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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Monday, 06 May 2013
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboard
Closer Look: Z77A-G45 GAMING
Z77A-G45 GAMING Detailed Features
MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Software
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Benchmarks
Z77A-G45 GAMING Power Consumption
Z77A-G45 GAMING Overclocking
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboard UEFI

In this section we will take a brief look at the UEFI ClickBios II. The outer shell remains the same throughout and the center pane handles the data. I found that MSI's ClickBios II keeps many aspects of a legacy BIOS (mainly text based) with a snazzy interface that takes up more room than it needs to. The center pane deserves more room.


This is the landing screen of the MSI Z77A-G45 Gaming Motherboard UEFI. Information pertaining to CPU and RAM is immediately available without having to find your way to the hardware monitor, and three large icons below that allow you to quickly and easily select different operation modes. A lot of effort has gone into making the UI look good which really adds to the overall user experience.


ClickBios II works much the same as legacy BIOS with the added bonus of being able to use your mouse. There are no magic sliders to modify CPU speed or memory frequency, it is all still heavily text based which I found it very easy to use.


The large icons on the left and right make for speedy transitions between configuration modes. If you are more familiar with a legacy BIOS you will easily navigate around this UEFI. MSI allow for a lot of user configurable values in the overclocking settings, but you will need to know what you are doing as the 'HELP' prompts can be very vague.


Scrolling down in the OC settings pane reveals yet more user configurable values.


The ECO section of the UEFI gives you settings that pertain to energy saving. Each setting is covered in detail in the user guide. It's nice to see that higher end motherboards need not be the power hungry monsters they used to be.


In the utilities section you have option to back up your hard drives and update your BIOS ROM. I have never been a fan of live update (like installing a BIOS in windows) for the simple fact that so many things could potentially go wrong. Live update has the advantage that it will find the latest BIOS file for you, but it's not as if that's really a hard task. Best bet for me it to stick to simple methods where I have control.


Standard and new features are found in the security section of the UEFI. The most notable feature for me is 'U-Key' which allows you to create a physical level of security via a USB key. If this feature is enabled and the USB key is not present, then the motherboard will not boot.



# RE: MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboardwill 2013-06-23 05:09
"Take from this what you will, but the results are clear cut enough to convince me that that it is worthwhile enabling the power saving settings available on the MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING motherboard. In the 60's and 70's there was a big ecology movement after oil prices had risen sharply and we collectively realised that we could not sustain our then current level of consumer lifestyles. In the ensuing years the economy changed for the better and consumption ramped up sharply. We now find ourselves consuming more than ever and we once again need to realise that natural resources can't possibly sustain us forever. We need to demand more energy efficient products. We need to demand better built and longer lasting hardware. But most of all, we need self control and a more conscious approach towards our consumer habits"

What a fantastic quote, very unusual for a MB review. Bravo
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# RE: RE: MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING MotherboardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2013-06-23 11:07
Thanks for the kind words Will. :)
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# Knowing is half the battle...WhyNotV2 2013-06-24 02:47
"I didn't spot it right away but a closer inspection of the VRM/phase heatsinks reveals that they are shaped like the head of a dragon. This is a nice touch but it will be inevitably lost in an enclosed system with a large CPU cooler much like my own."

This may be true, but YOU know they are there :)
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