Summary: In the past I’ve had very good experiences with these motherboards as I have with GIGABYTE’s Sniper series and the ASUS Republic of Gamers offerings. As a result I have extremely high expectations for MSI here. In some ways MSI surprises me exceeding the capabilities of its competitors but traditionally one or two things often hold MSI back from being on the same level as GIGABYTE or ASUS.
While I was hoping this time would be different, but it wasn’t.
Summary: The "M" series motherboards from MSI have gained a lot of recognition recently being an upper quality not-so-high-priced motherboard for the computer hardware enthusiast. However while MSI brings us some of the best hardware you’ll find on the current market seemingly goes a bit off course with firmware and software.
Excerpt: MSI was quick to let a flurry of boards hit the market including the new “Gaming” line but for those enthusiasts who want something to help push the limits there’s no better solution form the MSI camp than the Mpower/Xpower series. We have already shows the wild Xpower board now were gonna show you the more tame Mpower model Introduction – MSI Z87 Mpower MSI was quick to let a flurry of boards hit the market including the new “Gaming” line but for those enthusiasts who...
Summary: Behind the scenes here at TPU, I have been working closer with MSI than ever before, having been in contact with staff from VP down to tech service agents and marketing reps. The communication over email and phone, and the packages sent back and forth, amount to far more effort than I put into many other brands right now. MSI is one of those companies I have had a love-hate relationship with for many years, and honestly, they aren't my favorite company out there.
Pros: Overbuilt voltage regulation sections ensure that pushing the limits under LN2 is possible, Packed with high-end features to keep your system stable, HUGE accessories package, Wide-open BIOS ready for tweaking to the limit, All fans independently controllable, Decent memory overclocking and compatibility, Great software package, Fully functional AMI UEFI BIOS that includes mouse support and support for 3 TB+ drives
Cons: Mixed overclocked performance (will be improved with newer BIOSes now in testing), No Intel Thunderbolt, Color scheme used may not appeal to all
Summary: The MSI Z87 MPower Max is what I would call a midrange overclocking motherboard designed for power users looking to build a solid computing platform. Given the overall feature set of the MPower Max the motherboard would feel right at home in a high-end gaming rig or under cold on a LN2 test bench.
Overclocking the Z87 MPower Max was about as easy as you would expect.
Pros: Good Layout for Supercooling, Large 20-Phase PWM, Killer Nic e2200, Sound Blaster Cinema, Gold Plated Audio Sockets, Separated Audio Electronics, Benchtop Controls
Cons: Location of cpu voltage test points, Lack of BCLK adjustments, Getting lost in the UEFI menus
Summary: As overclockers we often demand more from our hardware and want something that is specially built to help us reach insane levels regardless of what hardware we are planning to run. Causal overclockers and hardware enthusiasts will often look to the mainstream for a suitable alternative but sometimes need more than what is available there.
Excerpt: The Z87 MPOWER board is one of the first boards released as part of MSI's Z87 update of the much vaunted MPOWER line. The board supports the next generation of Intel processors based on the LGA1150 socket (Haswell), and is packed full of features and overclocking goodness. In-line with the MPower's established theme, the Z87 MPower board maintain's the black and yellow stylings from the last generation with the MSI brand logo proudly displeased on the chipset heat sink.
Conclusion: Since MSI started dividing their products into ranges, we didn’t really see a great deal from the MPOWER brand until it was teamed up directly with the “Lightning Series” which opened up a huge pathway for outstanding products that sit at the top of the stack. The Z77 MPOWER showed that they could develop motherboards to match the performance of their VGA counterparts while offering up a funky yellow colour scheme that other brands may have been to scared to use, but...
Pros: Black PCB is stunning, Overall design compliments the board really well, Cooling around CPU socket is bold but understated, SLI/CrossFire support, Plenty of features for those wanting them, Reliability and quality is strong from MSI, Improved BIOS is welcomed, Overclocking potential is huge