|MSI Z77 MPOWER LGA1155 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2012|
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MSI Z77 MPOWER LGA1155 Motherboard
Full Disclosure: MSI provided the product sample used in this article.
With more and more functionality being subsumed into the processor chipset, we've seen that it's becoming more difficult for vendors to distinguish their motherboard products. All motherboards based on a given chipset will typically provide very similar performance and an increasingly robust base set of features. Functions that used to require additional chips and circuitry such as SATA 6, USB 3.0, and Ethernet are now baked into the silicon and available on any motherboard.
Still, there's plenty of room for vendors to innovate. They can add more features, such as additional USB and SATA controllers or PLX chips; they can produce boards with different form factors (ATX, micro ATX, mini ITX), or they can, as MSI has done with the Z77 MPOWER, "bulk up the basics". The MPOWER provides the standard set of features one would expect in any Z77-based motherboard. Instead of providing extra RAID controllers, audiophile-level sound, or other such additions, MSI has aimed this board at overclockers.
So what exactly makes a board an "overclocker's motherboard"? Let's find out in the next section.