Motherboard Guide

MSI Big Bang Z77 MPower review

MSI Big Bang Z77 MPower - Sanctioned Overclocking!

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Launch SRP S$339

Overall rating 8/10
Performance:
8.5
Features:
8.5
Value:
6.5
THE GOOD
Excellent non-OC performance
OC Certified by MSI
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
6 x rear USB 3.0 ports
THE BAD
Rather expensive
OC performance didn't impress
No support for Thunderbolt


BIOS Settings & Test Setup

BIOS Settings

The UEFI BIOS Utility of the MSI Z77 MPower was identical to the MSI Z77-GD65 and navigating it was a no-brainer. We did appreciate the large navigation tabs on both sides of the UI which helped categorize the different functions of the BIOS.

While most enthusiast class boards these days have way too many overclocking related settings, we've decided to compile the available voltage settings of the various Z77 boards we've tested. As you'll see later in our overclocking efforts with the MSI Z77 MPower, we decided to manually adjust the voltage of the CPU PLL to determine how high we can push the CPU Base Frequency. In the case of this particular board, base frequency values can be adjusted by 10KHz for finer tweaking.

Basic Voltage Settings in BIOS
Model CPU Voltage DRAM Voltage Other Voltage Settings
MSI Z77 MPower   0.80 to 2.155V
(0.005V steps)
 1.1080 to 2.4655V
(0.0075V steps)
  • CPU IO Voltage: 0.95 to 1.55V (0.02V steps)
  • CPU PLL Voltage: 1.400 to 2.430 (0.05 steps)
ASRock Z77 Extreme6

0.80 to 2.20V
(0.005V steps)

1.17 to 1.80V
(0.005V steps)
  • Vtt Voltage: 0.77 to 1.63V (0.01V steps)
ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe
0.80 to 1.99V
(0.005V steps)
1.20 to 1.92V
(0.02V steps)
  • VCCIO Voltage: 0.80 to 1.70V (0.00625V steps)
Biostar TZ77XE4

1.000 V to 1.790V
(0.01V steps)

1.300 to 2.112V
(drop-down menu selection)
  • VCCIO Voltage: 1.062 to 1.700V (0.012/0.013V steps)
  • System Agent Voltage: 0.900 to 1.605V (0.012/0.013V steps)
ECS Z77H2-AX 1.00 to 1.50V 
(0.015V steps)
Voltage Offset:+0 to +0.63 V
(0.01V steps)
  • IMC Voltage: 0.010 to 0.630V (0.01V steps)
  • System Agent Voltage: 0.01 to 0.630V (0.01V steps)
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H WiFi
0.80 to 1.90V
(0.005V steps)
1.17 to 1.80V
(0.005V steps)
  • CPU Vtt Voltage: 0.800 to 1.900V (0.005V steps)
MSI Z77A-GD65  0.80 to 2.155V
(0.005V steps)
 1.10 to 2.10V
(0.005V steps)
  • CPU IO Voltage: 0.95 to 1.95V (0.02V steps)  

 

Test Setup

This is the test configuration for our Intel Z77 Express-based motherboard comparisons.

  • Intel Core i7-3770K
  • 2 x 2GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 (CAS 9-9-9-27)
  • MSI N460GTX Hawk (ForceWare 285.62)
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gbps hard drive (one single NTFS partition)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • Intel INF 9.3.0.1020

 

Benchmarks

The following benchmarks were used to test the motherboards:

  • BAPCo SYSmark 2007 Preview (ver 1.06)
  • Futuremark PCMark Vantage (ver 1.03.1, 64-bit)
  • SPECviewperf 9.0
  • Futuremark PCMark 7
  • Futuremark 3DMark Vantage (ver 1.03.1)
  • Futuremark 3DMark11 (ver 1.03)
  • Far Cry 2