MSI have covered the Intel P67 chip with a sufficient, oversized heatsink to dissipate heat.
Intel P67 Chipset has been given a large heatsink
On the bottom edge of the motherboard we have the onboard controls more commonly seen on high-end MSI motherboards. These buttons are a ‘must-have’ for any hardware enthusiast and certainly for those who are using the motherboard on a test bench. Multi-BIOS allows you to switch between different BIOS should you come up against any stability issues. Whilst the OC Genie (Genie II) will boost the CPU ratio, memory ratio, memory timing, CPU voltage and memory voltage. This button has to be pressed whilst the system is powered down but switched on and provides a good option for the amateur overclocker for even for those who need a quick boost and are short on time! We also have the power and reset buttons that are extremely handy to use.
In the background of the image below you can notice there is an LED debug indicator. Again this is a nice feature to have as it will help to identify any problems during POST should you have any.
Onboard buttons offer added management
Now onto one of the main features of the Marshal – the PCI-E lanes. Marshal has 8 PCI-E lanes allowing 4-way CrossFireX (2 slot graphics cards). For up to 2-way SLI/CrossFireX we can run the graphics cards in X16 but anything over this will run in X8 mode. Lane 1 and 5 are to be used for X16 mode.
8 PCI-E lanes with the possibility of 4-way CrossfireX
To the side of the PCI-E lanes we have the audio chip that MSI have integrated onto the Marshal motherboard. MSI have teamed up with Creative to incorporate their Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 technology this endorses EAX Advanced HD 5.0 and allows you to take advantage of THX TruStudio PRO (something we touched on in a recent review).
Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 integrated
Finally, we have the I/O panel with 8 USB3.0 ports, PS2 KB/Mouse, Digital/Coaxial audio, USB2.0, eSATA, dual gigabit LAN ports, and audio jacks to correspond with the X-Fi MB2.
The I/O panel on the Marshal motherboard