Creating a Bang - MSI Trinergy P55 Motherboard Preview

Exploring the Big Bang Trinergy

Exploring the Big Bang Trinergy

Besides those new features highlighted, the rest of the Trinergy is very similar to what you'll find on the MSI P55-GD80, with the same features and even a similar layout. The OC Genie feature, LED power phase indicator, the voltage check points and the thicker heat pipes used for the cooling system are exactly as they are in the P55-GD80. Considering that we have such praise for the GD80, it's probably a good thing. MSI has also boosted this Trinergy in terms of storage options, with more SATA and eSATA options than the P55-GD80.

Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, eSATA/USB 2.0 combo ports are some of the usual suspects on a higher end motherboard and this MSI board has plenty of those around. The strange port in between the eSATA/USB combo ports is for connecting to the OC Dashboard.

There are quite a large number of storage options on this board. First, the standard six SATA 3.0Gbps ports from the chipset. Then there are four more (in blue) SATA ports from a JMB322 controller and the IDE port from a JMB363 controller. Finally, the two eSATA/USB 2.0 combo ports at the rear panel due to a JMB362 controller.

The board has four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to DDR3-2133 (O.C) in dual-channel mode.

Voltage check points and a voltage switch for over-voltage options are some of the enthusiast oriented features that we saw in MSI's recent high-end boards, like the P55-GD80.

While some P55 motherboards have three, full length PCIe slots, only two could be linked via SLI or CrossFireX in most cases. Thanks to its NF200 controller however, the Trinergy allows for three-way graphics cards like what you can find on the X58 chipset.

Another familiar feature for those who have seen the P55-GD80 is Easy Button 2, which are capacitive onboard buttons.

This LED indicator for the CPU power phase is another feature we last saw on the P55-GD80.

The one-button OC Genie auto-overclocking feature is central to this motherboard. We have seen how convenient and easy to use this tool is in our previous P55-GD80 review.

It's no mistake if you feel that the heatpipes seen here are thicker than usual. MSI's SuperPipe feature is basically the use of thicker 8mm heatpipes for better heat conduction. The CPU socket is from LOTES.

First Impressions

When we heard that MSI was sending us the Big Bang motherboard, we had high hopes that the Hydra powered Fuzion was on the way. Unfortunately, we got the Trinergy, which we had to admit had gone under our radar. It's looking like quite the luxury upgrade over MSI's own very competent P55-GD80 and brings it to the level of a high-end X58 motherboard (except for the processor socket support of course).

With MSI quoting a price tag of US$350, the Trinergy certainly belongs among the X58 boards and it is much more expensive than its P55 peers, with the closest being eVGA's similarly capable 3-way SLI board. The generous dose of extras on this board makes it more costly and at the same time brings both longer lifespan and greater power efficiency along with even more enthusiast friendly features. We just aren't too convinced yet that all this is worth more than US$100 premium over a typical P55 motherboard. In fact, at those prices, you can get a pretty powerful X58 class motherboard so it's really a matter of preference and needs.

The MSI Trinergy is one of the most costly P55 motherboards in the market currently, but that's no surprise considering that MSI has brought along some heavy duty features to play.