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CES 2010: MSI

Posted by: John at 1/11/2010 7:21 PM
There’s always something interesting at CES from a hardware standpoint and this year is no exception. Coming from MSI, I walked away with the sense that they might have something here that will make people take notice really quick.

Right away I was shown the mother of all motherboards in the MSI Big Bang Fuzion. Besides having all the features, connections, and high build quality there was something that made this one stand out from all the rest. What you see in the picture is a NVIDIA card along with an ATI card working in tandem to give you graphics. That’s right, cards from two distinct companies working together.
How is this possible? MSI acquired  partnered with Lucid which is a company that help developed this. Using the Hydra Engine, the combination of hardware and software enables two cards to give you a boost in performance no matter what vendor or type it is.

Video cards come out frequently that surpass the last one in terms of performance. With MSI’s Big Bang Fuzion, you can now leverage your older cards to give you a performance boost should you pick up a newer on. Or, if you see a good deal on a card that’s in the same ballpark in terms of your performance but using a different GPU than you currently own, just pick it up and put both of them in here and off you go. It’s a really great concept and MSI is the first out of the game with the ability to do this.

Around the CPU area, it’s pretty clear of obstructions so you can use a plethora of different coolers with this motherboard. I know some motherboards are limited to what you can use based on things such as capacitors around the CPU but MSI went with low level Hi-C caps for both stability and low profile.

An external sound solution is also provided featuring EAX Advanced HD 5.0. It’s THX certified as well if you are into that sort of thing.

If you look on the back, you can see a ton of connections. In fact, there are a total of 10 SATA 3.0 connections on this puppy internally with two eSATA on the back. For USB, the motherboard’s using USB 2.0 though but has a total of 14 available.

The usual suspects of software is made available for those that want to overclock with the OC Genie or you can just go into the BIOS and do some more granular tweaks there. There’s even an external box that will show you some information as well as allow you to overclock without having to go into the software or BIOS. Just manipulate your settings with the box itself and you’re good to go.

MSI might have a game changer here with the Big Bang Fuzion. It’s something that’s really cool to see in action as it was shown in the MSI room at the hotel. But the question is how is the performance with the various card combinations and is it stable? The motherboard should be out in March so it won’t be long before the public can get their hands on it.