MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Reviewccokeman -
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MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Introduction:
To say I was impressed with what the MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming delivered would be an understatement. The question is how do you follow up on a really good feature set and some spirited overclocking? The answer to the question, as far as MSI is concerned, is the Z87 MPOWER MAX that is meant to be its halo board for use with socket 1150 Fourth Generation Core series processors. As that halo board it comes with everything including the kitchen sink in terms of its hardware capabilities.
MSI's Military Class build philosophy has been the back bone that its performance motherboards have been built upon over the past few generations. With this generation we move up to Military Class IV components that meet and or exceed MIL-STD-810G and includes Hi-C Caps, Dark Solid Capacitors, Super Ferrite Chokes, and what is being called Military Class essentials that reduce EMI emissions, improve ESD protection, and humidity resistance with a thicker six-layer PCB. Add in the improved thermals, Audio Boost, and an included WiFi card, and you get a pretty comprehensive package to start with.
Priced at $259 on popular e-tailers, it sits towards the higher end of the price spectrum. Does the Z87 MPOWER MAX should prove out its worth? Let's dig into what MSI has to offer with this board.
MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Closer Look:
The packaging for MSI's Z87 MPOWER MAX has a bright yellow M against a carbon fiber-like illustration that will surely be a stand out on store shelves. The "M" actually flips open to reveal the Z87 MPOWER MAX as well as some of the highlighted features, including "Enhanced" component selection, Enhanced thermal protection, and Enhanced Power and BIOS. The back side of the package targets the reliability of the Z87 MPOWER MAX showing that it is OC Certified and has passed a rigorous 24-hour burn in test with a highly clocked water cooled CPU while removing all airflow from the motherboard components. Additionally you get the who's who listing of the MSI Specific feature set, including Military Class IV components, OC Genie 4, Audio Boost, and the inclusion of of a Killer Networks E2200 NIC. Inside the package the motherboard sits in a tray while the immense accessory bundle is housed in a secondary box that is packed to the gills.
As I said the accessory bundle that comes with the MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX is huge and consists of both the documentation and the hardware needed to get the board installed and running with all of the features and options usable. The documentation consists of a pair of driver disks, certificate of stability, users manuals for the board, WiFi card and software, a door tag, quick install guide, and an MSI Gaming case badge. Significantly more than you get with most motherboards. The hardware side of the bundle is pretty impressive in its own right, with a pair of antennas with magnetic bases for mounting on top of or on the rear of the chassis for use with the included WiFi/BT riser card that supports Intel WiDi, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.0. You get a total of six SATA 6Gbps data cables, external SATA power adapter, external SATA add in ports, USB 3.0 add in bracket to add another two ports, SLI Bridge connection, Rear I/O bracket, M-Connectors, and V-Check point extensions.
The packaging and bundle surely convince you that the MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX is the company's halo board in its Z87 product stack. Packaging and accessories are part of the package but the true worth comes in how well it performs and overclocks.