MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Hands-On Preview

Bumblebee's back!

MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Hands-On Preview  

Introduction

Today we give a quick once over to one of MSI's top end motherboards that will be reaching the shelves sometime soon. The MPOWER MAX is a new edition to MSI's lineup, building on the foundations left by last generation's Z77 MPOWER board - a motherboard that was rated extremely highly here at OC3D. 

Following on from its predecessor, the MPOWER MAX sports the same yellow and black colour scheme that inspired many to build "Bumblebee" rigs. Unlike the rest of MSI's motherboards, the PCB used on the MPOWER range is a 'true' black, using a matte coating which hides the copper traces from view. This is certainly viewed as a good thing for those of us who value aesthetics, as the board shall not look brown under direct light. 

Let us all have a look at some photos of the 'MAX before we get to the video preview.

Pictures

 MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Hands-On Preview  MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Hands-On Preview  

A look at the whole board as well as a close up of the CPU socket area.

MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Hands-On Preview  MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Hands-On Preview  

The black and yellow theme holds true on the chipset heatsink, while you can see the MAX's onboard audio components on the bottom left hand side of the board.

MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Hands-On Preview  MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Hands-On Preview  

More audio related components with the left hand side photo, where you can clearly see a yellow line separating the audio circuitry from the rest of the PCB to improve quality. The rear IO panel can also be seen on the right.

Video

 

Conclusion 

From what we can see of the MPOWER MAX it should definitely live up to its predecessor's name. The older Z77 MPOWER board had some of the best features, performance and overclocking ability on any Z77 motherboard, let alone for anything around its price point. We can only hope that the MPOWER MAX can follow suit.  

Taking a look at the area around the CPU socket shows a giant all-in-one heatsink to keep all the power phases and VRMs cool. Although the heatsink may look a little oversized, the MAX has a lot, and we mean a LOT, of power phases. Combine these with the two 8-pin CPU power connectors at the top, and the way that MSI put their MPOWER motherboards through an extensive overclock stability program, we should have a contender for the one of the best overclocking boards we've seen so far.

Looking down on the PCIe lanes we can see that the three full sized lanes are wired for 16x, 8x, 8x, and that there are also three 1x slots. We must stress that we have no idea how the bandwidth shall be shared when the lanes are laden with video cards.
You can also see that this board comes with 8 SATA ports which should be enough for most users out there when it comes to storage devices.

Again, and much like we've seen on the new Gigabyte Boards, MSI are now paying more attention to components which ensure a higher quality of audio reproduction. The MPOWER MAX sports upgraded capacitors as well as a separated PCB for the audio circuitry, stopping any electrical interference from the rest of the board from degrading your audio experience. Oh, and the line that separates the PCBs? It lights up yellow to keep with the overall colour scheme, and it looks great. 

For as long as this board comes in at a decent price point we see no reason why this won't be one of the top sellers of the new generation. The board looks to be extremely overclocking capable, with a better than standard audio solution, and a great colour scheme. We look forward to testing this properly in the future to see if our predictions are true!

A big thanks to MSI for sending us this board for our hands-on preview. Discuss this topic further in the OC3D Forums. 

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Most Recent Comments

21-05-2013, 00:26:54

Josh Weston
Today we take a quick look at one of MSI's top upcoming motherboards. Will it stack up to the competition? - let's see!

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...232252769l.png

Continue ReadingQuote

21-05-2013, 01:04:28

NeverBackDown
I really like the very solid black PCB on this board. Hides all the electrical wiring which IMO is ugly

Only thing i don't like about this board is the color yellow. Wish they had a blue or white variant though... IMO it would sell a lot more.Quote

21-05-2013, 01:10:14

seumasbeathan
Interesting, I can't decide whether I love the yellow or hate it :P nice write up though Quote

21-05-2013, 02:34:07

AverageNinja
Don't like that heatsink at all! The Z77 MPower looks a lot better IMO. And you can paint the Z77, which is a plus Quote

21-05-2013, 02:34:57

FTLN
Nice Preview, would be nice to see some real time voltage monitoring lcd on some of these top end board's though Quote

21-05-2013, 02:52:05

The Orange One
I love the look of that board! Looks like that will be the one i'll be using for my Haswell build!Quote

21-05-2013, 04:26:25

Feronix
What really caught my eye were the actual screws on the back on the board. I'm assuming that's how the heatsinks are attached and they can be removed with a standard phillips head screwdriver?

Imo, it would be awesome if they sold seperate heatsink designs... *_*
Because, except for the heatsinks, that is one sexy, black PCB!Quote

21-05-2013, 04:46:02

Spiderz
I really don't like the design of these heatsinks, too bulky in my opinion. Much preferring the Gigabyte offerings on an aesthetics level but the proof in the pudding is always going to be the test results.Quote

21-05-2013, 05:48:29

alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiderz View Post
I really don't like the design of these heatsinks, too bulky in my opinion.
If you look at the fact it has 2 8 pins then it's pretty obvious they need to be that big tbh.Quote

21-05-2013, 05:49:41

Feronix
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post
If you look at the fact it has 2 8 pins then it's pretty obvious they need to be that big tbh.
But big can be pretty.

This is not it Quote

21-05-2013, 05:54:11

alienware
I quite like it but yeah I can see why others wouldn't. It does lack refinement tbh.Quote

21-05-2013, 06:20:45

Greenback
I like the look of both these MSI boards, but looking at all these Z87's I think the heatsinks above the cpu are going to be to big, as I have a haf x with a 60mm radQuote

21-05-2013, 06:40:35

SieB
I didn't like it when I first saw it but after watching the vid last night it has grown on me.

It has a very solid black look to it and the yellow accents on the heatsinks look smexy Quote

21-05-2013, 07:11:28

WillSK
love love love this board. Personally I am a big fan of the M heatsinkQuote

21-05-2013, 07:16:22

Spiderz
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feronix View Post
But big can be pretty.

This is not it
My thoughts exactly, the "southbridge" one isn't too bad but the one around the CPU area just isn't nice imo.

I do appreciate that it has 2 8pins feeding it so will be handling a bucket of power but a bit more thought could have gone into it.Quote

21-05-2013, 22:50:05

NeverBackDown
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiderz View Post
My thoughts exactly, the "southbridge" one isn't too bad but the one around the CPU area just isn't nice imo.

I do appreciate that it has 2 8pins feeding it so will be handling a bucket of power but a bit more thought could have gone into it.
How much more power do you want it to have? We can safely assume this board with a decently binned cpu can easily hit 5ghz.Quote

22-05-2013, 03:24:34

Spiderz
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverBackDown View Post
How much more power do you want it to have? We can safely assume this board with a decently binned cpu can easily hit 5ghz.
I think you misunderstood me there, didn't mean that I wanted any more power on the board but maybe a better design in the heatsinks.

Doesn't really matter in the end, doubt I will end up with a Haswell CPU because of fundsQuote

22-05-2013, 18:43:24

NeverBackDown
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiderz View Post
I think you misunderstood me there, didn't mean that I wanted any more power on the board but maybe a better design in the heatsinks.

Doesn't really matter in the end, doubt I will end up with a Haswell CPU because of funds
Oh i did misunderstand. My bad and i agree on better looking heatsinks.


Sorry to hearQuote

20-07-2013, 05:08:48

Proioxix
Great preview of this motherboard. I must say I never thought that I'd love black/yellow as much as I do with this board. I suppose it's not a very bright yellow, more matte kinda colour which looks great.

This is my #1 motherboard of 2013. This motherboard + Corsair Air 540 + MSI GTX 780 Lightning = me drooling. Looking forward to a full review.Quote
Reply
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