As Intel's Sandy Bridge-E processors draw nearer, companies are eagerly sending out snapshots of their matching X79 motherboards. After Asus and ASRock, we've now gotten choice pictures depicting no fewer than five X79 offerings from MSI. The shots show boards spanning the gamut from a diminutive microATX design to a tricked-out "Big Bang" model that has only PCI Express x16 expansion slots:
That behemoth also boasts 10 internal Serial ATA ports, some type of Creative X-Fi-branded integrated audio, SLI and CrossFire multi-GPU support (duh), and a total of eight DIMM slots. Since Sandy Bridge-E will support four memory channels, the board ought to let you stuff each channel with two DIMMs—a handy way to cram your next state-of-the-art desktop with 32GB of RAM or more. I'm not really crazy about ammunition-style heatsinks, though. They already looked cheesy on those G1-Killer boards Gigabyte unveiled in January.
The rest of the MSI X79 lineup includes four boards with varying port, slot, and heatsink arrangements, presumably with price points in decreasing order from left to right in the picture above. You'll find high-resolution versions of all the photos above in our image gallery below.