Update: After running into some odd performance related issues when first testing our board in conjunction with FutureMark's PCMark Vantage, we contacted MSI to see if they could give reason for what was crippling the board in this testing suite. MSI hadn't gotten back to us until just a short time ago.
Thankfully, these performance oddities are not a trait of the board itself. We have ascertained that it was a driver specific issue and with the board being of such a high calibre and pleasing us in many other areas, we figured it was well worth a second chance.
With that said, we have re-ran our PCMark Vantage tests using updated drivers to make it clear that the board itself is not of hindrance; rather, the drivers were holding it back. You can view our full update with test results here.
MSI is re-inventing themselves. We said this before and it bears repeating. They are working hard to overcome the issues they had a few years ago with product performance, stability and quality. We were very pleasantly surprised that all of our questions, comments and concerns were addressed. Even the ones that could not be fixed right away were and still are being worked on. The PCMark issue is still not resolved, but as we did not see this translate into poor real world performance, we are not overly worried about it. In the end the board performed well with a few exceptions.
There are a few other items on MSI's list that need to be fixed on the XPower, but the only one that really is a consumer issue is the USB 3.0 issue. From what I am hearing, this one is actually due to drivers and not a problem with the board. We intend to follow up on this one and see how MSI does on resolving the problems we noted in a timely manner.
But again, it is important to remember that other than the PCMark issue and the USB 3.0 problem, the XPower performed very well and was very overclockable. The fact that we hit 4.3GHz on this board with our 980X on nothing but air is great. We tried to get this far on a couple of other boards and at this speed could not even get into Windows, much less run tests.