While we attempt to finish up our coverage of CES 2011, we paid a visit to our friends at MSI to discuss some of their new and upcoming products. MSI has been hard of work this past year, investing heavily into the overall quality and features of their motherboards. Check out the gallery below for shots of some of their products. We’ll go into greater details on some of the most interesting products further down.
In the gallery above, you’ll find a smattering of new and different products. On the motherboard side, you’ll see P67 boards, particularly the new GD65 and GD80. Some of these boards will have the option to be bundled with a discounted Killer NIC card, for those who may be interested in that sort of thing. On the same topic of motherboards, we also have some Mini-ITX products coming in from MSI. One of which is based off of P67 and includes two full-sized DIMM slots for DDR3 and a PCI-E 1x slot. The other is AMD’s new Brazos platform, including a Zacate dual-core APU with built-in Radeon HD5450 caliber graphics. This should be an exciting one to watch for the low-power HTPC crowd.
Moving on to video cards, we have a new HD6870 Hawk Edition, HD6950 Twin Frozr II, HD6970 Lightning Edition and GTX580 Lightning Edition. Each of these cards features slightly improved versions of their coolers from the previous generation of cards, primarily having to do with the fan shrouds. MSI decided that there was too much plastic on the fan shrouds and had them changed to use more aluminum for a firmer construction and cleaner look.
Next up we’ll take a look at MSI’s new flagship for the P67 chipset, the Big Bang Marshall.
Here she is, in all her glory. MSI has gone with SFC-chokes and Hi-C caps for the P67 lineup, especially on the Marshall. You can see how clean the socket is with the new, upgraded chokes and caps, and it’s really a visual upgrade that is also extremely functional. The board features no less than 8 PCI-E x16 slots and utilizes a new chip from Lucid Hydra as a bridge for additional PCI-E lanes (P67 only supports 8x times 2 by default). With up to four slots populated, users can expect full x16 support, while with all eight slots populated, each lane will default to 8x. Slots/PCI-E lanes can also be disabled with the flip of a switch. This feature can be useful for extreme overclocking situations.
Triple BIOS feature is also implemented with the Marshall. With this, the user can essentially use one BIOS entirely for their tweaking and overclocking settings, while still maintaining two totally stable BIOS’ as a fail safe to prevent the user from having to clear CMOS after a failed overclocked. This is also useful in the case of a bad BIOS flash.
OCGenie II is also included from a hardware level, allowing both beginners and advanced users easier methods of tweaking their boards to get the most out of them. MSI is very proud of OCGenie II, and we’ll be sure to check it out in detail once we have this board in our hands for review.
The Marshall should be available by next month, or even potentially end of January for a price roughly in the $300 range. If we could guess, we’d guess more like $350, but maybe MSI will surprise us. Look for a review on this board from us in the future.
Next up, new AMD board? But for what?
MSI has one more very interesting board on display, this time for the AMD platform. No details were available on the board, so what I have here is entirely on my own assumptions. The socket is AM3+, there are 6x SATA 6GBps ports, 10 Phase DrMOS PWM, OCGenie II, and what’s under those heatsinks…well…we’ll have to leave that to your imagination.
The board is already a revision v2.0, which tells me there was some significant update to it since it’s first incarnation, but specifics I do not know, nor can I really speculate. None the less, if this is a glimpse into the future, the future is certainly a bright one.
Thanks for reading, stay tuned for much more from CES 2011.