The Quantum Wave audio card comes with 7.1 channel audio output (analog) but also coaxial and optical TOSLINKs are present. A very nicely added bonus alright. Despite looks of a dedicated soundcard, it's merely an application layer addon -- main sound is still handled by the motherboards integrated Realtek ALC889 -- yet enhanced by Creative and THX.
Also you will spot a OC Dashboard device that enables users to do some quick, on-the-fly overclocking but also functions as Debug PORT during boot up. You guys know the POST LEDs with error codes right ? Well, during the POST and boot sequence this device will display the status codes.
Within windows however, the device allows for real-time statistics but also overclocking. You can tweak voltages on all primary parts and increase the base clock. We'll demonstrate this with the help of a video later on. It's a bit of a gadget granted -- but a very nice one.
So here we have the motherboard itself, it's an impressive and daunting looking motherboard alright. Pricing for this really high-end motherboard will be high-end as well, expect 250~300 USD. Some of the more notable features are:
2x GB LAN
2x eSATA / USB combo ports
NF200 bridge chip
Quantum Wave SoundCard
From left to right that's a PS2 keyboard and mouse connector. Then I count a total of eight USB 2.0 ports, 1x firewire, 2x eSATA / USB combo ports, 2x Gigabit Ethernet. The weird looking connector is a port for the OC Dashboard external controller (D-LED2 panel connector).
MSI Big Bang Z77 Mpower review Today we test the Z77 MPower version, which as you'll notice is a pleasant upgrade from their Z77A-GD65 motherboard -- yet with an improved CPU VRM, more friendly warranties and a new black and yellow color-scheme which merges the Lightning series graphics cards and these motherboards a little closer together. Have a peek at what was just released, this is the MSI Big Bang Z77 MPower motherboard. You just have to be impressed by the overall looks ...
MSI Big Bang P67 Marshal review Powered by Intel's P67 chipset, the MSI Big Bang Marhal comes with MSI's latest Military Class II design that makes use of a 24 phase (!) power SFC choke setup alongside the best quality Hi-c CAP's and Japanese made solid capacitors. Added to the mix for additional PCIe lanes is a Hydra chip, which also can be utilized to combine mix and match graphics cards in a multi-GPU setup. The board comes with 24-phase DrMOS power design, voltage monitoring points, an external overclock device called the OC dashboard, that all new EFI BIOS, dual-BIOS selectable with a simple button, and OC genie button that allows you to have say a 2500K processor run at 4200 with the flick of a switch. I'm not done though, we spot integrated audio with SoundBlaster X-Fi application (software) layer, ten SATA ports of which four are based on the all new SATA 6G. Thick heatpipe (passive and thus silent) cooling and more and more. This board is a true hardware enthusiast dream come true, or is it ?
MSI Big Bang X58 XPower review We test and review the XPower from MSI. Last month Intel added a new processor in the line-up, the ever so strong Core i7 980 Extreme six-core processor. Seriously breathtaking, and to date the fastest consumer processor on the globe with very decent overclock potential as well. That was reason enough for most ODM to make new updates and revisions of the X58 chipset based motherboards, as next top the new processor we also have seen the gradual adoption of features like USB 3.0 and SATA3 6G.
MSI is on of the ODMs releasing something really special, today we'll review the Big Bang X58 XPower motherboard. It is chucked full with the latest gadgets and features, it is equipped to make sure you get the very best overclock out of it and heck, even if you can't overclock, flick a button and the motherboard will do the work for you, completely automated.
MSI Big bang Fuzion (Lucid Hydra) review MSI has yet another motherboard lined up in the P55 motherboard Big Bang series, ready and waiting for you. It's called the 'Fuzion' and comes with that much discussed Lucid Hydra 200 chip. Now the big deal about the Big Bang mainboard is that the board has that Lucid Hydra 200 chip that allows it to support multiple video cards of different brands and models at once. This in theory would allow you get the extra performance from your old video card and your new card even if one is NVIDIA and the other is ATI. The Hydra 200 is a real-time distributed processing engine that acts as an intelligent graphics load balancer.