Originally Posted by tsm106
Reminds me of the Marshall and their dumb choice to go with Hydra. Brilliant.
The Marshal was on sale on Amazon (price error) back in January so I've had the privilege to check it out, and I have to say that there's a lot of misconception surrounding Hydra. Yes it's a useless component and it knocks up the price just being there, but the Marshal does not force you to use it. It has a PLX chip capable of running up to native 4-way CF in x8/x8/x8/x8. From a technical standpoint it should also be able to run 3-way or 4-way SLI the exact same way, but Nvidia did not grant the licenses for anything more than 2-way simply because it's not their NF200. However, being a long time user of 2-way SLI dating back to the 8800GTX's, I'm not affected and I've decided to keep this board until Haswell. The PLX chip allows x16/x16 in 2-way (equivalent to x8/x8 in 3.0) which is not something that can be said about most P67 or Z68 PCI-E 2.0 boards that run x8/x8 (equivalent to x4/x4 on 3.0). Had Nvidia offered them the 3-way and 4-way SLI certification, which this board is perfectly capable of running, then it would've been the
board for LGA1155.
Originally Posted by hirolla888
^ 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).
The VRM thing was only on their AMD boards. Sadly that destroyed their reputation and a lot of people get scared away from their Intel boards also. The words get thrown around and a lot of prejudice gets created. Personally, I've used MSI ever since the first Big Bang XPower (X58) and I was amazed that it was $100 cheaper than most other top boards back then but offered easier and sometimes better overclocks, and came with similar features as well. The same can't be said for the latest Big Bang boards since the price difference is a little less now compared to the ROG and Classified lines, so they'll need to do more to stand out and not just throw gatling guns on them.
Sin hits the mark about this review though. Personally I don't think it's the best X79 board that mankind can make, but to regard it as an inferior board to the competition due to small details like XL-ATX form factor is just a poor attempt to wreck reputation. They even dinged MSI for including a rear USB 3.0 bracket instead of a front panel one, which is exactly what practically every other manufacturer does. I really hope they didn't just push that OC Genie button and called it the best overclock this board can do.