MSI Z77A-GD80 with Thunderbolt Motherboard Review
MSI Suite is the overarching software which provides easy access to all of the MSI applications included with this board.
Once installed, Suite provides an auto hiding bar at the top of the screen. Mousing over this board will bring up the main menu, and show all of the MSI software available for use. While installing the Suite software will show icons for all of these applications, it is important to note that they will still need to be downloaded or installed from the bundled CD separately.
Some of the software in MSI’s Suite includes:
LiveUpdate 5 is the newest version of the MSI software which aims to keep all of the bundled software on your system, and even your UEFI and motherboard related drivers up to date.Aiming for full integration with their Suite software package, MSI allows you to launch LiveUpdate from either inside the Suite toolbar, or as a standalone application.
When launched from the Suite toolbar, LiveUpdate shows all available updates, and allows you to install individual ones, or launch a “Total Installer” to fully update your machine.
You can also launch the full LiveUpdate UI for more information like motherboard and VGA BIOS versions, as well as the same update features found in the toolbar version.
A feature that we have seen from a lot of motherboard manufacturers in the past few years, Super Charger provides the ability to quickly charge high power USB devices from your computer.
Once Super Charger is enabled, it activates the charging circuit for individual USB ports, tripling the default amperage of USB from 500mAh to 1500 mAh.
However, you should be aware that the USB data connection is disabled when Super Charger is enabled for that port.
A particularly interesting feature that MSI has chosen to integrate with MSI Suite is Trend Micro’s SafeSync.
SafeSync is a Dropbox-like service, which provides cloud syncing for certain files and folders which will do things like syncronize files between computers and provide for mobile access to uploaded content. Features which differentiate SafeSync from competitors such as Dropbox include no limits on file size, and versioning so you can restore files which you may have overwritten.
Once installed, SafeSync integrates with Windows Explorer to show file sync status. If you have ever used Dropbox before, the interface for SafeSync will seem very familiar. After files are uploaded, they can be accessed from a web interface as well as with Trend Micro’s applications. Having used Dropbox extensively for years, I found SafeSync to be a competent competitor, which I think is a good thing for the cloud file storage market.
While pricing for SafeSync includes 20GB, 50GB and 100GB plans, MSI has provided users of the GD80 with 2GB of free space to try out the service
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