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CES 2011: MSI Demos New AM3+ Big Bang Conqueror & Lightning GPUs

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Index:

Page 1: AM3+ Conqueror, Big Bang Marshall & the other P67 boards
Page 2: New Lightning series GPUs


If you rewind the calendar to two years ago, you would have seen a very different MSI from the company we encountered at CES 2011. At CES 2009, MSI’s North American operations were in shambles and their presence at the show was minimal with very few new products on display. Now, things are rolling with brand new marketing and PC product development teams. Not only did MSI show off a number of new and upcoming products at highly competitive price points but they also flexed their motherboards’ overclocking muscle with an overclocking event dubbed MOA. For the time being at least, this is one company we expect some great things from in 2011.


Big Bang Conqueror; Ready for AM3+ and Bulldozer

There really has been quite a bit of talk about AMD’s upcoming AM3+ CPUs which include products sporting their new Bulldozer architecture and MSI has a board ready. It’s called the Big Bang Conqueror and is meant to go head to head against the likes of ASUS’ Crosshair ROG series in terms of overclocking capability and features.

Since AM3+ boards are backwards compatible with AM3 CPUs, MSI is looking to launch the Conqueror far in advance of Bulldozer’s official availability. It has all of the features one would expect of an enthusiast-grade board including an onboard POST LED, easily accessible Power and Reset buttons and multi GPU support through the use of a Lucid Hydra chip.

Pricing isn’t set but we don’t expect the Conqueror to retail for more than $275 USD.




The King of P67 boards: Big Bang Marshall

In our preview of MSI’s P67 motherboard lineup, we caught a glimpse of the Big Bang Marshall and the specifications looked impressive to say the least. Seeing this beast in person was another matter altogether. It is an absolutely massive board with a laundry list of features like eight PCI-E x16 slots, up to eight USB 3.0 connectors, dip switches to control the PCI-E lane configuration, voltage read points and a button to switch between multiple BIOS files. Naturally, it also sports MSI’s new Military Class II design which includes Tantalum-cored Hi-C capacitors and SFC chokes.



Click on images to enlarge


The Rest of MSI’s P67 Lineup

P67A-GD80




P67A-GD55




P67A-C45




P61MU-E35




P67MA-ED65

 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
New Lightning series GPUs

GTX 580 Lightning

Currently, the GTX 580 is the fastest single GPU graphics card on the market and MSI has decided to go ahead and release a Lightning version of it. For those of you not familiar with the Lightning brand, it is supposed to offer highly clocked cards which are also tailored to the needs of overclockers. Extremely high quality components are used including in this case a 14-phase PWM and the cards themselves go through a rigorous quality assurance process before being shipped to the retail channels. Ultimately, usually means cards boasting the Lightning moniker are usually slow coming market but we’re expecting this particular version sooner rather than later.

The newest lightning cards will also feature MSI’s brand new Twin Frozr III heatsink design which incorporates the new fan design which is called Propeller. Slightly beveled leading edges on the fans mean they are able to run at higher speeds than the ones on the Twin Frozr II heatsinks while causing much less noise.



Click on images to enlarge



HD 6970 Lightning

Much like the aforementioned GTX 580 Lightning, the HD 6970 version sports most of the same features including the high end 16-phase PWM and voltage read points. The only real difference (other than the GPU which resides within) is the overall PCB length which is substantially shorter on the AMD card.

 
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