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MSI MPower Max Z87 LGA1150 Motherboard Review

AkG

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Oct 24, 2007
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MSI’s MPower series is their latest effort to compete against the likes of ASUS’ 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 MSI’s ultimate design goals while adding in a touch of affordability.

Even though it is technically not their top-of-the-line Z87 model – a slot reserved for the e-ATX form factor XPower II – 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 it’s 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 series’ 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 MSI’s ‘Military Class IV’ 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 – 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 – and many more – features which MSI are counting on to help guarantee the latest MPower doesn’t bring dishonor to its ancestors.

 
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AkG

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MSI MPower Max Z87 Specifications and Features

MSI MPower Max Z87 Specifications and Features





















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AkG

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Packaging and Accessories

Packaging and Accessories



Since this is the very first MPower MAX motherboard it comes as no surprise that MSI wanted it to stand out from the competition. To that effect, the “M” branding works wonders.


Inside the box, the MAX is housed in its own cardboard container with a plastic lid and the amazingly complete accessory list is located in its own secondary box. The only minor issue we have with this setup is the motherboard’s foam protector being rather thin.


The accessory list is so massive and so complete that it deserves its separate box. In grand total you get: an IO shield, six ix SATA 6Gbps data cables, a ribbon style SLI Bridge connection, USB 3.0 rear bracket to gain an additional two rear USB 3.0 ports, front panel quick connect ‘M-Connectors’, voltage ‘V-Check’ extension cables, WiFi (802.11b/g /n - 300Mbits max) & Bluetooth 4.0 capable mPCI-E card with two magnetic base adjustable antennas and an E-SATA power / dual E-SATA ports rear bracket adapter. Phew.

Not enough for you? Well, there’s also a single E-SATA data cable, a dual E-SATA power cable adapter for the bracket, a quick overclock explanation foldout, two driver and software DVDs, multiple user manuals, a certificate of stability, a door knob hanger card and a MSI branded case badge. Needless to say this is an extremely complete list of accessories.

There were only two minor disappointments. The USB 3.0 adapter panel is rear mounted instead of being a more practical front 5.25 bay bracket which would have given people with older (yet still perfectly capable) cases front USB 3.0 capabilities. The mPCI-E WiFi card is also a bit lacking in the transfer capabilities enthusiasts are looking for. While 300Mbits/s throughput numbers are good, the ultra-fast 802.11AC standard is now more widely available. However, MSI’s decision here was likely dictated by cost rather than necessity.
 
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AkG

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Included Software

Included Software


As with any enthusiast grade motherboard, the MPower MAX comes with a diverse group of tools and utilities on the included DVDs. These can be broken down into two general groups: software for the third party hardware and MSI’s custom software.


The third party software comes from two different manufactures and by necessity has not been bundled into MSI’s own custom suite. First up is the Realtek ALC1150 audio controller software which is actually two different suites bundled into one as MSI has opted to include Sound Blaster Cinema enhancements for the audio chipset. The Realtek HD Audio control panel is the standard audio manager and or most motherboards it features a good selection of capabilities.

The Sound Blaster Cinema add-on takes an already good onboard audio solution and noticeably improves it. Not only do you get three standard profiles – Music, Movie and Game – but a customizable fourth profile is also included which can be utilized to enhance the surround soundstage, optimize the output for clearer audio, induce heavier bass or even balance all audio at the same level so when switching between applications you don’t deafen yourself.


The second standard software application is for the included Qualcomm Atheros ‘Killer’ E2205 network processing unit. Once again this is the stock version which ships with any Killer NPU so it doesn’t have an MSI wrapper or customizations. It is extremely capable but in order to optimize the network controller properly, it will be necessary to delve quite deeply into this software suite. Unfortunately if the NPU is left in default mode, it is very doubtful you would ever gain any noticeable improvements over Intel-based solutions.


In a very interesting turn, MSI has opted to include an MSI-branded version of Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility. While certainly a nice little bonus, this is a program that you should never have to use considering MSI includes their own overclocking-friendly software package. Obviously MSI feels that this tool will be of some value to novice users and including it does show that they are at least trying to meet the needs of a wide a variety of consumers.


Before we get to the real heart of the included MSI-branded software suite, there is a couple of standalone products which are noteworthy in their own right. Firstly there is Super Charger which allows you to increase the amount of amperage supplied to certain USB 2.0 internal headers. By adjusting the amperage above the standard 500mA – or 2.5 watts – modern electronic devise such as phones, tablets, mp3 players, etc. can be charged faster than they otherwise would be.


The second application - MSI Live Update 5- allows for updating your BIOS directly within Windows OS and can make this a more hassle free experience. Of course, since it is OS-based there is always an increased risk of bricking your BIOS, but with the second BIOS to fall back on, this is only a minor issue.


The last application is the aptly labeled ‘Fast Boot’ and much like other manufacturers’ versions, it allows you to immediately reboot and enter the UEFI BIOS by pressing a simple ‘Go2Bios’ button. This is extremely handy for overclockers who tend to reboot their systems quite a bit as they dial in clock speeds. Unlike many others, this program also allows you to turn on or off MSI’s FastBoot option without having to enter the BIOS first.
 
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AkG

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Included Software, pg.2

Included Software, pg.2



The heart and soul of MSI’s software suite is their Command Center program. This is a one stop shop for all your software overclocking and profile adjustment needs and consists of one extremely long row of options that can be navigated in two different ways. Much like an ebook you can either horizontally scroll through the options manually or press one of the five quick access bookmarks / tabs at the top. This top row not only has all the navigation icons but also gives a brief overview of system including CPU temperature, Operating System, BIOS revision, CPU model and motherboard model. Whether or not it deserves to take up so much valuable screen realestate is highly debatable, though it does work well.


When you open up the Command Centre program you are greeted with the main CPU page and most inexperienced users will never have to go past this. This is because it allows for simple multiplier overclocking and base clock increases as well as adjusting individual core frequencies and CPU Voltage.

There is also some customizability for the CPU fan profile and MSI’s software even includes a full blown manual mode and a built-in Fan Tuner which adjusts the default fan profile to more accurately reflect the attached fans’ abilities.

The DRAM ‘page’ is fairly basic but should be more than adequate for all but the most esoteric RAM-centric tasks. It consists of DRAM Frequency and DRAM voltage adjustments. However, the adjustments are rather basic with a large gap between each minimum configuration level but luckily you can type in – next to the small pencil icon – a specific value to be used.


The GPU section deals with overclocking of the integrated Haswell GPU and cannot adjust any PCI-E based video cards. As with the RAM section, the GPU controls consists of two adjustment settings: Frequency and Voltage.

With RAM becoming cheaper and capacities increasing, it is nice to see that MSI includes free RAMDisk software in their Command Center application. Creating and using it is as easy as ticking one box and –if necessary – assigning a drive letter to the newly minted RAM disk. MSI does include some nifty advanced features such has automatically configuring IE, Chrome and Firefox to use it for their cache abilities, so while not the most advanced we have ever seen it is more than adequate for most users’ needs.


When we first opened up the Command Center and saw the various options for MSI’s OC Genie, it was the section we were most looking forward to. So much so that we skipped ahead and went directly to it. Unfortunately, it consists of nothing more than allowing software implementation of the onboard OC Genie settings. Needless to say this was quite disappointing and rather puzzling.

The MPower MAX may be an enthusiast-orientated motherboard but including absolutely no software overclocking presets is a rather odd decision. We understand that MSI is very proud of their OC Genie and spent a lot of time developing it, but this is a rather large oversight.


Tucked down in the lower right hand corner is a second set of options aptly labeled ‘Advanced’. These are not part of the standard layout and open in a new pop-up window most experienced users will spend most of their time.

On this page you can control voltages, ratios and nearly anything you could you ask for in a quick and painless software manual overclocking page. The only real missing feature is more advanced RAM timings, but all the basics are indeed included.


As befitting an enthusiast grade motherboard the Command Center also includes a digital readout / hardware monitor of the common system voltages, fan speed as well as system and CPU temperatures.

The only real issue we have with this application is that it may be a bit too complicated for some novices. Simply put, it can be overwhelming and the lack of predefined software auto overclocking options is disappointing. Once you get past the point of wanting to simply press the ‘easy button’, your next step is full on manual overclocking. Needless to say this can be quite daunting for inexperienced users. On the positive side, if you are an experienced overclocked who wants to quickly tweak a given overclock before hard setting it in the BIOS, this program has nearly every feature you could ask for.
 
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AkG

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A Closer Look at the MSI MPower Max Z87

A Closer Look at the MSI MPower Max Z87





Above is a general layout of the MSI MPower MAX with short descriptions of key parts. Just like with previous MPower models, MSI has kept the clean and elegant looking black and yellow color scheme.

As you would expect from premium MPower line the overall layout is very well thought-out with only a few things which stand out. Even with just a cursory glance it is rather obvious that this is a serious motherboard meant for serious overclocking. With its large C-shaped VRM heatsink, massive number of MOSFETS and chokes peeking out from underneath that selfsame heatsink, everything screams ‘overclocking friendly’ to even the untrained eye.

Even though this motherboard is festooned with features, the various buttons, connectors, and ports are very easily accessible and with one or two exceptions free from most obstructions. The two main x16 PCI-E 3.0 slots are very well spaced out and should promote good air flow to the video cards even when in dual configurations. However, this layout does mean that any dual slot graphics card installed into the lowermost PCI-E x16 slot will overhang the motherboard’s PCB. While the number of gamers using triple GPU setups on Haswell systems will be minimal at most, this may prevent that lower card from being installed in some instances. It will also block the OC Genie button and other edge-mounted interfaces.


The cooling system on the MPower MAX consists of a two piece setup: a large 8mm heatpipe cooler for the VRMs and a separate passive heatsink for the chipset. MSI uses soft heat pads for the VRM and TIM for the chipset heatsinks.


This motherboard features a ‘Military Class IV’ 20-phase all digital power design consisting of Tantalum based Highly-Conductive Polymerized “Hi-C” capacitors, Super Ferrite Chokes and aluminum-cored ultra-low ESR “Dark” Capacitors. More precisely, MSI has made use of an eight phase International Rectifier IR3563B voltage regulator chip, with an International Rectifier IR3599 phase multiplier attached to each phase to boost the phase count from eight to twenty.

By increasing the number of virtual phases from eight to twenty MSI has been able to reduce the stress on each pair of MOSFETS and allow this motherboard to provide consistently stable and clean voltage to the CPU no matter how extreme the overclocking scenario becomes.


The four DDR3 memory slots are fed by a standard 2-phase power design and support overclocked memory frequencies of DDR3-3200 – or 1600MHz. Though it will take a highly binned set of RAM sticks and CPU to reach such lofty over-clocking levels. As with most Z87 motherboards, the MPower Max supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile ‘XMP’ 1.3 standards.


On the underside of the board there is a backplate which holds the socket in place. The VRM and chipset coolers are held by screws with springs that give appropriate tension but there is no additional support.

Also of interest are the numerous white LEDs. These LEDs have been strategically placed to allow light to filter up through the PCB and create a great looking yellow racing stripe. This however is more of a fringe benefit to the ‘racing stripe’ as it also isolates the audio components from the rest of the board and helps reduce interference.


Along the top edge near the RAM slots and the CPU socket area, MSI has included two 4 pin PWM-capable CPU fan headers. The additional fan header will be of great interest to consumers running either dual fan air based CPU heatsinks or water cooling as both fans can be precisely controlled via the BIOS without the need for fan splitter cables.


Since this is a motherboard designed and marketed towards enthusiasts it not surprising to see that MSI have opted for dual 8 pin EPS 12volt power connectors. In testing the second one is not needed at stock or even mild overclocking levels, but we do recommend you use both as this will ensure as consistent and stable a supply of power reaches the 20 phase digital power design.
 
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AkG

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A Closer Look at the MSI MPower Max Z87 p.2

A Closer Look at the MSI MPower Max Z87 Cont'd



In the upper right corner – the corner nearest the RAM slots – is one of the main features of the MPower Max: the V-Check ports. This seven header port allows for individually checking the voltages for VCCIN, the RAM, CPU Core, CPU GFX, CPU Ring and CPU System Agent. The seventh header is ‘ground’ and needed to complete a circuit with the other six headers. MSI also includes even more voltage pads near the CPU socket for even more voltages readings.




The 24-pin ATX power connector is in its usual spot near the RAM slots but unlike the 8pin connectors, is far enough away that even the largest of fingers will have no problems connecting/disconnecting the main 24 pin power connector to this motherboard. Alongside the ATX power connector is the first of two USB 3.0 internal headers with the second being rotated 90° and running perpendicular to the motherboard. If you have a case which supports quad USB 3.0 front ports we strongly recommend plugging in these connectors before installing your video card as many longer video cards will overhang this header and make it hard to access.




To provide all these additional USB ports – Intel Z87 only natively supports six USB 3.0 ports – MSI has included both an ASMedia ASM1074 controller and Renesas D720202 USB 3 hub chipsets.




Moving further down the right edge of the motherboard is the eight SATA ports this particular model comes equipped with. While MSI has not color coded which six are controlled via the Intel PCH and which are controller by the ASMedia 1061 SATA controller they have thoughtfully placed a sticker over the six Intel ports. Before removing it you may wish to pay special attention to the notice that Port 5 will be disabled when the included mSATA port is being used. IE you can only attach eight SATA devices at any time, not nine. This is unfortunate as eight ports are rather mediocre by modern standards and this represents a missed opportunity to help the MPower Max further standout in the crowded enthusiast marketplace.






Behind the SATA ports – and underneath the black and yellow heatsink – is the Z87 chipset, ASMedia ASM1061 discrete dual port SATA 6Gb/s controller and a NuvoTon NCT677D Super I/O controller. The latter of which monitors several critical parameters on the board, including power supply voltages, fan speeds, and temperatures.




Below the SATA ports are the dual BIOS eeprom ICs, switch for changing which BIOS is loaded, dual LED diagnostic display and the special ‘Go2Bios” button. This button is especially nice and will be of great importance to consumer who not only routinely overclock but do so on an open testbench. Basically with a simple press of this small button, on the next reboot you will immediately enter the UEFI BIOS and no user interaction is needed. Between this button and the software version of it, we easily saved hours of time during the testing phase and came to love both more and more as time went by.

Next to the Go2Bios button is the various connectors that come standard on all systems. These included two USB 2.0 internal headers, two fan headers, and front connection headers. While not special it was a nice touch for MSI to include quick connectors – what MSI calls M-connectors – for the front headers and a single USB 2.0 port. These connectors make wiring in the MPower Max into a case down right simple and we wish all enthusiast grade motherboards came with them.




Alongside the fan headers are five special on-board buttons. The middle two are of course the now near ubiquitous Power and Reset switches but the other three are more uncommon. While you will be unable to change the CPU multiplier the + and – buttons will allow overclockers to manual adjust the base clock without having to resort to software or rebooting and entering the BIOS. This certainly will make refining a given overclock a lot easier and a lot faster and this is why they are becoming a lot more common on newer models. The last button and the two position DIP switch are unique in that they control the on-board OC Genie ‘auto-overclocking’ abilities of the motherboard. By simply pressing the large OC Genie labelled button and restarting the system any user – no matter how novice – will instantly gain a moderate overclock.
 
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A Closer Look at the MSI MPower Max Z87 p.3

A Closer Look at the MSI MPower Max Z87 Cont'd




The MPower MAX’s PCB uses a tighter weave pattern which is supposedly more humidity resistant than previous models. MSI has also improved the power and ground layer tracing and enhanced the overall ESD protection.

For audio, this board uses Realtek’s ALC1150 chip which has been further enhanced via Creative Labs Sound Blaster Cinema software. The ALC1150 chipset supports 7.1 audio as well as dedicated headphone amplifier. In this instance MSI have opted for a pair of Texas Instruments OP1652 OPAMPS which are unfortunately soldered to board and not easily replaceable. On the plus side, this allows the MPower MAX to handle high impedance headphones and this combination of hardware and software enhancements makes it one the better onboard audio solutions we have seen recently.


The I/O panel is fairly straightforward and a little sparse, but does have a few features of note. Unlike most motherboards which rely upon either Realtek or Intel network processing units the MSI MPower MAX uses Qualcomm’s Atheros ‘Killer’ E2205 NPU. Not that long ago standalone daughter cards based on the Killer NIC were retailing in the $70 to $80 range and while the benefits over an Intel solution are debatable, its inclusion is a nice little bonus.


As an added bonus MSI does include wireless and Bluetooth abilities and all that is needed is to plug in the small mPCI-E module into its place on the I/O panel. While not 802.11N 450Mbit/s capable – let alone 802.11AC- this 300MBits/s module is still well executed and certainly a nice little bonus feature.

Sandwiched in between the WiFi & Bluetooth module and the lone pair of USB 2.0 ports is a Clear CMOS button. The inclusion of such a button is not all the unexpected given the nature of this motherboard but it was nevertheless a welcome addition we did however wish MSI had also included a Go2Bios button next to it.
 
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Hardware Installation

Hardware Installation


In order to test how different hardware combinations will fit onto the MSI Z87 MPower MAX, we installed a Noctua NH-U12S, a 16GB dual channel kit of G.Skill Trident X memory, and a GTX 580 video card. The NH-U12 is a moderate sized aftermarket CPU cooler so it should provide a good reference for other coolers so we can see if there any clearance issues.


We installed the memory in the sockets closest to the CPU to ensure clearance with 4 DIMMs. While MSI did cut things close with their memory slot positioning, there should be no issues even with all slots populated with standard height RAM. Deeper CPU cooling solutions will overhang the first and possible second slots, so if you use high heatsink equipped ram you may run into some installation issues

Even with narrow CPU coolers, consumers will likely run into clearance issues if they opt for a memory cooler. If you are interested in such things, proper heatsink selection will be of great importance. Though in a pinch you could simply swap the fan location and either reverse the airflow direction – back to front – or have the fan configured to suck air in through the cooling tower instead of blowing over it. In either case, we recommend a thin-profile CPU heatsink or water cooling to reduce compatibility problems.


On the positive side, even though the motherboard heatsink wraps around three sides of the CPU socket, it has a low enough profile that most air-based cooling solutions will have no compatibility problems. Although we would not want to install a Cooler Master V8 GTS, which requires a wrench to install the mounting bolts.


Switching from air to water cooling also didn’t create any clearance issues. While tight, there is enough room between the waterblock and the RAM slots and the waterblock and the heatsink for easy installation. Though once again the gap was rather small and larger water blocks could be a tricky proposition. We do have to wonder how difficult it would be to install a LN2 pot but assume that while tight it would not be too much a problem.


Thanks to the PCI-E slot layout there will be plenty of room between the CPU socket and GPU. By moving the first 16x slot down one space, MSI has neatly sidestepped any potential problems between the two core components.

Overall, the layout and design of the MSI MPower Max does allow for a fairly hassle-free installation, though one that is not completely issue free. As long as you are aware of these potential problems and take them into account when making your other hardware component section, you shouldn’t run into any major problems.
 
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BIOS Rundown

BIOS Rundown




Upon first seeing and using this BIOS terms ranging from ‘busy’ to ‘unintuitive’ will come to mind, though if you are in a more forgiving mood – as we were – you will simply call it what it really is: an enthusiast-orientated BIOS. Even after many, many hours we can honestly say that there was no love for the MPower Max’s UEFI but we quickly came to respect it.

With that being said, this catering almost exclusively to experienced overclockers is a double edged sword. While MSI has included far more fine-grain options than typical motherboards in this category, this exclusivity does come at the expense of being quite daunting to newcomers. The cluttered UI and overwhelming list of options means the BIOS never goes out of its way to help users learn the intricacies of manual overclocking. For this reason it would not be our first choice for someone new to overclocking who was interested in quickly and painlessly learning the ins and outs of BIOS overclocking. This is a shame as once you do understand the reasoning behind the layout and get used to its quirky interface this BIOS can help achieve better results.

The main issue here is the slightly busy layout which consists of two rows alongside three columns. That top row takes up approximately one third of the screen and contains a basic overview of your system – CPU temperature, motherboard temperature, CPU & RAM type, size and frequencies, date and time, etc., – as well as a drag and drop boot priority list. While it does contain extremely handy information, this section carries over from one page to the next, taking up a massive amount of real-estate.

The second bottom row takes up the majority of the page – approximately two third of the screen - and is further broken down into three equal columns. The left and right columns are dedicated to navigation for Settings, OC, M-Flash, OC Profile, Hardware Monitor, and Board Explorer with the first three being located in the left hand column and the last three in the right. All of these dynamically change the center portion.

With all of these items being displayed at the same time, MSI has left about 1/3 of the screen to work inside of. The end result is akin to navigating a webpage using its mobile web-portal while using a 27” desktop monitor. Sure, there is a method to MSI’s madness as it does promote –once you get over the learning curve- quick and efficient navigation but cramming all the important settings into a constrained area means modifying values quickly becomes tedious.

The first option is the Settings subsection. When this option is selected a new window appears in the center screen column filled with five options. These options are System Status, Advanced, Boot, Security, and Save & Exit.


The Systems Status page gives you a quick but detailed overview of the system and is where you can set the date and a time. The Boot Configuration page on the other hand is filled with a lot more customizable settings. Along with the typical boot priority, hard disk order, full screen start-up logo options, etc. it is also where you will find the Go2Bios configuration option. When this is enabled you can boot directly to the BIOS without needing to mash any keys during POST. This is very, very important when you enable the MSI Fast Boot option which pares down Power On Self-Test to a minimal value and makes entering the BIOS via a keyboard basically impossible.


The Save & Exit page has the usual features you will find in any modern BIOS including restore defaults and Boot Override, the latter of which allows you to select a specific bootable device to be the device to start booting from on start-up.

The Security page also contains all the usual features including setting an administrator and / or user password along with a nice little feature called Make U-Key. What this does is turn any USB flash drive into a master key – aka ‘dongle’ – that needs to be inserted before the system will continue to boot.


The most important section of the Settings options – and the one you will spend most of your time of this section in – is the Advanced page. Having the advanced subsection inside another section is an odd design decision and can bury a good amount of features deep in the BIOS. In this case MSI has grouped ten configuration subpages together under the heading of Advanced features. These configuration options are: PCI Subsystem, ACPI, Integrated Peripherals, Integrated Graphics, Intel RST, USB configuration, Intel Smart Connect, Power Management, Windows 8, and Wake Up Event Setup.


The PCI subsystem page allows you to separately configure the three 16x PCI-E slots to maximize compatibility with older cards. When left in their default Auto setting they will be PCIe 3.0/2.0/1.0 compatible and while this should be good for most PCIe devices, if you have an older PCI-E 2.0 or 1.0 device you can hard-set any or all slots to act accordingly.

This page also adjusts the PCI latency timer for even rarer occasions when such modifications are needed. Finally, the ACPI subpage deals with the onboard power LED and if you wish to have it ‘blink’ or change color when the system enters the S3 state.


The Integrated Peripherals page deals with configuring the LAN, HDD, USB and audio settings. This is where you can find such settings as turning on the UEFI Network Stack option for your LAN port, enable the onboard audio chipset, switch between AHCI or IDE mode for your storage devices and modify hot-plug abilities.

The Integrated Graphics subpage is where you would modify the primary graphic device (onboard or discrete / PEG) or enable Lucid’s Virtu technology in either i-mode (power saving) or d-mode (graphics intensive). It is also where you can hard set the amount of shared memory the integrated GPU uses – 32MB to 256MB- and enable/disabled Lucid Virtu MVP multi-screen output.


The Intel RST subpage has been conceived as a medium to fine tune Intel’s Rapid Start settings. There’s a basic on / off modifier, the ability to enable hybrid disk mode and even control the Lake Tiny power / performance optimization feature set. It also allows for setting active pages threshold, active memory threshold and even S3 RTC wakeup abilities.

Finally, the USB settings page is for enabling legacy USB support as well as enabling / disabling the additional USB 3.0 controller.
 
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