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MSI Z77 MPOWER LGA1155 Motherboard E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by David Ramsey   
Tuesday, 02 October 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI Z77 MPOWER LGA1155 Motherboard
Closer Look: Z77 MPOWER
Z77 MPOWER Proprietary Features
Z77 MPOWER UEFI
Z77 MPOWER Bundled Software
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
Power Efficiency Tests
MPOWER Overclocking
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

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:

  • ClickBIOS II for Windows-- This duplicates the ClickBIOS II interface in a Windows application. You can do almost anything here you could do in the "native" BIOS; changes will take effect when you reboot. This is handy if you want to refer to notes or documentation you might have on your system.

msi_z77_mpower_clickbios_windows.jpg

  • Control Center-- A grab bag of utility functions. On-the-fly overclocking, power savings, data recording, motherboard LED control...it's all here.

msi_z77_mpower_controlcenter2.jpg

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.

msi_z77_mpower_controlcenter3.jpg

  • Live Update-- Checks MSI's servers for updates to any of your software, and downloads them if needed (one complaint here: it doesn't use the standard "Downloads" folder, instead, updated installers are saved in "/Program Files (x86)/MSI/Live Update 5/LU5/DL_FILE", and you have to dig them out there.)
  • Network Genie, Video Genie, and Audio Genie-- Utilities to optimize your network traffic prioritization, video saturation and color adjustment, and audio output, respectively. Teaming Genie will let you combine the network throughput from the motherboard's Ethernet port with a separate NIC on a PCI-E card to enhance network performance.

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.

msi_z77_mpower_network_genie.jpg

  • MSI Suite-- A "control shell" you can use to launch any of the above utilities.

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...



 

Comments 

 
# Network GenieDavid 2013-03-20 19:46
I made a mistake of installing network genie, and it doesn't show up in my programs and features. I cannot uninstall this program. There is no option for execution on startup. So it always starts up on boot. And there is nothing in the directories that pertain to uninstall. Also no online-content about this feature. Ugh, MSI, what are you doing? Why did you suggest this "crap" on my driver disk. REALLY?
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# Try this!Louis 2013-06-11 16:36
You should maybe install a separate network adapter for the program to install properly.
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# MSIDavid 2013-09-17 07:51
I was wrong to blame MSI for this. I ended up taking it out of my registry. While I'm curious as to why this has zero support, I'm not sure what I did to somehow get in that position with Network Genie.
I don't doubt that I initiated the NG install before getting service packs, .net and other important updates.
That's more than likely what had happened, I just remember seeing a program called Network Genie and getting super excited to see the capabilities. (Me so newb)
I will say though, I now have a few MSI boards, and all been extremely dependable EVEN without tower protection in my humidity filled basement! OC-genie'd amd 6-core (passed my personal assessments) Never had a problem with either of them. MSI-Reliability is where it's at.
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