MSI MPower Max Z87 LGA1150 Motherboard Review
MSIís MPower series is their latest effort to compete against the likes of ASUSí Deluxe and Gigabyte UD7 but to do so, these motherboards have a lot of ground to make up. Over the last few years, MSI has released some great mid-tier boards but ultimately fell behind the development curve for enthusiast-focused products. While the initial XPower lineup was a first tentative step towards building an enthusiast platform from the ground up, the new MPower MAX Z87 is the culmination of MSIís ultimate design goals while adding in a touch of affordability.
Even though it is technically not their top-of-the-line Z87 model Ė a slot reserved for the e-ATX form factor XPower II Ė the MPower MAX is a flagship motherboard in its own right. It features top-tier additions in terms of both quality and the features it has to offer and at $230 itís priced at a lower point than some competitors.
While MSI has casted as wide a net as possible in an effort to appeal to gamers, the MPower seriesí primary goal is to provide overclockers with a stable, adaptable platform has always been overclocking enthusiasts and the MPower Max is no exception. With this in mind, MSI has bestowed upon the MPower MAX an all-digital 20 phase power delivery system consisting of Hi-c CAPs, Dark CAPs and Super Ferrite Chokes. Together these parts make up MSIís ĎMilitary Class IVí group of components which run cooler, last longer and are more efficient than typical setups. To help ensure that even the most highly clocked CPUs are fed enough power it also comes equipped with dual 12volt EPS 8-pin power connections. As a very tasty icing on the cake, MSI even runs every MPower MAX through a 24 burn-in test at the factory to ensure that it will work the first time, every time.
Moving away from the hardware, aesthetics plays a large role in PC enthusiasts lives and MSI has skillfully done away with any garish accents meant to sway the younger crowd. Rather, its understated Black and Yellow design means that no PC enthusiast will ever be ashamed to show off their new system Ė no matter if they are in their living room, at an over-clocking or LAN event, or even at exposition in front of tens of thousands of fellow enthusiasts. Even the included software is sure to satisfy novice, mainstream and experienced enthusiasts alike. MSI includes their 555 XFast line of LAN,USB and RAM features as well as including their Command Center suite of enthusiast friendly applications.
On paper the MSI MPower MAX seems to have all the ingredients needed for a recipe for success and it is these Ė and many more Ė features which MSI are counting on to help guarantee the latest MPower doesnít bring dishonor to its ancestors.
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