MSI Big Bang XPOWER Reviewccokeman - July 8, 2010
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Installing the hardware is only part of the installation process. Installing the operating system is the second step in putting the Xpower into operation. The third step is installing the drivers or instructions used to allow the components to operate properly. To this end MSI has included a driver disk that includes not only the drivers but a few utilities that may prove useful. Once the disk is inserted and spools up, there will be an installation GUI on the monitor. This is broken down into five tabs: drivers, utilities, service base, product information, and security. Each tab has its own subsection with all of the items needed for this application. The driver section has just what it implies. All of the drivers needed for the MSI Xpower are included here, from the Intel INF install utility to the NEC USB 3.0 driver. The Utility section has some helpful utilities, like the Intel Turbo boost monitoring application. The Service base tab shows a digitized map of the world with the home locations for MSI's operations base. The product information tab is a link to MSI's product stack with a little about each SKU. The security tab has a 60-day trial of Symantec's Norton Internet security 2010 suite.
MSI includes a version of their utility called Control Center to allow the end user that ability to adjust not only the base clock speeds, but also voltages, memory timings, and more. The first section shows basic information about the motherboard and installed components.
The second section titled Overclocking has four separate sections that go from very user friendly with the Basic screen, to a more advanced screen that allows you to adjust the memory sub-timings. The OC Genie section shows an overview of how to enable the OC Genie overclocking tool and what it will impact and adjust. The final option in the Overclocking section is BIOS Profile. Here you can view the profiles that have been saved in the BIOS with the ability to save new profiles and load each of the saved profiles.
The last section is labeled Green Power. In this section you have basic and advanced options to maximize the power efficiency of the Xpower motherboard. The last item in this section is the ability to control the LEDs on the PCB.