MSI BIG BANG Z77 MPOWER Socket 1155 Mainboard Review

Motherboards/Intel S1155 by leeghoofd @ 2013-01-21

Designed for overclocking, usage of high grade military components and extreme durability are a few of the slogans the marketing people like to use to label a new product. The catchier the better, all of course to draw the attention of any potential buyer. Sometimes it's only the inclusion of an overclocking tool on the included driver CD that makes up for some of the bold PR claims. However for the enthusiast crowd almost each motherboard manufacturer has got a board or even an entire lineup specifically built with the highest quality components, OC friendly BIOSes and idem ditto board layouts. Sadly most of them boards retail at a steep price, as most OC designed boards are at the top of the lineup. Prices of over 350 dollars are quite common for an ATX format OC board. The Big Bang series are available already since the release of Intel's P55 chipset, MSI's range that are targeting gamers and enthusiasts. The Intel Z77 chipset based version is baptized as the BIG BANG Z77 MPOWER. Time to find out how this board reacts to the treatment at the Shrimps lab.

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Boxart of this Z77 MPOWER board is an updated version of the previous XPower II design. The art team pulled it off again, with a very nice eye catching color scheme.




Our media sample kit also included a spec sheet, listing the results done by MSI's own testing lab. Included, besides the motherboard ofcourse, are the backplate, S-ATA cables, SLI/Crossfire bridges, manuals, driver CD and even a Wi-Fi antenna and range extender. However MSI wants to convince us how serious they really are, by including a certificate of quality and stability. The MPOWER motherboards are tested in house, at a respectable 4600MHz overclock on a watercooled Intel i7-3770K. During 24 hours the hardware is tortured with Prime95, this with zero airflow added to any of the the motherboard components.



Looking at the product overview, we spot MSI bundled quite some nice features on this 190 euro board. Besides the normal heavy duty military Class III components, the MPOWER get's equipped with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and an upgraded Soundcard. One can ask why including all these features on an OC related motherboard ? It's all about being able to sell the board. A pure OC targeted board with a minimalistic equipment, doesn't sell as easy as one with some extra goodies onboard.



The black PCB, dark grey heatsinks and black/yellow heatspreader result in a very pro finish for this board. Let's take a closer look...

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