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MSI Z77 MPower Big Bang Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of MSI

The MSI Z77 MPower board pairs sleek looks with the promise of stellar performance, as expected from MSI's Big Bang board series. We decided to validate these claims, putting the board through our normal suite of benchmark and functionality tests to see how well it lived up to its reputation. The MSI Z77 MPower is a bargain at its $209.99 base price with the performance potential packed into the board.

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Courtesy of MSI

WAY back in August we sat down with MSI's Alex Chang to talk about the Z77 MPower motherboard - take a look at that video below!

Continue reading our review of the MSI Z77 MPower Motherboard!!

While the MSI Z77 MPower board may not have all the add-ons of the more expensive boards, it more than makes up for it in power and overclocking potential. According to MSI's documentation, each Z77 MPower board is factory tested to meet a base overclocking level prior to final packaging. That's an added layer of security ensuring that your new board will perform to those specs. MSI designed the following features into the Z77 MPower: SATA 2 and SATA 3, ports, support for 3 different networking types featuring a Realtek GigE NIC, an Atheros 802.11n adapter, and an Atheros Bluetooth adapter, and plenty of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports for all your USB-based devices

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Courtesy of MSI

Technical Specifications (taken from the MSI website)

CPU

• Supports 3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i7 / Core™ i5 / Core™ i3 / Pentium® / Celeron® processors for LGA 1155 socket
Please refer to CPU Support for compatible CPU; the above description is for reference only.

Chipset

• Intel® Z77 Chipset

Main Memory

Support four DDR3 DIMMs 1066/1333/1600/1866*/2000*/2133*(OC), 2200*/2400*/2600*/2667*/2800*/3000*(OC, 22nm CPU required)DRAM (32GB Max)
- Supports Dual-Channel mode

Slots

• 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots
• 4 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots

On-Board SATA

SATAIII controller integrated in Intel® Z77 chipset
- Up to 6Gb/s transfer speed.
- Supports two SATA ports (SATA1~2) by Z77

SATAII controller integrated in Intel® Z77 chipset
- Up to 3Gb/s transfer speed.
- Supports four SATA ports (SATA3~6)

RAID
- SATA1~6 ports support Intel Rapid Storage Technology enterprise (AHCI / RAID 0/1/5/10) by Intel Z77

USB

• 6 USB 3.0 rear I/O ports (2 ports by Intel® Z77, 4 ports by Renesas® uDP72020)
• 1 USB 3.0 onboard connector by Intel® Z77

Audio

• Chipset integrated by Realtek® ALC898
- Flexible 8-channel audio with jack sensing
- Compliant with Azalia 1.0 Spec

LAN

LAN
• Supports one PCI Express LAN 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet by Realtek® 8111E

WiFi
• Supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth
• Supports Bluetooth 3.0+HS

Multi-GPU

• Supports ATI® CrossFire™ Technology
• Supports NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology
• Supports Lucid® Virtu Universal MVP

Internal I/O Connectors

- 3 x USB 2.0 connectors
- 1 x USB 3.0 connector
- 1 x Multi BIOS Switch
- 1 x TPM Module connector
- 1 x Front Panel connector
- 1 x Front Panel Audio connector
- 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
- 1 x Voice Genie connector (optional)
- 1 x MultiConnect Panel connector (optional)
- 1x Debug LED panel
- 1 x V-Check Points Set
- 1 x Power button
- 1 x OC Genie button
- 1 x Reset button
- 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
- 1 x GO2BIOS button
- CPU x 1 / System x 4 FAN connectors
- ATX 24-pin Power Connector
- ATX 8-pin Power Connector
- ATX 6-pin Power Connector

Back Panel I/O Ports

- 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
- 1 x Clear CMOS button
- 1 x Optical S/PDIF-out port
- 2 x USB 2.0 ports
- 6 x USB 3.0 ports
- 1 x RJ45 LAN jack
- 1 x 6 in 1 audio jack
- 1 x HDMI® port with max. resolution up to 1920x1200 @60Hz
- 1 x DisplayPort port with max. resolution up to 2560x1600 @60Hz
MSI Reminds You...
• This platform supports dual-display function (HDMI+DisplayPort).

BIOS

• The mainboard BIOS provides "Plug & Play" BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically.
• The mainboard provides a Desktop Management Interface(DMI) function which records your mainboard specifications.

Dimension

• 30.5cm(L) x 24.5cm(W) ATX Form Factor

Mounting

• 9 mounting holes.

 

January 2, 2013 | 09:28 PM - Posted by Angry

Very very nice!

:EDIT:
Nevermind, Im a dufus. Shouldnt read hard reviews on the john with the Kindle.

Anyway, is 8x4x4x Sli really worth it? Say 3 GTX 670s?

January 12, 2013 | 03:40 AM - Posted by rrr (not verified)

8x vs 16x shows differences of around ~5%. x4 shows about ~30% of difference, so certainly NOT worth it.

January 17, 2013 | 07:35 AM - Posted by WillRock (not verified)

That's BS:

http://tpucdn.com/reviews/Intel/Ivy_Bridge_PCI-Express_Scaling/images/pe...,

PCI-E 3.0 x4 equals to PCI-E 2.0 x8, which is easily sufficient for a triple GPU setup.

Why do you consistantly keep on going around making up bullcrap Rafal? Stuart? Is your name even Rafal or Stuart? Oh nvm, you're a total moron...

January 3, 2013 | 01:25 AM - Posted by Sean Sinha (not verified)

The CMOS battery location isn't as big of an issue thanks to the rear-panel CMOS-clear button. I am a big fan of the current MSI Z77 stuff and this board is probably the best mix of high end features and overclockability you're going to find in the sub-$200 range.

January 3, 2013 | 09:32 AM - Posted by cyberwire

Overclocking Results page is using the same CPU-Z screenshot for both frequencies. The 4.2Ghz one is missing.

Otherwise great review!

January 3, 2013 | 04:09 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Thank you for poiting that out cyberwire.  The images on that page have been corrected...

January 5, 2013 | 10:54 PM - Posted by Peter Wong (not verified)

Has anyone get the phase LEDs to change in Windows 8? during system boot up they blink but in windows 8 they all stay on.

Thanks,

January 8, 2013 | 01:59 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Have not played with the board in Windows 8, but teh BIOS does have Windows 8 specific settings.  You may want to try messing with those setting to see if you have any better luck...

January 22, 2013 | 07:26 AM - Posted by markdek (not verified)

AMD does not have FXAA, so how can this be in the Batman test settings w/ an AMD 5870?

I really want to know, because I cannot duplicate your Batman test w/ this setup.

January 23, 2013 | 08:25 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

With the 5870, I have the option in the graphics options screen (not in game, only accessible from startup) to force FXAA type rendering, as shown below

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