MSI Big Bang Fuzion P55 motherboard
MSI has quite a few innovative and well-designed products to their credit, and the MSI Big Bang Fuzion P55 motherboard is one of them.
- Feature packed, Hydra Engine has potential
- No USB 3.0, no SLI support, no SATA III
Lucid Hydra is an exciting technology to play around with, and hopefully future updates make it more useful. On the whole, the MSI Big Bang Fuzion is a well-featured motherboard for PC hardware enthusiasts. The inclusion of SLI support, USB 3.0 ports, and SATA 6Gbps ports would have been nice.
The claim to fame of the MSI Big Bang Fuzion is its ability to run graphics cards from opposing camps (NVidia and AMD) in parallel using its “Hydra Engine”. Apart from that, it is a nice motherboard targeted at the higher mid-range segment considering all the extras contained within the box. It supports the LGA1156 socket which means all mainstream Intel Core i5/i7 processors.
MSI Big Bang Fuzion: Design and Features
Despite the full-ATX form factor, and a great layout the MSI Big Bang Fuzion board still feels chock-full. This is unlike most full-ATX motherboards, which feel large and spacious, but this is not a negative thing. The Big Bang Fuzion just has so much to offer that it could not have been any other way. The board is coloured black, with dashes of blue seen on certain heatsinks and slots. The thermals are not a problem at all with heatsinks placed in all the right places, and heatpipes connecting them.
The heatsinks bunched around the processor socket may hinder installation of a few high-end after-market coolers though. Components like solid capacitor ferrite core chokes used on the Fuzion are nice for durability (lives longer) and stability (reliability improves with no inexplicable crashes).
As we saw with MSI’s P55-GD80 motherboard, there are a number of LED activity indicators. A small LED is located near the processor, to display the number of power phases currently in use, where 8 is the maximum number. MSI offers a so-called “Easy Button 2” touch panel which is useful for enthusiasts who would like to switch their system on/off without having to short pins on the board. This panel is located at the bottom-right, consisting of three electro-magnetic touch-sensitive buttons – green power, reset, and power on/off. It might sound like fantasy and amazingly different from what you’re used to, but there is no physical button! Additional buttons on the motherboard are the “Clear CMOS” and “OC Genie” for overclockers.
The storage sub-system is well taken care of by 10 SATA ports that support RAID modes, one PATA (also called IDE) port on the board and 2 eSATA ports at the backpanel. Since the Intel P55 chipset does not natively support SATA 6Gbps and there aren’t many hard drives supporting this standard just yet, the absence of next-gen SATA 6Gbps may not be a problem. Four of those SATA ports are provided using two JMicron JMB322 controllers. The 4 dual-channel RAM slots allow for upto 16GB of memory, at speeds of upto 2133 MHz.
The back panel is populated with the following input/output ports – 8 USB, two PS/2, two Gigabit Ethernet (LAN), two eSATA, one FireWire (IEEE1394) port and a connector for plugging in MSI’s “OC Dashboard” (more about this later). Headers are present for adding an additional FireWire port, 4 USB ports, and for powering 4 system fans. A separate PCI-Express x1 card is provided for audio. It is not a dedicated sound card though, it is just an application layer add-on.
The motherboard’s integrated Realtek 889 chipset still handles sound, although it is enhanced by Creative with a software layer. The so-called “Quantum Wave” audio card supports THX and EAX audio, offers 6 audio output ports for 7.1 channel HD audio, and two S/PDIF sockets (one analog and one digital). This card will occupy one of the two PCI-E x1 expansion slots. The other PCI-E x1 slot becomes unusable if you use a dual-slot graphics card so you are left only with the two normal PCI slots for any expansion cards.
The layout of the motherboard’s ports is well thought out. Even if you were to use all three PCI-Express graphics slots, with high-end graphic cards that are wider and longer than the usual ones, at least one PCI slot still remains usable. All the storage ports remain accessible, and don’t get hidden under the graphics cards. This has been achieved because one PATA port and 6 of the SATA ports are angled to the side.
The package contents of the MSI Big Bang Fuzion clearly marks out the premium, enthusiast class to which it belongs. There is a lot of documentation to address various special features of the board, including pictorial representations that will help you overclock and setup X-mode Hydra graphics in a jiffy. In addition to a quick guide for the motherboard itself, documentation provided includes a quick installation guide, Fuzion user guide, OC Genie manual, WINKI user guide, Control Center user guide, HDD backup user guide, OC Dashboard user guide, OverClocking guide, Hydra quick guide, and a solitary paper with the Hydra Graphics Card Combination Table.
Three discs are bundled – drivers for the Quantum Wave sound card and Lucid Hydra 200 chip, and one as the motherboard chipset’s drivers and utilities. Brackets are provided for installation of additional ports at the back, including one USB bracket (2 ports) and one eSATA bracket (provides two eSATA and one molex power connector). So called “V-check” cables are provided to help test voltage if you have a power meter. A lot of cables are bundled, including 7 SATA cables, 1 PATA cable, and 2 Molex-to-SATA power cables.
The “OC Dashboard” supplied by MSI also performs functions that used to be provided by their D-LED bracket (POST error codes). This “dashboard” is a small device about the size of an external memory card reader, with two buttons and has a single-line display that can be used for various purposes including overclocking and system diagnostics. It connects to the Fuzion’s backpanel using a 14-pin connector cable and is powered by a mini-USB cable bundled with it. With this motherboard you can over-clock (run your computer beyond its rated speed) your processor in three ways – the OC Genie, the buttons on the OC Dashboard, and the old hardcore method of puttering with the “Core Cell” menu within the BIOS. The BIOS is great for tweakers, and the extensive hardware overrides for voltages to various system parts allow for coaxing every last bit of performance out of them.
Those who do not want to run their components beyond the rated spec can just use the defaults, though that would be a shame on such a mobo like the Fuzion. This motherboard is based on the P55 chipset so it will automatically use the TurboBoost feature on supported Core i5/i7 processors. When not all cores are being utilized, TurboBoost will disable half of them on the fly, and the remaining cores will run at a higher speed - when an app wants more cores, TurboBoost will set the processor back to normal.
Join the newsletter!
cloudandco Smart Cane
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Apple iPhone X
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Toys for Boys
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Xbox One X
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Logitech Unveils MX ERGO, their first trackball in nearly a decade
- Nvidia unveils Pegasus, an AI computer that can power fully autonomous vehicles
- MSI's new Ryzen-ready motherboard coming to Oz
- Seagate Expands Portfolio with 12TB Drives for NAS and Desktop Computing
- Intel's 8th Gen Desktop Processors Go On Sale Today
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
- Hands On: Our first impressions of Sony's a7R III
- Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSenior Agile Software Business AnalystOther
- FTNetwork ArchitectACT
- TPService Delivery ManagerACT
- FTTableau Application Support SpecialistOther
- CCSenior Technical Business AnalystNSW
- FTInfrastructure Design Engineer, DC Power, CommunicationsOther
- TPBusiness Process Improvement AnalystNSW
- FTAgile CoachOther
- FTSnr Information Security Consultant - IT Services - North Ryde areaNSW
- CCProgram ManagerNSW
- TPSolution Architect - Cloud InfrastructureQLD
- FTNetwork EngineerACT
- CC.net DeveloperNSW
- FTField ConsultantOther
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- FTProduct Manager (IT Clinical Systems) - Permanent - Syd, Melb or BrisbNSW
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- FTTechnical Test AnalystQLD
- FTTechnical Digital ProducerOther
- CCDevOps Engineer - AWS, Jenkins, GitVIC
- FTUnix/Linux EngineersOther
- CCDesktop Support TechnicianOther
- CCReporting AnalystNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- FTData AnalystOther