MSI has a strong contender with this Z77 MPOWER board. Combining killer looks, thanks to the pro black PCB finish and the black and yellow Lightning themed heatspreaders, with good performance. Best off all this board remains in the sub 190 euro category, a killer price for the listed specifications.
How about the used Military Class III components, a stable high end hybrid power circuitry, Vcore measurement points, multi GPU support (SLI and tri-Crossfire) with an extra GPU power plug on the PCB if needed. The sound department is handled by a Realtek ALC898 sound chip with THX TruStudio support, to enhance you multimedia experiences. For more connectivity, besides the Gigabit LAN, the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth should fulfill all of your needs. The Z77 MPOWER offers quite a bundle in this price segment.
Don't let the low street price fool you, the MSI Z77 MPOWER board is a very solid platform to build upon. Being it for an avid gamer, enthusiast overclocker or for those that look for ultimate stability when crunching, no matter the operating conditions, the Z77 MPOWER has got you totally covered.
Our Intel i7-3770K ES CPU isn't a stellar overclocker, neither under LN2, but the MSI had no issues to run it at a smooth sailing 4600MHz. Most boards will also get you up to them speeds, but the provided MSI OC certification gives you an extra peace of mind. Quick LN2 OC tests indicated good support against the added cold, no serious issues were discovered.
The BIOS has plenty of tweaking possibilities to fine tune or dial in your hardware. For the daily users/enthusiasts most RAMs are well supported. Enabling the XMP profile in the bios got all of our recently reviewed RAM kits running in a matter of seconds. However for the die-hard overclockers the lack of high speed Powerchips support ( +2400Mhz) is a flaw that should be addressed, being it in the release of a special Overclocking only bios.
The layout of the board is well designed, providing it's end user with a clean socket area for easy insulation, widely spaced PCI-Express slots. The presence of power/reset & clear Cmos buttons, an easily switchable dual BIOS is provided and the Direct2Bios is a feature we would like all manufacturers to implement. Finally as mentioned before, the build in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth makes this board even more multimedia friendly.
At the price of around 190 euros this MPOWER board is a steal, ready to take on anything you throw at it, the limits will not be determined by the board nor it's design, but by the other components and cooling being used. The MPOWER has remained rock solid during our tests, too bad we didn't have enough time to push it hard under extreme cold.
For the stability, performance and flexibility during the [M]bench suite, the onboard features and all this at an affordable price level, Madshrimps awards the MSI Z77 MPOWER with not one but two two awards. Go get your MPOWER board right now !
- Feature rich bundle
- Certified OCing
- Board layout
Thanks to Koen from MSI for providing us the MPOWER board and the Dual channel 8GB Avexir 2400C10 kit