MSI Big Bang Marshal P67 Review


MSI P67rB3 Big Bang Marshal Review


No matter how neutral we try and remain when reviewing a new piece of hardware we are only human and enthusiasts just like you. So when we first opened the box to the MSI and saw it's "Nimitz Carrier" size we couldn't help but be excited, especially given the excellent performance of recent MSI motherboards.

There is no doubt that this is a big board. All XL-ATX boards are big but if you've gone a while without testing one it's easy to forget quite how much extra room there is with that extra slot. Being so big allows enormous freedom in placement of your PCIe devices and the cooling thereof, assuming that you aren't trying to squeeze it in a HTPC or similar.

It's not just the size that grabs you though. MSI really have nailed the looks with their blue and gun-metal grey boards of late. Most high-end motherboards are either red or blue, and the main rival for the blue P67 Big Bang Marshal at the moment just happens to be in the red corner in the shape of the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme.

It's very apt that we have models in the red corner and the blue corner because they are both heavyweights trading blows. If we're allowed to run with the boxing metaphor for a little longer these two would end up with a points draw after 15 rounds.

There is very little not to like about the Marshal. Although we didn't test it this go around to maintain the fidelity of our benchmarks and comparisons, it is equipped with the awesome Lucid Hydra system that allows you to mix and match cards from both nVidia and ATI. This is something that we've tested before and it works amazingly well with complete transparency of operation and no performance drawbacks.

Overclocking is a joy. We had couple of issues with the version of BIOS that the Marshal was shipped with, which is often an issue when dealing with 'fresh off the press' hardware but true to the excellent customer service MSI quickly let us have a copy of the retail BIOS and it's stunning. 5GHz out of our Core i5-2500K was a breeze to obtain and the results backed up the fantastic clock-speed. Who would have thought when the Core i7s were released that we'd soon be able to have 5GHz processors without breaking either a sweat or the bank.

Naturally all this comes at a bit of a premium. It's not readily available at the moment but the MSRP is expected to be around the £320 mark. We'd be lying if we said this was cheap, but alternatively it's only a bit more than the Maximus but with an extra PCIe slot and the brilliant Lucid capabilities it's actually better value. Yes that seems quixotic, but so much more kit for only a little extra money is what value is all about.

Struggling to choose between the GTX590 and the HD6990? Have both with the MSI Big Bang Marshal. And then let us bench it.

In short, if you want the flexibility that an XL-ATX motherboard provides for Quad-GPU shenanigans then the Marshal really is a bulletproof choice. It's fast, looks gorgeous, comes equipped with everything you could wish for and a boat-load of accessories. We're happy to award it our OC3D Gold Award for the ludicrous overclocking capabilities matched with rock-solid components.


Thanks to MSI for providing the P67 Big Bang Marshal for review. Discuss in our forums.

«Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Next»

Most Recent Comments

28-03-2011, 10:04:28

Wow!... 5GHz on an i5 at only 1.464V.Quote

28-03-2011, 10:36:11

Great review Bryan and a stunning motherboard arguably MSI's finest aesthetically at least. Only issue i have with the thing is the bloody size i realize its getting more popular but there still isn't that many cases able to accommodate it. One thing that did confuse me though Bryan is you mentioned using a Nvidia 590 and AMD 6990 together in Lucid. I might be wrong but to the best of my knowledge Hydra Lucid does not support Lucid X Mode with dual GPU cards.Quote

28-03-2011, 10:37:16

Game Over
Great Review!Quote

28-03-2011, 11:20:17

Excellent review as always.

Anyway that's an amazing board, one thing with the technical specs, it says it can't run 3 way SLI, so if you want to fill up all the slots you're pretty much stuck with AMD?Quote

28-03-2011, 11:48:40

Originally Posted by Zeals View Post

Excellent review as always.

Anyway that's an amazing board, one thing with the technical specs, it says it can't run 3 way SLI, so if you want to fill up all the slots you're pretty much stuck with AMD?
i dont think board with the lucid chip are certified for sli or crossfire but it can definitely do itQuote

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.