Specs and features
Alright lads, meet the MSI Big bang Trinergy
You've been able to grasp by now that this motherboard is based on the high-end P55-GD80 model (LGA 1156 Core i5/i7 processors). The Big bang Trinergy motherboard comes with a scrumptious black PCB design and a cooling system that features SuperPipe technology (passive). Much like it's little sister the board boasts Dr MOS and APS (Active Phase Switching).
We again spot the handy OC Genie overclocking function and as stated on the previous page an NVIDIA NF 200 SLI bridge chip has now been embedded providing 32 extra PCIe lanes for the graphics setup allowing 3-way SLI, CrossfireX or say 2-way SLI and dedicated PhysX.
The MSI P55 GD80 Trinergy comes equipped with four memory slots rated at even DDR3-2133 (overclocked) and three PCI-Express x16 slots that thus provide 3-way SLI and CrossFireX support. You'll nearly get lost counting but you'll get ten SATA II ports and then two another eSATA ports. Obviously the board comes with dual Gigabit Ethernet and the other GD80 features like V-Check points, Power, Reset, Green Power and Clear CMOS buttons, and a FireWire connector.
To complement the board even further the Big Bang Trinergy comes bundled with a PCIe x1 Quantum Wave audio card that supports THX TruStudio PC and Creative EAX Advanced HD 5.0 Also you will spot an OC Dashboard (external) control pod device that enables users to do some quick, on-the-fly overclocking with the touch of a couple of buttons.
The motherboard comes with a 14-phase power circuit with standard solid-state capacitors. This board has a lot of overclock friendly features, such as on-board controls for clock-speeds, clear-CMOS, OC-Genie, a DIP switch to control voltages, and voltage-sensing points that make measuring voltages convenient.
Make no mistake, the design and implementation of this Trinergy might look like the P55 GD80, but the board design is completely overhauled and a lot is very different.
Let's talk about the P55 chipset empowering the Big Bang Trinergy for a minute though.
The P55 PCH - Platform Controller Hub
To understand the product we'll be reviewing today, let's first discuss the heart of the MSI P55 GD 80 Trinergy, the P55 PCH controller HUB. The P55 motherboard chipset is just one chip, no more North and Southbridge. Interesting to learn is that the P55 chipset connects to the processor directly through DMI (Direct media interface) interface bus, and that's different from X58 where it connects directly to the QPI link.
- X58 = QPI bus LGA1366, 2 QPI links, 3xDDR3, plus power.
- P55 = DMI bus, LGA1160/1156, 1 DMI link, 2xDDR3, PCI-E connections, plus power.
The P55 chip has embedded a lot of righteousness in it: we see an all-time first integrated PCIe controller for 16X or two eight-speed PCIe cards, when it comes to input / output capabilities we are talking about support for 14 USB 2.0 ports with integrated USB 2.0 Rate matching hubs, 6 SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports and an integrated Gigabit LAN Ethernet.
Especially the 16 PCIe lanes are on the shy side for multi-GPU configurations. As such MSI adds a NF200 chip here to gain more PCIe lanes and this bandwidth.
The chipset will also supports Integrated Clocking Buffer Through Mode, provides Thermal Sensor Data via SMBUS for discrete Fan Control Solutions and Intel Matrix Storage Technology 9.0. The new Intel matrix storage has a new user interface for managing all storage related tasks, support for RAID 0,1,5 and 10, Rapid recover technology.
DDR3 wise 1333 MHz is supported straight out of the box, but running the memory at 1600, 1866 or even 2000+ MHz should be no issue either. Speaking of memory, with the arrival of Core i7 870, 860 and i5 750 Intel made the decision to go back to a dual-channel memory interface. Don't get too worried here; the controller is so much faster than the old limited FSB based controllers. You'll have 64-bit memory wide controllers which are connected directly with the processors silicon. As a result this design brings a bandwidth utilization of as much as 90%, a nice jump from the FSB based 50-60% utilization for sure.
In this review we'll be using a 1600 MHz DDR3 Corsair Dominator memory kit. Corsair provided this kit specifically for this review. It is horribly sweet memory as its arranged as 2x4 = 8 GB of memory.