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MSI Z77 MPower Big Bang Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Overclocking Results

MSI OC Genie II

Normally, I am not a fan of the automated overclocking BIOSes and Windows-based overclocking utilities, but MSI may have changed my mind with their OC Genie II implementation. Overclocking the board with OC Genie II was as simple as clicking the OC Genie II button on the motherboard and rebooting the system. After that, the overclocking BIOS took over and booted the system into Windows stable at a 4.2GHz CPU speed and a 2133MHz memory speed as you can see in the screen shots below. The configuration was stability tested running a combination of LinX and FurMark over a 10 hour period with LinX running for 500 loops with Memory set to All and FurMark running at 1280x1024 resolution and 2x MSAA in stress test mode.

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The one shortcoming of the OC Genie II BIOS is that it does not attempt to change the board's base clock setting. This oversight was rectified in the manual overclocking results shown below.

Manual Overclocking

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Using manual settings in the MSI UEFI BIOS via the OC page, I was able to get the system stable at an impressive 105 MHz base clock with a 4.4 GHz CPU speed and memory running at a cool 1960MHz. This base clock speed is the highest I've been able to achieve with an Intel Z77-based board to this point, proving the MSI did their homework in designing the Z77 MPOWER. System stability was tested over a 17 hour period with LinX running for 500 loops with Memory set to All and FurMark running at 1280x1024 resolution and 2x MSAA in stress test mode.

Overclocking page settings

  • CPU Base Frequency [10kHz] - 10500
  • Adjust CPU Ratio - 42
  • Internal PLL Overvoltage - Enabled
  • EIST - Enabled
  • Intel Turbo Boost – Disabled
  • Enhanced Turbo - Disabled
  • CPU Core Voltage - 1.2750
  • CPU I/O Voltage - 1.150
  • DRAM Voltage - 1.6255
  • System Agent Voltage(SA) - 1.0850
  • CPU PLL Voltage - 1.7500
  • PCH 1.05 - 1.0995

Memory Configuration settings

  • DRAM Reference Clock - 266
  • DRAM Frequency - DDR3-1866MHz
  • tCL - 11
  • tRCD - 11
  • tRP - 11
  • tRAS - 30
  • Command Rate - 1
January 3, 2013 | 12:28 AM - 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 | 06:40 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 | 10:35 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 | 04:25 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 | 12:32 PM - 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 | 07:09 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

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

January 6, 2013 | 01:54 AM - 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 | 04:59 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 | 10:26 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 | 11:25 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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