A New TriFrozr Cooler
Graphics cards are by far the most interesting topic we cover at PC Perspective. Between the battles of NVIDIA and AMD as well as the competition between board partners like EVGA, ASUS, MSI and Galaxy, there is very rarely a moment in time when we don't have a different GPU product of some kind on an active test bed. Both NVIDIA and AMD release reference cards (for the most part) with each and every new product launch and it then takes some time for board partners to really put their own stamp on the designs. Other than the figurative stamp that is the sticker on the fan.
One of the companies that has recently become well known for very custom, non-reference graphics card designs is MSI and the pinnacle of the company's engineering falls into the Lightning brand. As far back as the MSI GTX 260 Lightning and as recently as the MSI HD 7970 Lightning, these cards have combined unique cooling, custom power design and good amount of over engineering to really produce a card that has few rivals.
Today we are looking at the brand new MSI GeForce GTX 780 Lightning, a complete revamp of the GTX 780 that was released in May. Based on the same GK110 GPU as the GTX Titan card, with two fewer SMX units, the GTX 780 easily the second fastest single GPU card on the market. MSI is hoping to make the enthusiasts even more excited about the card with the Lightning design that brings a brand new TriFrozr cooler, impressive power design and overclocking capabilities that basic users and LN2 junkies can take advantage of. Just what DO you get for $750 these days?
Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2013 - 03:09 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, haswell, h81-p33, H81, atx
MSI recently launched its own Haswell-ready motherboard equipped with Intel’s H81 chipset. Aimed at budget builds, the new MSI H81-P33 is a sub-$100 ATX board.
The H81-P33 features an LGA 1150 CPU socket and two DDR3 DIMM slots (32GB DDR3 1600 MHz maximum) fed by a 6-phase VRM. Below the CPU socket is a single PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot, two PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, and three legacy PCI connectors. To the left of the PCI slots sit two SATA III 6Gbps ports and two SATA II 3Gbps ports. A USB 3.0 header sits at the bottom of the board.
Rear IO on the MSI H81-P33 includes:
- 2 x PS/2
- 4 x USB 2.0
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x VGA
- 1 x RJ45
- 3 x Analog audio jacks
MSI has not announced specific pricing or availability, but expect it to be under $100. It should be a good starting point for a budget Haswell build.
Subject: Motherboards | August 13, 2013 - 02:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, Z87 XPower, PEX 8747 PLX
MSI's Z87 XPower is a brilliant board to base a multi-GPU system on as it's 5 PCIe slots are capable of running two cards at 16x if you are not using the other three, for triple GPU you can manage 16x/8x/8x or even four slots at 8x if you go to the utter extreme thanks to the PEX 8747 PLX chip found on board. If you are only using one GPU you can choose the slot which avoids the PLX chip altogether to avoid the latency penalty it adds. A Killer NIC, MSI's Super RAID SSD caching, Multi-BIOS II, Debub LED, Go2BIOS, V-Check Points and Direct OC all add to the benefits you get from choosing this board. If the $440 price tag doesn't immediately scare you off check out the full review at [H]ard|OCP.
"Higher end products are niche items which don’t make a lot of sense for the vast majority of users. Even gamers and enthusiasts sometimes shy away from these products unless the feature set aligns with their needs, desires, and budgets. The feature-packed MSI Z87 XPower is a fine example of this high end motherboard category. "
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- MSI Z87 XPower Review: Our First Z87 with PLX8747 @ AnandTech
- ASRock Z87 OC Formula @ Kitguru
- Asus Maximus VI Hero @ Kitguru
- ASUS Z87-PRO Motheboard @ Bjorn3D
- ASUS Maximus VI Hero Z87 @ Bjorn3D
- MSI Z87-G45 Gaming Review @ OCC
- GIGABYTE Z87X-UD5H Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- ASRock Z87 Extreme6/ac (Intel LGA 1150) @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H @ [H]ard|OCP
- MSI Z87-G43 Motherboard Review @ HiTech Legion
- Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H @ X-bit Labs
- Asus Z87-K @ X-bit Labs
- MSI Z77A-GD65 GAMING @ X-bit Labs
- Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 Motherboard Review @ Madshrimps
- BIOS Option Of The Week - PCI-E Max Read Request Size @ TechARP
- Gigabyte F2A85XN-WiFi Motherboard Review @ HiTech Legion
Subject: Systems | August 5, 2013 - 09:00 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFF, msi, Intel, embedded, atom d2550
MSI recently launched the MS-9A29, which is a fanless small form factor (SFF) embedded PC. The new PC measures 196mm x 136mm x 43mm and weighs 1.2 kg. The MS-9A29 is encased in a small black chassis that is covered in fins to aid in passive cooling with the front and back banels hosting various IO ports.
Front IO includes four USB 2.0 ports and four COM ports. The back panel holds two RJ45 GbE jacks driven by two Intel 82583V NICs, one line out audio jack (Realtek ALC887 HD codec), two USB 2.0 ports, a single HDMI port, and one VGA port. Finally, the case provides two openings for antenna passthroughs.
Internally, the MSI MS-9A29 features an Intel Atom D2550 processor (dual core at 1.8GHz, 10W TDP), Intel GMA 3650 GPU (400MHz), a single DDR3 SO-DIMM slot (4GB maximum), and Intel NM10 Express chipset. The motherboard can be accessed by a removeable bottom panel on the case. The system supports one SATA drive, one mSATA drive, and two Mini-PCI-E cards. One mini-PCI-E slot can be used for a 3G SIM card adapter.
The SFF MSI MS-9A29 can be mounted to the back of monitors or on a wall. It supports Windows 7 and Windows XP and can output video to two simultaneous displays. It is aimed at kiosks, signage, POS, and industrial machines.
More information can be found on the MS-9A29 product page. However, the company has not yet released pricing or availability (expect it to be on the pricier side though as it is aimed at business/industrial users).
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | July 19, 2013 - 08:27 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: msi, gs70, gaming laptop
Laptops have been evolving towards thin, light, efficient, and powerful... enough for web browsing and that is about it. The internet is a popular thing, go figure, and many manufacturers are nervous about marketing a laptop or tablet which does much beyond that. Razer took a bit of a gamble with their Blade and Edge line of laptops and tablets, respectively, but they have since shown promise.
Now MSI has not been a stranger to gaming laptops. While not as popular in North America, although they are gaining traction, they are experienced in this market. Perhaps bringing along Steelseries, a main competitor of Razer, might increase your chances? At the very least, you will probably have an epic keyboard.
The GS70 Stealth "ultra gaming notebook" combines an Intel 4th Generation Core i7 with an NVIDIA GTX 765M, up to 16GB of RAM, and a pair of SSDs into a 17.3" aluminum-magnesium alloy case. Also present, Creative Labs SoundBlaster Cinema audio and a Killer ethernet connection.
The SteelSeries keyboard is backlit in whatever color you desire. Each button has been rearranged in a unique order that I have yet to see; some keys, such as numpad 0 and right shift, to crush the number pad in with the main keyboard which effectively provides many of the benefits of a tenkeyless design.
A final note, albeit an important one, is their addition of multiple video outputs. Through "Matrix Display", three 1080p displays can be connected in addition to the built-in 1080p monitor. Certain users could set up a multi-monitor workstation at their desk for this laptop to dock into.
Check out MSI's press blast for more information -- except for the all important pricing and availability, those are currently unknown.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 17, 2013 - 01:58 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, gtx 770, GK104, gk-104, gaming, factory overclocked, 4GB
MSI recently announced the GTX 770 Gaming 4GB which combines a factory overclocked GK-104 GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 memory and the company’s Twin Frozr IV cooler on a custom PCB. This card joins the existing MSI GTX 770 with 2GB of memory in the company’s GPU lineup.
Specifications the new graphics card include a GK-104 based GTX 770 GPU with a base clock of 1137 MHz and a GPU Boost clockspeed of 1189 MHz. This compares to the 4GB Zotac GTX 770’s base and boost clockspeeds of 1059 MHz and 1098 MHz and to the reference NVIDIA GTX 770’s 1046 MHz base and 1085 MHz boost. In short, the upcoming MSI card is one of the fastest-clocked models with 4GB of memory. Unfortunately, that 4GB of GDDR5 does not come factory overclocked, and is instead left at the stock 7 GHz clockspeed.
Further, the MSI card is cooled by the company’s Twin Frozr IV cooler. This HSF features two 100mm fans that cool an aluminum fin stack. In turn, that fin stack attaches to the GPU block via five heatpipes. There is no backplate, but the card does have a reinforcing plate between the PCB and cooler (which also, likely, helps dissipate a small bit of the heat generated by the VRMs and RAM).
The card is essentially the same card as the existing 2GB version, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The model number on the 4GB card is N770 TF 4GD5/OC. MSI has not released pricing or availability, but expect it to be around $430 and up for grabs later this summer.
More photos of the upcoming 4GB GTX 770 GPU can be found over at TPU.
Read more about GTX 770 graphics cards at PC Perspective!
Subject: Motherboards | July 15, 2013 - 02:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z87-GD65 GAMING, z87, msi
At just under $200 the MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming offers great value and performance for someone building a Haswell based system. It has all of the current features you expect from a high end board from MSI such as OC Genie 4, Military Class 4 components, super ferrite chokes, Hi-C Capacitors, Dark Caps and a Killer NIC. [H]ard|OCP was also very glad to see the end of MSI's ClickBIOS and were much happier with the new UEFI BIOS that MSI is using on their new boards. With three PCIe 16x slots you can utilize multiple GPUs and 10 SATA 6Gbps ports ought to satisfy almost any user. It picked up a Gold Award from [H] and you can see why in the full review.
If you missed Morry's review of this board you can get it right here.
"MSI’s GAMING series is back with an all new entry. The Z87-GD65 GAMING is certainly a promising contender and is one of the more unique offerings we’ve seen from MSI. We liked the last GAMING board we looked at, and we have liked all previous GD-65 series motherboards, hopefully this followup entry can measure up."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock's Z87E-ITX Mini-ITX motherboard @ The Tech Report
- ASUS MAXIMUS VI HERO (Intel LGA 1150) @ techPowerUp
- MSI Z87 XPower @ Kitguru
- ASUS GRYPHON Z87 mATX @ Benchmark Reviews
- BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z87X 3D Motherboard Review @ Madshrimps
- MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Review @ OCC
- MSI Z87 XPOWER Motherboard Review @ HiTech Legion
- Gigabyte Z87X UD4H Motherboard Review @ Ninjalane
- ASUS Z87-Plus Review @ OCC
- Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H Motherboard Review @ HiTech Legion
- ASUS Z87-K @ Kitguru
- ASUS Z87-Pro Intel Z87 LGA1150 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- Asus P8Z77-V LE PLUS @ X-bit Labs
- Asus P8Z77-M and Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H Review: Two LGA 1155 MicroATX Mainboards @ X-bit Labs
- BIOS Option Of The Week - PCI Burn-in Mode @ TechARP
- MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 Motherboard Review @ TechwareLabs
Subject: General Tech | July 11, 2013 - 02:06 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, frame rating, z87, mpower, msi, Bay Trail, celeron, atom, pentium
PC Perspective Podcast #259 - 07/11/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the MSI Z87 MPower Motherboard, Mobile Frame Rating, Intel Bay Trail and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:14:34
Week in Review:
0:03:30 MSI Z87 MPOWER Motherboard
News items of interest:
0:43:40 BayTrail benchmarks leak
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Allyn: Samsung 840 Pro 512GB for $425 at Buy.com (get it fast)
1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
Another Wrench – GeForce GTX 760M Results
Just recently, I evaluated some of the current processor-integrated graphics options from our new Frame Rating performance metric. The results were very interesting, proving Intel has done some great work with its new HD 5000 graphics option for Ultrabooks. You might have noticed that the MSI GE40 didn’t just come with the integrated HD 4600 graphics but also included a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M, on-board. While that previous article was to focus on the integrated graphics of Haswell, Trinity, and Richland, I did find some noteworthy results with the GTX 760M that I wanted to investigate and present.
The MSI GE40 is a new Haswell-based notebook that includes the Core i7-4702MQ quad-core processor and Intel HD 4600 graphics. Along with it MSI has included the Kepler architecture GeForce GTX 760M discrete GPU.
This GPU offers 768 CUDA cores running at a 657 MHz base clock but can stretch higher with GPU Boost technology. It is configured with 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at 2.0 GHz.
If you didn’t read the previous integrated graphics article, linked above, you’re going to have some of the data presented there spoiled and so you might want to get a baseline of information by getting through that first. Also, remember that we are using our Frame Rating performance evaluation system for this testing – a key differentiator from most other mobile GPU testing. And in fact it is that difference that allowed us to spot an interesting issue with the configuration we are showing you today.
If you are not familiar with the Frame Rating methodology, and how we had to change some things for mobile GPU testing, I would really encourage you to read this page of the previous mobility Frame Rating article for the scoop. The data presented below depends on that background knowledge!
Okay, you’ve been warned – on to the results.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of MSI
The Z87 MPOWER board is one of the first boards released as part of MSI's Z87 update of the much vaunted MPOWER line. The board supports the next generation of Intel processors based on the LGA1150 socket (Haswell), and is packed full of features and overclocking goodness. In-line with the MPower's established theme, the Z87 MPower board maintain's the black and yellow stylings from the last generation with the MSI brand logo proudly displeased on the chipset heat sink. At a retail price of $229.99, the Z87 MPower would be a nice value add to any enthusiast or gaming system.
Courtesy of MSI
Courtesy of MSI
In keeping with its enthusiast appeal, MSI incorporated a full 16-phase digital power delivery system into the Z87 MPower, ensuring CPU stability under the most intense system loads. MSI integrated the following features into the Z87 MPower: eight SATA 6Gb/s ports; an mSATA 6Gb/s port; a Killer E2205 GigE NIC; Atheros 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth adapter support; three PCI-Express x16 slots for up to tri-card support; four PCI-Express x1 slots; Lucidlogix Virtu® MVP 2.0 support; onboard power, reset, BIOS reset, base clock control, OC Genie, and Go2BIOS buttons; multi-BIOS and OC Genie mode switches; 2-digit diagnostic LED display; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.
Courtesy of MSI