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MSI Z87 XPOWER Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of MSI

The Z87 XPower board is the flagship motherboard in MSI's MPower product line. The board supports the latest generation of Intel LGA1150-based processors with all the over-engineered goodness you've come to expect from an MSI flagship board. The Z87 XPower sports the black and yellow theme of the product line, along with integrated LEDs to really make the board stand out. While its $439.99 retail may seem a bit high, the stability, features, and raw power of the board make it a wise investment for those that only want the best.

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Courtesy of MSI

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Courtesy of MSI

Designed with a 32-phase digital power system and an eight-layer PCB, the MSI Z87 XPower is armed to take any amount of punishment you can throw at it. MSI incorporated a plethora of features into its massive XL-ATX form factor board: 10 SATA 6Gb/s ports; a mSATA 6Gb/s port; a Killer E2205 GigE NIC; Intel 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth adapter; five PCI-Express x16 slots for up to quad-card NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFire support; two PCI-Express x1 slots; Lucidlogix Virtu® MVP 2.0 support; onboard power, reset, BIOS reset, CPU ratio control, base clock control, OC Genie, power discharge, and Go2BIOS buttons; multi-BIOS and PCIe control switches; 2-digit diagnostic LED display; 14 voltage check points; independent audio subsystem PCB design; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

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Courtesy of MSI

Continue reading our review of the MSI Z87 XPower motherboard!

Technical Specifications (taken from the MSI website)

CPU

• 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 / Core™ i5 / Core™ i3 / Pentium® /Celeron® processors for LGA 1150 socket
Please refer to CPU Support for compatible CPU; the above description is for reference only.

Chipset

• Intel® Z87 Express Chipset

Memory

• Support four DDR3 DIMMs 1066/1333/1600/1866*/2000*/2133*/2200*/2400*/2600*/2666*/2800*/3000*(OC) DRAM (32GB Max)
- Supports Dual-Channel mode
- Supports non-ECC, un-buffered memory
- Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

Slots

• 5 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (PCI_E1, PCI_E2, PCI_E3, PCI_E5, PCI_E7)*
- The operating mode will be x0/ x16/ x0/ x0/ x0, x16/ x0/ x0/ x16/ x0, x8/ x0/ x8/ x16/ x0 or x8/ x0/ x8/ x8/ x8.*
- Support for installing up to 4 PCIe x16 expansion cards
• 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots
* For a single expansion card installation with optimum performance, using the PCI_E2 slot is recommended.

On-Board SATA

• SATAIII controller integrated in Intel® Z87 chipset
- Up to 6Gb/s transfer speed.
- 1 x mSATA 6Gb/s port*
- Supports six SATA ports (SATA1~6) by Z87

• SATAIII controller integrated in ASMedia® ASM1061 chipset
- Up to 6Gb/s transfer speed.
- Supports four SATA ports (SATA7~10) by ASM1061
*The SATA5 port will be unavailable when a SSD installed in the mSATA port.
** Supports Intel Core processors on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

• RAID
- SATA1~6 ports support Intel Rapid Storage Technology enterprise (AHCI / RAID 0/1/5/10) by Intel Z87

USB

• Intel Z87 Express Chipset
- 4x USB 3.0 ports (available through the internal USB connectors)
- 6x USB 2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB connectors*)

• ASMedia ASM1074 Chipset
- 8 x USB 3.0 ports on the back panel
* internal JUSB1 connector supports MSI Super Charger

Audio

• Realtek® ALC1150 Codec
- 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio
- Supports S/PDIF output

LAN

• Supports one PCI Express LAN 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet by Killer® E2205 Gigabit LAN controller*
*The Killer Network Manager is only available for Windows 7 and Windows 8 currently. The supported drivers for other operating systems would depend on the vendor providing or not.

Multi-GPU

• Supports 4-Way AMD CrossFire™ Technology*
• Supports 4-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology
• Supports Lucid Virtu MVP 2.0*
*Supports Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Internal I/O Connectors

- ATX 24-Pin power connector
- 2 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
- 1 x 6-pin ATX 12V power connector*
- 2 x 4-pin CPU fan connectors
- 5 x 4-pin System fan connectors
- 10 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
- 2 x USB 2.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
- 2 x USB 3.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 3.0 ports)
- 1 x Discharge button
- 1 x Multi BIOS Switch
- 1 x Front Panel Audio connector
- 2 x System panel connectors
- 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
- 14 x V-Check points (7x V-Check connectors, 7x V-Check spots)
- 1 x Base Clock step swtich
- 1 x GO2BIOS button
- 1 x OC Genie button
- 1 x Reset button
- 2 x Base Clock control buttons
- 2 x CPU Ratio control buttons
- 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
- 1 x Power button
- 1 x OC Genie mode switch
- 1 x PCIe CeaseFire Switch
- 1 x 2-Digit Debug Code LED
- 1 x Wi-Fi/ Bluetooth module connector
* Provides additional power to PCIe x16 slots

Back Panel I/O Ports

- 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port
- 1 x Clear CMOS button
- 1 x Optical S/PDIF-out port
- 2 x USB 2.0 ports
- 8 x USB 3.0 ports
- 1 x RJ45 LAN jack
- 1 x 6 in 1 OFC audio jack
- 1 x DisplayPort with max. resolution up to 4096x2160@24Hz, 24bpp/ 3840x1600@60Hz, 24bpp
- 2 x HDMI ports with max. resolution up to 4096x2160@24Hz, 24bpp/2560x1600@60Hz, 24bpp/ 1920x1080@60Hz, 36bpp

This platform supports dual-display and triple-display function

  HDMI+DisplayPort HDMI+HDMI HDMI+HDMI+DisplayPort
Extend mode
(Extend the desktop to the second and third monitor)
Clone mode
(Monitors have the same screen)

BIOS

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

Dimensions

• 34.5cm(L) x 26.4cm(W) XL-ATX Form Factor

Mounting

• 9 mounting holes.

 

October 1, 2013 | 10:35 AM - Posted by derz

The ALL-NEW MSI Z87!

November 6, 2013 | 12:54 PM - Posted by Gerard (not verified)

Your info is wrong on the display port. You have the display port at 3840x1600@60Hz. The display port on the maual reads 1x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of
4096x2160@24Hz, 24bpp/ 3840x2160@60Hz, 24bpp

November 6, 2013 | 01:08 PM - Posted by Gerard (not verified)

With those specs DisplayPort supporting a maximum resolution of
4096x2160@24Hz, 24bpp/ 3840x2160@60Hz, 24bpp.
I was wondering if you can hook up a 4k monitor with out using a GPU

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