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Pros: Installed quickly. My card works
Cons: Bought this so that I could use Crossfire. Says right on the box CrossfireX on it, but does not come with a crossfire bridge. To quote the box "For a complete ATI CrossfireX system, a second ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card, an ATI CrossfireX ready motherboard, and one ATI CrossfireX bridge Interconnect cable per graphics card are required." I have the second card, the compatible motherboard and ONE bridge from the other card. Why would a company sell a crossfire card that requires the bridge and not provide the bridge?
Other Thoughts: NoneREAD FULL REVIEW
This review is from: MSI Big Bang Fuzion LGA 1156 Intel P55 / Lucid Hydra 200 ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: The board works as advertised. You can run multi GPU cards of different speed / memory / pixel Pipes / Brand / Chipset etc.
I am using a Zotac Nvidia GTS 250S and an XFX ATI HD 4870. Different brands are hard to match but I was hoping for similar specs. With Hydra on 3dmarks06 scores me at ~6K for first video tests. With Hydra off, ~3k for video tests (grand total ~12K, 3dmarks blames my processor)
After I opened the box the board has quite an array of OC options and comes with the OC Genie. Automaticaly OC your system to its highest state. Pentium g6295 @ 2.8 OC'ed to 3.6.
I also like that the board does not have on-board audio, but rather comes with a PCI 1x sound card.
I could list more things that are nice, but I would just be listing the specs and you can already see that. The main point is the board works!! The Lucid Hydra Technology works but it does have a cost.
With a second monitor, was able to watch DVD LOTR and play full spec Bioshock 1280x1024.
Cons: SLI / Hydra / X-fire all have their limitations. I was just more comfortable with Hydra over the other two. Other websites say you cannot use card specific technologies with Hydra. You cannot combine them. PhysX and DX11 will only work if that card is the primary card (PCI 16x slot 0), you can plug into the secondary, to bypass this but you will not have video until the OS has loaded and sometimes Hydra thinks its a second monitor :(. I could still use CUDA enabled applications (baddaboom, folding@home) if the monitor was plugged into the Nvidia card.
Some games outright will not work with Hydra, but this is a pretty new technology. I remember that some games didn't like SLI back in the day, so those issues should phase out.
Even though there is an awesome heat pipe for the bios and Hydra chip, it is too big for water cooling. I had to bend a few fins to get the CPU water block in place. Also I had to remove the heatpipe, install the WB and then slip the heatpipe under the WB cli
Other Thoughts: The cost of this board is certainly going to drive some people away, but remember that this is a MSI P55 series mobo. Research the P55 line to get an idea if this board is right for you. If you plan to OC, run dual or triplicate GPU, this is the board for you.
One thing about dual video card, you are limited by the MOBO, and I found that helps when selecting a video card. You know off the bat that you normally cannot have SLI or X fire cards, so looking at the thousands of cards to choose from, you could cut your selection in half. This Mobo opens the doors to all PCIx Video cards. When I was selecting my video cards, I felt a little overwhelmed. The normal limitation was not there to guide me. Cost helped narrow down a card, and when it comes time to upgrade I know that I can just get whatever is top of their game at the time, be it Nvidia or ATI.
I also had a water-block leak and the Mobo appears to be sealed with a film, so no damage done. just wiped off the water.
This review is from: Enzotech VGA-IS VGA Waterblock
Pros: The only water block on newegg that supports ATI HD 4870
Cons: LEAKS LEAKS LEAKS! This waterblock had two leak issues.
1. Barbs. Unlike other waterblocks, the barbs on this device are detachable and the threads for one of the holes is two threads deep. No matter how tight you get the barbs, there are only two threads between the water and the rubber o ring. That's two threads between the water and your investment.
2. Base. No mater what side was down, the block leaked from the base as well. The base was copper, and the housing was not. Never did take the block apart to check if the seal was faulty but I don't think that a consumer should have to check the seal between the housing and the base.
Other Thoughts: It is shiny!READ FULL REVIEW