MSI intros Big Bang Marshal board with eight PCIe x16 slots

By Matthew ยท 25 replies
Dec 29, 2010
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  1. With Intel's Sandy Bridge processors set to debut at CES 2011, MSI has taken the opportunity to unveil its new flagship P67 motherboard offering, the "Big Bang Marshal." Demonstrating the very definition of overkill, MSI's upcoming board utilizes the XL-ATX format and sports eight PCI Express x16 slots, eight USB 3.0 ports, and three BIOS chips.

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  2. CamaroMullet

    CamaroMullet TS Rookie Posts: 93

    "The Big Bang Marshal also features a 24 phase DrMOS PWM design, two 8-pin CPU power connectors and one 6-pin for the PCIe slots"

    WOW, that's a ton of power going through that board! Uggh, going to need a raise to buy this thing probably.
  3. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,718   +860

    LOL...OK, I'm trying to figure out how you could fill up 8 PCI-e slots. Of course there's the 4-way video card SLI you could do. Then add in a sound card. Maybe one of the SSD PCI-E cards TechSpot reviewed a couple of days ago. Then what? Two slots left.

    On top of that, you'd probably need a nuclear reactor as a power supply to run everything that would fit on that board.

    In a nutshell, is there really a practical use for a board like this?
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I don't understand why they supply 8x PCI-Express slots when any half decent GPU uses the space of two, per GPU anyway.

    Or is the idea of the PCI-express slot numbering for different reasons I'm perhaps not considering?
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,556

  6. Jesse

    Jesse TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +42

    You could use water blocks for cooling, which only take up one slot.
  7. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    Considering a lot of graphics cards will practically speaking take up 2 slots each, you're only going to have 4 free if using 2 GPUS, or 2 free if 3 GPUs.

    When I had 2 4870s in Crossfire that took up all the PCIex slots on my P6T board and I was SOL and had to buy a new sound card.

    its ironic, while computers like the Atom are getting smaller, a gaming enthusiast's computer is getting bigger. Bigger cards and motherboards, bigger cases and fans.
  8. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    Just slap 8 EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2's on it with 3 1Kw psu's and call it a day :D rofl.
  9. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    That is one radical motherboard, looks more extreme than the Gigabyte P67A-UD7. Just guessing that every other slot would be the true x16 PCI-express for Quad-Fire or Quad-SLI. Have never owned an MSI motherboard but this one looks really interesting.
  10. stupidusernames

    stupidusernames TS Rookie

    I have to say this seems like a waste of money... I don't think your friends would really give a damn if you had 4 gpu's in there. They'd probably laugh at you and how much money you wasted.

    Also, why not go for the EVGA SR-2 instead? it has room for 4 gpu's AND two CPU's...

    If you're going to waste money, waste it in style.

    That is mine :)
  11. Excessive !
  12. DokkRokken

    DokkRokken TS Rookie Posts: 267

    More show than anything else. But hey, it gets people's attention and that can mean more sales.

    I thought my 790FX board with four slots was overkill a year ago, but here I am with two GTX 470's and a soundcard and feeling kind of short on expansion options. =[

    Hey, if practicality governed system building, we'd all be content with E6600's and 9800GT's. :p
  13. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    That might be true, but the backplate will still take up two slots worth of space, rendering the next PCI express slot useless.

    Hence my original comment in the first place, because as far as I am aware, you cannot fit a single width backplate.

    The last time I looked, the most you could go was 4x dual GPU boards in CF, so say 4x HD5970's, which would give you 8 GPUs in effect. I didn't think you could run 8 individual GPUs in CF or SLI.
  14. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Not on a standard card. That is why the Razor in all its guises and it's imitators were developed.
    Folding farm material and/or GPGPU applications (basically a desktop mini-supercomputer)

    Four GPU's is the maximum for SLI and Crossfire. If the cards are being used for parallel rendering (both SLI and Crossfire utilise alternate frame rendering) then you are limited to two dual GPU cards (5970, 9800GX2, GTX 295 etc.) or four single GPU cards, or in Crossfire's case a dual GPU card plus two single GPU cards IF they ulitize the same GPU ( 5970 + 5870/5850 for example)

    Getting back to the board in question...
    Microstar yet again looking for cheap route to tech enthusiasts' adoration.
    Whereas Asus built their reputation on a series of great boards (Commando (P965), P5W DH Deluxe (975X), Blitz Formula/Extreme (P35), Rampage (X48) and Crosshair ( AMD random 3-digit numbers et al ), EVGA by enlisting a talented bunch of EpoX engineers, and like Gigabyte, a determination to offer both the best customer satisfaction and an open chequebook approach to that most highly visible cutting-edge activity -namely benchmark world records, MSI once again take the approach of "bizarre naming hyperbole = a seat at the top table". Hopefully this board makes more of a splash than the Big Bang Trinergy.
  15. Leeky you cant crossfire four 5970's the maximum is two. Also most decent waterblocks come with a single PCI slot backplate therefore making the cards fit in a single PCI slot without an issue. To the board itself this is complete overkill, though if it will fit my case I'm still very tempted to buy it its just a shame they decided to make it a form factor that most people are going to find rather difficult to fit in their cases.
  16. Hi,
    Someone fogotten it's still Lucid Hidra chip behind, the one that will support up to 8GPUs w/o need in SLI/CrossFire.
  17. Seems the the new Lucid Hydra is a kind of a triple chip in a one (iether a totelly new or a three-die sandwich. BIOS would not support more than 8GPUs - so, no sence to install more.

    Also, beware - the total bandwidth is still 8GB/s. The trick is possible only because real GPU bandwith does not exceed 1GB/s (even less for all AMD and nVidia pre-GF110).

    So, do not overcrowd the board - do not expect the board to support 3 x LSI 2008-based controllers (12 SSD each) in software RAID 0 :)

    As to not supporting different GPU brands - seemed LusidLogix desided to stop butting with nVidia (at least for a time).
  18. MSI makes solid products. I know their products do not look flashy like competitors', but they last long and very hardy. I have owned an MSI laptop, a DELL, a Gateway and a Lenevo. Guess which Laptop never had any problems.
  19. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    From the article:
    The Lucidlogix chip used in this board is likely a simple bridge chip much the same as the NF200.

    ...either that, or more likely an end-user programmable RISC. Hydra, in it's graphics agnostic load balancing guise is basically a driver + bridge chip
    Hydra (GPU load-balancing SoC)
    Virtu (no doubt TS will be covering this alternative to nvidia's Optimus solution in the near future)
    ...and the simple bridge chip- as seen on the Adventure expansion boards- which is a PCIE lane extender, albeit at the obvious expense of downgrading the spec to PCI-E 1.0
  20. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    @DBZ (and Guest #15), I stand corrected. Christ knows why I thought it was 4x HD5970's. :haha:
  21. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Wishful thinking or brain rot from too much interaction with the AM***** fanboys on the forums?:haha:
  22. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    No comment! ;) :haha:
  23. fpsgamerJR62

    fpsgamerJR62 TS Rookie Posts: 489

    Personally, I would prefer to have more DIMM slots and less PCI Express slots. Most upper mid-range boards sport 4 DIMM slots so an oversized board like this should have at least 6. Using dual-slot GPUs won't pose problems on boards with properly spaced PCI Express slots so they could probably lose 2 of the 8 PCI Express slots in favor of more DIMM slots.
  24. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    P67 just like it's predecessor, P55 is a dual-channel memory chipset
    Why? 4 or 6 slots -it's still limited to 16Gb capacity. The only dual-channel board with triple slots is the Gigabyte -UD6. The feature was so fantastic that they dropped it for the better specced -UD7. I think they realized that the only benefit six slots would bring is by using either 2Gb sticks (which only brings the total up to 12Gb) or using mis-matched densities. Populating all six slots also lowers overclocking headroom- not quite what an enthusiast board needs.
    Mutually exclusive concepts. Memory bandwidth has nothing to do with PCIE lane availability. P67 uses the same layout as P55. Sixteen PCIE 2.0 spec lanes are available (via CPU) if no bridge chip (lane multiplier/splitter) is used. Extra PCI lanes are available to the chipset -these are split between PCIe x4, x1, PCI slots, USB 2.0/3.0, Gb LAN and any extra SATA controllers over and above what the chipset is specced for. All these resources must share the available lanes.
    Bridge chips/lane extenders have no correlation to memory bandwidth. The memory controller is solely the province of the CPU.
  25. fpsgamerJR62

    fpsgamerJR62 TS Rookie Posts: 489

    Thanks for the explanation. Just a small clarification. The article stated 4 DIMM slots with support for maximum of 32 GB DDR3. I would think you need more than 4 sticks to reach 32 GB even if 8 GB sticks are already available

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