MSI shows off the Big Bang Marshal motherboard

MSI has confirmed that the B3 revision of its Big Bang Marshal motherboard will be coming to the UK imminently, bringing with it some of the most impressive specifications around.

The board, which is the company's premier enthusiast model, is packed with features designed to appeal to the overclocking community. As well as the usual one-tap overclocking, the board ships with three BIOS chips - one for stock speeds, one as a backup, and one to hold overclocked settings - and voltage check points on the board.

The company has really thought through its design ethos to build something that overclockers will love: the power circuitry is so wide-ranging, many of the components had to be located on the back for space reasons - and when we're talking about a board as big as this one, that's pretty impressive.

The board has room for four DDR3 memory slots - overclockable and over-voltable, as you might imagine - and a massive eight PCIe x16 slots, which can be toggled on or off with physical switches to allow the chipset to only concentrate on the lanes it needs to worry about.

The Big Bang Marshal also supports AMD's CrossFireX and Nvidia's SLI multi-GPU technology, and has an extra trick up its sleeve: a hybrid mode that allows the user to mix both AMD and Nvidia GPUs in a single system, powered by Lucid's HydraLogix technology.

With integrated X-Fi audio, twelve USB 3.0 ports - eight of which are on the back panel, with the remainder on motherboard headers - and dual gigabit Ethernet, the Big Bang Marshal is looking like a serious contender in the £300-plus market. Whether it can tempt fans away from the Asus Maximus 4 remains to be seen.