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MSI Z87 MPower MAX Motherboard E-mail
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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

Bundled Software Continued

With RAM prices at historic lows, stuffing your rig with gigabytes of memory has never been cheaper. Of course there's very little software that will make effective use of all that RAM, so what good is it? Well, MSI thinks a persistent RAM disk with auto save on shutdown and load on boot would be cool, so they provide it.

command_ctr_ram_disk.jpg

You can do some overclocking from Command Center, but you'll have more detailed control with MSI's branded version of Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility. Although you can control parameters as detailed as how many seconds the board will provide extra power to the CPU under load, there's no facility for automated overclocking/stress testing as with ASUS' Turbo V Evo.

msi_intel_extreme_tuning.jpg

Gamers will appreciate MSI's inclusion of Qualcomm's Killer Network Manager. The first thing to do is run a speed test, so the system knows what it has to work with.

killer_nic_speed_test.jpg

You can monitor network traffic and the load placed on your CPU, but the most useful function is the ability to set limits on each application's upstream and downstream bandwidth. In this example I've set Internet Explorer limits at 0.9Mbps up and 10Mbps down, which will be allocated out of my 1.43Mbps up/16.34Mbsp down measured maximums.

killer_nic_app_control.jpg

Audiophiles-- and maybe just serious gamers who need to be able to hear that person sneaking up from behind them-- will appreciate the Sound Blaster Cinema software that leverages the full capabilities of the Realtek ALC1150 sound chip. Sadly, it's largely wasted on my puny two-speaker-plus-subwoofer audio.

creative_sb.jpg

Let's check out the performance of this motherboard 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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