MSI offers sneak peek at Bulldozer ‘Big Bang’ mobo

AMD may not have have much of a response to Sandy Bridge right now, but the situation will change later this year. The presence of a Socket AM3+ motherboard in MSI’s CES showcase was a reminder that Bulldozer, AMD’s next-gen desktop and server microarchitecture, is indeed on the way.

Understandably, MSI wasn’t very talkative about the board. However, we know the board features a next-generation AMD chipset, and we can infer a few things from its external appearance alone. The "Big Bang Conqueror" label signals this is a very high-end board, while port color-coding betrays the presence of two USB 3.0 ports and six Serial ATA 6Gbps ports.

This mobo should play host to Zambezi, Bulldozer’s desktop incarnation, which will feature four to eight cores and no integrated graphics. (Users seeking a desktop AMD CPU with built-in graphics will have to settle for Llano, which will be based on the existing Stars microarchitecture.) AMD has said it plans to start shipping Bulldozer-based CPUs for revenue this summer.

Comments closed
    • Mr Bill
    • 9 years ago

    Its a very attractive board. I am now strongly tempted to do a Bulldozer build. Must, resist, bleeding edge.
    So, I wonder if we will see this board on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ in a product placement shot.

    • Grigory
    • 9 years ago

    I hope “Big Bang” does not refer to the capacitors. 😉

      • maxxcool
      • 9 years ago

      LOL, sadly im old enough to remember more than one msi board with leaky caps….

        • LoneWolf15
        • 9 years ago

        MSI, Abit, ASUS, and anyone who used Chinese caps during that time period suffered from this.

    • jalex3
    • 9 years ago

    must say i like the looks of this board and the am3+. LOVE the slot layout. my main hope is that sinks be end up looking like gigabytes new ones. an idea will this work with nvidia SLI.

    • smilingcrow
    • 9 years ago

    I just don’t trust MSI. I tried a few of their boards and they seemed amateurish compared to Gigabyte & Asus. They had some deals in the UK when LGA 1156 was released so I just snapped one up and sold it for a profit and put the money towards a decent brand.
    Does anyone have something good to say about them?

      • LoneWolf15
      • 9 years ago

      I certainly do. I’ve used a number of them, and they have been good boards.

      • Mr Bill
      • 9 years ago

      I have used MSI boards since Slot-A days. Have a dual MP still working, and Phenom II on AM3 is my current system. All have been reliable except for caps on the Slot-A boards. Come to think of it, I also have a couple MSI K6-3 boards still good last time I checked.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      I had one for a friggin’ old Thunderbird build, and now I have one for my main Clarkdale desktop. The T-bird board got toasted by a failing PSU after six years, the other one works fine.

      I’ve also had Asus and Gigabyte, and I recall having a couple Gigabyte boards failing in just a year or two. To me, Gigabyte is a ‘value brand’, cramming their boards full of stuff and selling them cheaper than Asus, and drivers don’t work right (maybe I feel that way because of unfortunate experiences with Via chipsets and JMicron controllers…?)

      • just brew it!
      • 9 years ago

      I tend to buy Asus these days, but I’ve had reasonably good luck with MSI in the past. They generally seem to provide decent value for the money.

      • Chrispy_
      • 9 years ago

      Not impressed by MSI myself.

      I only build one or two PC’s a month and most of those are Asus boards. When I can’t find an Asus, I’ll use Gigabyte, and when I can’t find a Gigabyte, I’ll use MSI.

      They’re okay, but they miss all the touches that makes an Asus board better: The front-panel connector blocks, a decent manual, better port and component layout, intelligent behavior after a failed overclock (yes MSI, I do so love having to remove my CMOS battery).

      In terms of reliability, I don’t think I’ve had any concerns though, and MSI have the best colour scheme for those with case windows (I’m too old for that crap now).

    • poulpy
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]The "Big Bang Conqueror" label signals this is a very high-end board[/quote<] If I could hang/burn/drag-out-and-shoot-in-teh-face some guys from marketing departments once in a while that wouldn't be a bad thing really.. I guess I should still feel reasonably good because they could have added some "l33t", "H4rdcore", "Fatal1ty", "XXXXX", "Ultimate", etc to the lot. Edit: Oh dear I had missed the "Military Class II" sticker on the heat-sink..

    • Duck
    • 9 years ago

    I hate the current trend of inefficient heatsinks on mobos. Gigabyte have been very bad recently with P67 mobos. They seem to be more for show but they don’t even look that good.

      • AlvinTheNerd
      • 9 years ago

      You are not completely correct.

      A well designed heatsink has a lot to do with the fins. The more surface area it has, the more heat it can displace. However, fins that are too thin can’t carry heat very far from the chips itself. If the fin is too long or too thin, the part of the fin furthest from the chip becomes dead weight. Thus how long, how thick and if the fins are cut in one or two directions (this one being cut in only one direction) is ultimately based on the heat output of the chip. As the heat output drops, the fins must be shorter and thicker to carry the small amount of heat over the whole surface area of the heatsink.

      Contrast this mobo heatsinks with CPU heatsinks where you have many very thin, long fins. You can use thin, long fins because there is enough of a temperature difference to push heat all the way out to the end.

      Another way to maximize surface area of fins but not sacrifice how much heat can be pushed to the edges is to use heatpipes.

      So for mobo chips, the heat output is so small that the chunky heatsink is actually the proper heatsink. However, we have long gotten to the point of diminishing returns that the need for heatsinks is small if any. If you do overclock, the heat output can grow exponentially. In that case, the heatsink design is suboptimal and the placement of heatpipes isn’t correct to overcome this issue.

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    Four PCIe x16 slots, but how many lanes to drive them?

    And what are those blue-shrounded round thingies at the bottom of the picture? Capacitors with explosion-containment shields?

      • riquee
      • 9 years ago

      O.C. genie, power, and reset buttons.

        • dpaus
        • 9 years ago

        Thanks. Wow, pretty beefy buttons…

      • mczak
      • 9 years ago

      This being a bad boy motherboard, I’m assuming it is using the 990FX chipset. Like its predecessor (890FX), that means 42 pcie lanes – 4×8 or 2×16 for graphics, plus 1×4 and 6×1.

      • mesyn191
      • 9 years ago

      9xx chipset is just a rehash of the 8xx chipset for the new CPU’s. Any changes beside CPU support are small and barely worth mentioning. Just like how Intel handled the 5x to 6x chipset switch.

      Been that way for a while on the leaked AMD roadmaps.

      [url<]http://www.guruht.com/2010/11/amd-roadmap-with-new-am3new-chipsets.html[/url<] Looks to have at least 32x PCIe 2.0 lanes for the high end chipset and at least 16x PCIe 2.0 lanes for the mid range one.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This