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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by David Ramsey   
Saturday, 01 June 2013
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI Z87 MPower MAX Motherboard
Closer Look: Z87 MPOWER MAX
Z87 MPOWER MAX Proprietary Features
MSI Z87 UEFI
MPOWER MAX Software
Bundled Software Continued
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
x264HD 5.0 Tests
ATX Motherboard Overclocking
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Motherboard Review

Manufacturer: Micro Star International
Product Name: LGA1150 ATX Motherboard
Model Number: Z87 MPOWER MAX
UPC: 816909107319 EAN: 4719072296131
Price As Tested: $259.99 (Newegg | Amazon)

Full Disclosure: MSI provided the product sample used in this article.

The desktop computer market is in decline: with reports of a 12-percent drop in sales over the last year (on top of previous declines), and total PC sales reportedly at their lowest point since 2006, the days of the computers that a Dilbert strip referred to as "grandpa boxes" (in August of 2011!) are definitely numbered. I, for one, welcome our new tablet, ultrabook, and smartphone masters.

That doesn't mean that we desktop enthusiasts can't go out with a bang, though, and companies like Micro Star International, aka MSI, are taking the opportunity presented by the release of Intel's new Haswell platform and its new LGA1150 socket and Z87-Express chipset to refresh their motherboard lines.

msi_87_mpower_max_board_box.jpg

The first of several third-party Intel Z87-Express desktop motherboards to arrive at Benchmark Reviews headquarters was this MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX. Designed for the hardcore enthusiast and gamer, it's stuffed with special features and software, and the jet black and bright yellow color scheme certainly make the board stand out. Let's take a closer look in the next section.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: MSI Z87 MPower MAX MotherboardChris 2013-06-10 05:05
It's a pretty good board - my bet is that the main competition will be the Asus Maximus VI Formula, which I imagine will have a similar price point.

The higher end version is the XPower II, which is basically a bigger version that can support 4 GPUs.

At this point, to be honest, I really don't have a preference for motherboard makers - it's really going to come down to what they offer. I personally am willing to pay more, but where the experience is worth it.

I find that the top of the line boards right now don't offer much for the average air/water OC'er the "Maximus Extreme" or "XPower" (unless you run 3-4 GPUs), but that the tier right below though is basically as good as it gets for air cooling.
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# RE: MSI Z87 MPower MAX MotherboardChris 2013-06-10 05:34
I seem to be getting issues with the comment system - not sure why. Hopefully this posts (I had to split this in two).

Among the other competitors, I should also mention that Gigabyte Z87X-OC, which is a pretty good board as well - it's pretty much a stripped down board. I haven't seen Asrock's or the other competitor's boards.

Right now I do feel like Asus has the best EFI implementation. The other components though - yeah it's well, too close to call I think. It'll come down to a combination of your faith in the brand, what the company offers at the price point you're looking for, and the general reaction of these boards.
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