|MSI Z77 MPOWER LGA1155 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2012|
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Z77 MPOWER Bundled Software
As I've noted before, it's getting hard for vendors to distinguish their motherboards on hardware along (except in the very high-end segments). Thus we're seeings more and more utility and application software bundled with motherboards. MSI provides a robust suite of utilities, including:
The data recording feature is especially useful during those overclocking stress tests. In this image, the blue line is CPU utilization; the green line is CPU temperature, and the yellow line is CPU fan speed. The orange vertical line tracks the mouse cursor and shows the corresponding data for the graph in the status area at the right. You can select which parameters to watch and even set levels at which automatic warnings will occur. Control Center also supports a "gadget mode" wherein the window shrinks to a small "gadget-sized" display showing the CPU frequency and temperature, as well as the GPU frequency if you're using the iGPU of a Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processor.
Network Genie is the most interesting of these "Genie" utilities. You can select pre-defined "Modes" that prioritize specific types of network traffic, or dig down and set priorities yourself. Network Genie installs a tray icon for quick access; unfortunately, hovering over the tray icon reports the network mode (i.e. "Auto Mode") rather than identifying the utility.
In addition are the standard utilities you'll see on other Z77 motherboards: Virtu MVP, Intel Rapid Start, and so forth. But now, it's time to start testing...