|MSI Z77 MPOWER LGA1155 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2012|
Page 10 of 11
MSI advertises the Z77 MPOWER board as "OC Certified", and explains that this means that the board has received a 24 hour burn-in test with "liquid-cooler overclocked CPU". Although the CPU and exact overclock aren't specified, the 24 hour burn in is still impressive.
The prominent "OC Genie" button on the motherboard invokes this feature: simply press it when the system is off, and an automatic overclock will be applied to the memory and the CPU at the next boot. With my Intel Core i7-3770K CPU, OC Genie raised the CPU turbo multiplier from a maximum of 39 to 42, and automatically found and applied the XMP profile in my Kingston memory, raising the memory frequency from 1333MHz to the XMP profile's 2133MHz.
The OC Genie overclock seems to be based on a lookup table or heuristic of some sort; while you get a guaranteed stable overclock, it's not very aggressive. ASUS' Turbo V Evo automatic overclocking will generally achieve better results with the same CPU since it will incrementally increased clock speed and voltage until the system crashes during a quick stress test, then automatically fall back to the last stable overclock.
Still, OC Genie's built-in overclock is just a starting point, and it makes a good base for further tweaks. In the "My OC Genie" section of ClickBIOS II, you can adjust the parameters that will be applied when OC Genie is invoked, so that pressing the button automatically applies your overclock.
Tweaking the values myself, I was able to achieve stable operation under AIDA64's "System Stability Test" with a maximum CPU multiplier of 47, and a CPU core voltage of 1.2V. This resulted in a significant increase in benchmark scores, and I was able to easily program my hand-tuned values into OC Genie and apply them with a button click (or even from within Windows with MSI's Control Center.)
However, I was unable to test the full overclocking prowess of this board due to two limitations: first, as I've noted in previous reviews, 4.7GHz is the limit for my 3770K, regardless of the motherboard it's in, and second, features like MSI's extra power connector for the PCI-E slots really only come into play with extreme overclocking in multiple-card setups with water cooling or better.
I'll give my final thoughts and conclusion on this motherboard in the next section.