MSI Big Bang P67 Marshal review

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MSI Big Bang Marshall P67

The introduction of the latest Intel Core i5 and Core i7 based processors based on the Sandy Bridge architecture and paired with that the P67 motherboard chipset for the somewhat enthusiast community certainly brought a big smile to all our faces. Face it, any combination of that processor and a motherboard is just wicked.

Update: this article was written prior to the P67 chipset recall - more info in the conclusion on this.

But... there's also wicked in threefold. We have seen some truly P67 amazing motherboards already, but the one tested today is bound to top them all. It is a motherboard that I have been on the lookout for a long long time. It is the MSI Big Bang P67 Marshal!

The Marshal, as we'll call it from here and onwards, is a eATX based P67 motherboard on which MSI went completely wacky, the board will compel and lure the extreme enthusiast class end-user as it is smothered with features and options.

Powered by Intel's P67 chipset, the MSI Big Bang Marshal 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 with a hopefully an extended long life-time expectancy. Primary features:

  • Military Class II components
  • OC Genie II: Auto OC to boost performance in 1 sec
  • ClickBIOS: Easy-to-use UEFI BIOS interface
  • Super Charger: fast charge iPad/iPhone/smartphone
  • MANY USB 3.0 & SATA 6Gb/s
  • MANY PCIe slots

But wait there's so much more... to name just a few, this board at default comes with twelve USB 3.0 ports thanks to three NEC USB 3.0 controllers and an internal VIA HUB, is has eight (!) mechanical PCIE x16 slots supporting CrossfireX and 2-way SLI.

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, a freakfest of hardware but was it really designed into perfection or do we stumble into some compromises? Well, let's have a quick peek after we'll show, test and overclock it. We'll bring it close to 5 GHz on air cooling today and put some really sexy 2133 MHz DDR3 CAS7 memory on it to see if we can set any new records.

MSI Big Bang Marshall P67

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