MSI Big Bang Z77 MPower - Sanctioned Overclocking!

Launch SRP: S$339

Up Close with the Board

Up Close with the Board

The information on this page is from our preview article.

We understand that there are no third-party SATA 6Gbps controllers; hence, the Z77 MPower features the standard fare of SATA connectors; two SATA 6Gbps and four 3Gbps connectors.

The pair of SATA 6Gbps connectors is distinctive enough from the four SATA 3Gbps ones, even though they are of the same color. A USB 3.0 front panel expansion header is placed next to the SATA 6Gbps connectors.

With the board's Multi-BIOS system, we are able to keep one set of BIOS for regular use and the other for back-up purposes. With the board in vertical orientation, flicking the switch left will toggle BIOS ROM A while BIOS ROM B is toggled when the switch is shifted right.

 There is a Multi-BIOS switch located next to the set of SATA 3Gbps connectors. The SW1 button is the GO2BIOS button that will force the board to boot to its BIOS selection menu when it is pressed.

From the left are the front panel headers for audio, TPM, and system fan power connectors. The USB 2.0 and 3.0 expansion headers are to the right. They allow the connection of additional USB devices with their corresponding USB brackets (which are provided in the package). With MSI's SuperCharger application installed on the operating system, these connectors will provide quicker USB charging.

 

New Additions to the Board's Rear Panel

The standard rear I/O panel has been upgraded with the inclusion of wireless connectivity modules; one supports Wireless 802.11b/g/n networking and the other, Bluetooth 3.0+HS. Apart from the pleasantly unexpected inclusion of wireless connectivity options, the rest is of the ports are mostly standard fare. There are a total of six USB 3.0 rear ports; two of them are supported by the board's Intel Z77 chipset while the other four are courtesy of USB controllers from Renesas Electronics. A lone Gigabit LAN port sits above a pair of USB 3.0 ports, and we noticed that external storage options for this board are restricted to USB devices as there are no eSATA ports at the rear panel. VGA and DVI ports are absent (thus eradicating 'legacy' ports), but there are HDMI and DisplayPort options for video output from the CPU's integrated GPU. Other usual suspects include the PS/2 keyboard-mouse combo port and the block of audio ports.

To the right of the black pair of USB 2.0 ports, we see the clear CMOS button that has a unique and kitschy '60s sci-fi design.

The bundled Wi-Fi antenna is small and light as it is made out of plastic, but it is better than the one who we last saw with the ECS Z77H2-AX.

 There is a bundled Wi-Fi antenna to extend the range of the board's Wi-Fi module.

8.0
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