MSI 990FXA GD-80 Reviewccokeman -
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MSI offers a complete line of software utilities to compliment the feature set used on the 990FXA-GD80. First up is the Core Center utility that allows you to overclock the system while in the operating system. Under the overclocking section there are four sections(Mainboard, CPU, Memory and Overclock) that give top line information about the installed components. A drop down box on the right side of each window digs deeper into the hardware profile and settings. The Overclock section is where you can manually configure the settings. There are also several profiles that can be chosen in the overclock section Cooling, Default, Cinema, and Game. Each of these delivers performance characteristics specific for these activities.
Under the OC Genie tab there is a walkthrough on how to enable the OC Genie II functionality including the "Lite" function. Under the Green Power tab are the option to monitor voltages and temperatures, adjust the power phases and turn on/off the motherboard LED's. The monitoring function can be shrunk to the size of a widget to use on the Win 7 sidebar or dragged anywhere on the desktop to monitor the CPU frequency and temperature.
Live update is an application that is used to update the drivers, BIOS, and MSI utilities installed. The program runs in the background and is configurable to meet most needs. It can be run manually or set to check automatically.
Audio Genie is used to tailor the sound settings, the speaker configuration, and the THX audio settings to your liking. Auto Boot is used to set the computer to wake and start on a user determined schedule. Easy Viewer is an 3D image viewer/manipulation tool that supports NVIDIA 3D Vision. The Teaming Genie is used to balance network traffic and provide some redundancy if one port fails. Super Charger is an application that is tailored to provide charging for mobile devices and specifically the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. The iPad requires up to 1.6 amps to charge rather than the .5a found on the USB circuit. This works through the special Super Charger capable USB port on the PCB to allow charging these devices even while in suspend or hibernation mode.
Lets see how this offering from MSI performs with AMD's latest processor the FX-8150.