Performance Testing and Closing ThoughtsOverclocked Benchmarks
One thing about motherboard today of the same chipset: performance is pretty much always the same. That means when using stock settings with a retail processor any and all P55 motherboard should have nearly identical performance results in just about any benchmark. That kind of makes pages and pages of benchmarks comparing the Trinergy to something from ASUS or Gigabyte kind of…not worth it right now.
What is worth comparing though is how the overclocked settings of this MSI Big Bang Trinergy motherboard compare to basic, stock settings – so that is what we did.
What is interesting about this benchmark in particular is the use of single vs dual-threaded performance. If you remember, the standard Core i7-860 settings allow it to run as high as 3.4 GHz with Turbo Mode when only a single thread is loading the system. You can see then that the performance boost of the 3.53 GHz OC Genie result (static, not changing) is only about 4% faster while in the multi-threaded version the OC Genie enabled system is 17% faster.
Our DivX encoding benchmark shows a nice gain for the OC Genie-enabled system making it faster than the Core i7-975!
Again, in our set of Valve tests, the overclocked settings with the MSI Big Bang Trinergy motherboard make the Core i7-860 competitive with the Core i7-975.
The MSI Big Bang Trinergy motherboard is definitely not lacking anything in terms of features that you could really need today. The board fully supports the new LGA1156 processor socket Core i5/i7 processors from Intel and along with it dual-channel DDR3 memory configurations. There are quite a bit of storage options on the board for users including 10 SATA 3G connections internally and a pair of USB-powered eSATA connections on the back panel as well. There is not any support for SATA 6G or USB 3.0 – something that both ASUS and Gigabyte have been pushing over the last few weeks on their highest end motherboards.
Of course one of the biggest features of the Trinergy is in its namesake: triple SLI support. By integrating the NVIDIA nForce 200 chip with the PCI Express channels coming from the Lynnfield processor MSI brings us the first motherboard to truly and correctly support 3-Way SLI and 3-Way CrossFireX multi-GPU solutions on the P55 platform. So while the gaming performance and benefits of 3-Way GPU configurations can be debated (even MSI’s own provided material only shows at most a 36% boost from two card to three) if you want the feature, or the option to grow to three cards at least, MSI brings it to you here.
OC Genie and 3-Way SLI – an interesting combination
The audio support on the Trinergy is very nice as well – it supports true Blu-ray and even THX audio via the Realtek ALC889 codec. The chip also offers support for 196kHz / 24-bit audio and EAS Advanced 5.0 surround sound technology. We detailed the audio portion of the Big Bang series in this new post if you want some more information.
At the base level, in the BIOS, the MSI Trinergy offers pretty everything you could want for overclocking including a large range for frequencies and voltages along with the ability to save profiles and back them to external discs. In my experience, which doesn’t always convert 100% to what YOU will get, the Trinergy was able to push our testing Intel Core i7-860 processor than any other board tested to date: 205 MHz base clock and a 4.31 GHz frequency!
Our experiences with the MSI OC Genie technology continue to impress as well – our one button overclocking brought us a significant performance boost with zero headache and without requiring any overclocking knowledge at all!
You definitely get a customized experience with the Big Bang Trinergy
The MSI also has included advanced overclocking features like the V-Check Points section on the board for voltage monitoring with a multimeter and the V-Switch for quick easy voltage control and the OC Dashboard external monitoring unit that can help you keep an eye on voltages and temperatures while letting you make minor adjustments on the fly as well.
Let’s not forget the more intangibles like all Hi-C capacitors, Dr. MOS monitoring technology and even the much-better-than-standard overclocking documentation that should make first-timers much more comfortable with the process.
The value argument gets a little interesting as you should imagine that this will not be a low cost motherboard at all. Initial preorders like the one being run at ZipZoomFly put the motherboard pricing at $349 – making it one of if not THE most expensive P55 motherboard on the market. Yes, that is VERY expensive, but if you preorder the board today MSI and ZZF are throwing in a few extras: SteelSeries KINZU mouse, SteelSeries Qck mousing surface and even a Big Bang messenger bag. Also, preorder customers will apparently get an 8-year warranty on the motherboard – though I wonder how likely you’ll have this product for anyway.
Keep in mind of course that MSI’s own P55-GD65 motherboard can be picked up today for under $160 and offers some of the same features of the board we reviewed today. Read that review as well to see how they compare.
Obviously if you are building a system on a budget, this is not the board for you. If you are high-end consumer looking for a high performance gaming board with great overclocking features and some unique options like 3-Way SLI and super high quality audio, consider putting the Big Bang Trinergy on your wish list.