnot. Second of all, about the offset that is true, but looking at one feature and taking it down solely for that isn't so great, especially because a lot of people who buy the XP2 will buy it not for OC, like so many bought the UD7 and didn't buy it for OC. Companies don't understand that overclockers are divided into two subsections, those who OC 24/7 and those who OC as a sport, they focus on the sport OC as that way they can pick the best OCers and have them test out their stuff and they have an engineering gain from it as well. I think the only people who OC the bigbang 24/7 before it is released are the technicians who troubleshoot in the regional offices as well as the marketers themselves. So many people buy the Bigbang 2 for none OC purposes, just look at how much connectivity it has, what they say about being soley for OC is like saying the UD9 was a waste, or that the UD7 was a waste, or the X58 4-way classy, which they didn't' say for any of them. I mean XBit labs isn't the source for OC reviewing, so I would guess most of their audience has no idea how to OC and wouldn't buy a board solely for it.

I had the board for a review, i didn't deff didn't write that review, but it was the best MSI board I have ever used, but I didn't give it a perfect score or even close. I did however not find any major issues, the build quality was superb, everything MSI could have done they did. First board to ever use right angled USB 3.0 connectors, which are expensive b/c of USB 3.0 signaling optical requirements. It OCed extremely well, had stable BIOS, software suite worked good most part. It does have power saving options BTW, but the vcore wont drop under idle, however that is a limitation of the PWM they use from uPI. I hate how MSi states that they have a hybrid digital PWM, that is total BS. Oh MSI put the wrong audio chip on the board lol, maybe that is why they asked for it back. It performs great, the I/O performance was above par, and the board just feels and upon inspection is probably the most expensive X79 board to make. .

However see people the trick here is to look at other reviews of similar products and see what they got and then compare certain aspects like OCing to forum accounts of comparisons done by users who bought and returned products and so on. A reviewer will point you one way so you focus on one thing while totally broad siding everyone the other way. They will say the product sucked like this and like that(many times focus on the smallest tiny issue, or even bring in issues they encountered while in DOS(seriously)), but the truth is that their ad money probably didn't come in on time, or there was some type of thing they wanted and didn't get. Perhaps MSI asked for the board back, which they did from almost all media they didn't think was good enough or took too long to produce a review, I didn't give mine back tho( i sold mine actually), because I don't directly deal with MSI. My editor asked for it back he said MSI had some sort of component shortage, but then I didn't respond and he never asked for it again, later he said he sent back the second XP2 MSi sent them.

Personally i never stand up for MSI, but this time I felt they built a good board, and I have used more X79 boards than that guy. ONly isue of his I agree with is the offset, the ATX-XL comes with the price tag to some extent, it costs less than the R4E, OCes same in CPU higher in BLCK, has everything else of superb quality, and is pretty much equivalent, so you can take the extra money you would spend on the ROG and get a ATX-XL case. I personally know that X79 is a server bound chipset, and you are more likely to find people with the wallets to buy ATX-XL in the X79 platform, not Z77. if that was a Z77 bigbang that would be a different story, as X79 is ultra high-end, you should expect the boundaries to be pushed.
    
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post #8 of 29
^ Sin makes some good points.

For me, the main reason I stay away from MSI is because of the horror stories I've read about their VRM. I don't know if they've improved on that or whatever, but honestly even if they have, I don't see a reason to choose MSI when I can get an Asus or Gigabyte for the same price (or cheaper) and KNOW I'm getting a quality product.

In my opinion MSI need to do something radical to come back in to the spot light. Whether it be a new colour scheme for their mobos or a board just for OCers (similar to the Gigabyte X58 OC), they need something to grab the enthusiasts' attention. Otherwise they could end up being just a graphics card manufacturer (at least they seem to have that down).
post #9 of 29
the bigbang 2 was very radical IMO, something i have never seen on that scale so well by a company like that.

BTW asrock is #3 now and displaced MSI because asrock buys at the same price as asus, which is much lower than everyone else b/c they buy in bulk from intel for chipsets, from other makers for parts, at a price no other board maker other than asrock and asus can get.

asus makes the most profit, then asrock, then gigabyte, then msi, and then the rest. ASRock is blessed to be part of asus in a way that not many people know about. That is the only way asrock is able to offer for the price they do, of course they also do everything to maximize profit margins, which isn't a good thing for OCers.
    
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post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mygaffer View Post

Who are they appealing to with that bullet clip looking heatsink?

MW3 and BF3 fanatics. rolleyes.gif
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