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MSI Z77 MPOWER Motherboard: Complete Review & Specs

The company MSI has once again decided to have a “big bang” in the segment of motherboards has updated its line of devices ultimatum Big Bang and came with a new model, MSI Z77 MPOWER motherboard, based on chipset Intel Z77, manufacturers have tried to turn all their achievements, which could interest the most demanding enthusiasts, fans of high-frequency and maximum speed.

MSI Z77 MPOWER

 

MSI Z77 MPOWER comes in Black color scheme – a win-win option for high-end devices. In this case, in the style of noir made as printed circuit board, and the attached sockets and connectors. PCB has a striking matte finish. To diversify the visuals, the cooling system, dark gray, with the radiators mounted on decorative metal plate with bright yellow stripes. Thus, a manufacturer wishes to emphasize conceptual unity with cooling systems Twin Frozr IV, which are used with the top line of modern graphics cards Lightning. This combination does look pretty attractive. Well, the good work of designers is visible to the naked eye, but the assessment of the engineering work is still ahead.

 

In general layout it is rather familiar. For the organization of the power subsystem used 15 chips DrMOS II. The second-generation transistor assemblies have increased headroom and double protection against overheating. To cool the chips used trivial design. Heatsinks covering the chips are shaped profile that works well in low air flow inside the case. For uniform heat used 8-mm heatpipes. Note that the mounting radiatrov used quite large metal screws.

 

In the central portion of the fee imposed additional radiator, and while it does not cover any heating element is also connected to the main power coolers heat pipe assemblies, because is not only an element of decor, but also engaged to remove heat from the chips DrMOS.

MSI Z77 MPOWER
Traditionally, for the top devices from MSI, in chains uses components that comply with the manufacturer’s Military Class III – DrMOS II, ferrite chokes, tantalum capacity, solid-state capacitors.
In the area of the socket a lot of space, because of problems with the installation of overall cooler glasses or nitrogen does not occur. In the latter case it is also easier to organize the insulation board, because low-profile unit in the power circuit. MSI announces increase in the number of layers of the PCB. Specific figures are not listed (only marketing “50%”), apparently, it is a nine-PCB.

 

The MSI Z77 MPOWER board has three full-length slots PCI Express x16. Note that the lower slot is available if your system uses an Intel Core third generation. When using all full-slots, they will work in x8 + x4 + x4. In this case, the MSI Z77 MPOWER can be configured with three video cards AMD chips in the 3-way CrossFireX. If you use adapters with GPU from NVIDIA, you will have to limit the graphics couple in SLI. To improve the stability of power during acceleration cards are used in Multi-GPU, the board has an additional six-pin connector.

 

Expansion card provides four slots PCI Express x1. Like other manufacturers of motherboards, MSI gave up using the PCI interface and the connectors in favor of more modern and high-speed ports.
For MSI Z77 MPOWER manufacturer raised the bar output control. This model is certified as “OC Certified”. After manufacturing the device passes thorough 24-hour stress test, during which overclocked to 4.6 GHz quad-core processor runs under maximum load in Prime95. In this CPU is cooled by a liquid cooling system, which creates an additional burden on the power subsystem, as in this case there is no airflow elements located around the CPU socket. According to the manufacturer, this test is every board, not selective unit of the party. As it is not easy to believe, given the effort required to perform such an operation, but if the manufacturer has gone to such a move, so the end justifies the means.

 

Given the positioning of the model, it is not surprising that it is generously spiced various accessories to facilitate the process of overclocking.

 

In the upper right part of the board is expected set of keys Easy Button 3 – Power button and Reset, as well as the button to activate automatic overclocking OC Genie II. Next to the main power connector is a panel V-Check Points, which allows monitoring the voltage on the key nodes board with a multimeter. LED stage boot Debug LED on the device of this level is taken for granted. The board is also equipped with two chips BIOS, to switch between them using a separate switch. Mandatory Clear CMOS button located where it is supposed to be according to the canons – the interface panel.

 

For lovers of fine-tuning the system, MSI offers a very useful function – GO ² BIOS. PCB is a special button, then click on that, the next time you restart the system automatically loaded shell UEFI. This seemingly small change will save a lot of nerve cell habit of enthusiasts who do not have to reboot several times during the press the Del key to start the UEFI. It would seem that the idea of lying on the surface, but only just realized. Of course, in this case it comes to improving ease of setup of the system on the open bench. If the PC is assembled in the housing, the added value of GO ² BIOS will not be so much.

 

Special attention is paid to the organization of the cooling system. The board offers four-five fan connectors, and the Total Fan Control Technology allows you to adjust the speed of their rotation as of UEFI, and the operating system.

 

For the organization of the disk subsystem board uses only the chipset Intel Z77 – four SATA 3 Gb / s m a pair of SATA 6 Gb / s (it would be better to have the opposite combination). It is unlikely that the owner will not overclock the system able to connect six drives, whereas the absence of additional controllers to reduce shipping fees and simplify its layout. However, the functionality of MSI Z77 MPOWER certainly cannot be called austere: the board was originally equipped with a controller 802.11b/g/n (Atheros AR9271), as well as the module Bluetooth 3.0 (Atheros AR3011). Furthermore, an additional USB 3.0 controller can connect up to 8 devices with the tire.
On the front-panel board located PS / 2 port and a pair of USB 2.0, the key clearing CMOS-memory, six high-speed USB 3.0 port and a socket Ethernet. To connect the display device provides video outputs HDMI and DisplayPort.

 

Acoustics can be connected with six audio jacks or use the optical digital output S / PDIF. On the rear panel are also visible Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, while the latter has a connector for an external antenna supplied in the kit.

Inside the box of MSI Z77 MPOWER

In the box there are manual, CD with drivers and software, plug in the rear cover, six interface cables SATA, panels M-Connector convenient control buttons and indicators, adapters to connect the meter to the V-Check Points, Wi-Fi-antenna with a small extension bridge and SLI.

 

In

With the MSI Z77 MPOWER has been updated version of utility Control Center, which allows you to control many of the parameters of the platform directly from the operating system. In addition to the previously available options, the program now allows you to customize the algorithm for all connected fans also can record a performance for a certain period of time.

 

Despite the fact that the MSI Z77 MPOWER board allows you to set any processor platform LGA1155, use complete with MSI Z77 MPOWER chip without the unlocked multiplier, will still not be the best idea. In this case the possibility to force the CPU will be significantly limited. During the experiments, the system bus speed was increased up to 108.5 MHz. Overall, a good indicator. But, with chip Core i5/i7 series “K” to achieve high results much easier. In this case, the most basic way to improve productivity – use the OC Genie II. After pressing a button, the clock test Core i7-3770K increased to 4.2 GHz. For further, acceleration necessary to switch to the manual mode. After increasing the voltage to 1.25V and the multiplier to 48 the CPU is running stably at 4.8 GHz. To be precise – 4825 MHz based on the initially bit on the high FSB frequency (100.5 MHz).
Alas, this is all that enough, good air cooler to keep the temperature of 22-nanometer CPU at maximum load at 80-85 degrees. In this case, further overclocking the chip is limited by the efficiency of the cooling system and the characteristics of the crystal specific CPU, not the capabilities of the motherboard.

Results

MSI Z77 MPOWER deserves attention demanding enthusiasts. Opportunities for tuning the platform you can customize the system to meet your needs. The model is an interesting fusion of technology which complies with high standards of overclocking: rational exciting design, enhanced power system, the expanded set of tools for monitoring and forcing the system. However, the manufacturer managed to keep a reasonable price balance. Although the board and is more expensive models on ordinary Intel Z77, but for those who are ready for a serious experiment, the price difference is justified.

Pros of MSI Z77 MPOWER:

+ Heavy components and efficient cooling system

+ A wide range of tools to boost the platform

+ Effective design

+ A controller Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

+ Control system fan speed

+ Function GO2BIOS for guaranteed start UEFI

Cons of MSI Z77 MPOWER

– Two-port SATA 6 Gb / S