MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Reviewccokeman - July 11, 2013
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MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Closer Look:
Every motherboard manufacturer has its own set of software tools that best work with its hardware; MSI is no different in that respect. Included with the Z87 MPOWER MAX are the following tools.
Super Charger is used to manage the power supply through the identified high current USB 2.0 port to allow charging your portable electronics such as smartphones, tablets, or multimedia devices. Fast Boot gives you a direct ticket into the BIOS when this option is enabled in the BIOS. Using the GO2BIOS button functions similarly and is needed since the keyboard is inactive when in Fast Boot mode. Super RAID is a tool that looks like a front end for access into Intel's Rapid Storage Technologies.
By including the Killer Networks E2200 ethernet connectivity you, by default, gain access to the Killer Network Management software package. This software package enables the end user the ability to tailor Internet bandwidth by application.
The use of the Realtek ALC 1150 codec brings with it the Realtek HD Audio manager control panel that proves to be fully functional. An added enhancement is the inclusion of the Sound Blaster Cinema Suite. This enables the use of several preset options including Movie, Game, Music, and a Custom profile. Configurable within the profiles are Surround, Crystalizer, Bass Boost, Smart Volume, and Dialog Plus.
MSI Live Update 5 is useful for checking MSI's servers for updates to the installed utilities, BIOS, and drivers. This process can be run automatically or as a manual process. Simply choose what you want to do and start the process.
Command Center is a functional overclocking and monitoring tool that comes with some value added features such as the newly implemented RAMDisk software that allows the end user to set up a RAMDisk to boost gaming and application performance by loading these items into the DRAM instead of on a disk drive. The CPU section allows the user to change the CPU ratio and bclock along with managing the installed fan profiles. Clicking on the advanced tab at the bottom of the application allows you to open up a voltage window, DRAM window to manually configure timings, and a fan window to use Smart Fan or manual fan controls. Under the DRAM section you can set the DRAM frequency, DRAM voltage, and CPU voltage. Under RAMDisk you can enable the use of part of your total DRAM capacity and use it to cache applications or games to speed up load times. The OC Genie section illustrates the processes used to overclock the system.
If you look at the speeds of the installed Corsair Force GT 240GB SSD you can see they run in the 500Mbps range for sequential reads and 335Mbps for sequential writes. When you compare that to the speed you see with the RAMDisk enabled as a virtual drive the speed difference is astounding, showing the advantage of using this utility and how it could benefit the gamer.
All in all you get a pretty comprehensive software suite with the Z87 MPOWER MAX.