Motherboard manufacturers ebb and flow when it comes to consistently producing hardware that you know will tick all the boxes. Whether it’s XFX, then DFI, ASUS, Gigabyte and, more recently, MSI. They all have their moment in the sun. Lately MSI have been producing a bevy of motherboards that not only hit all the aesthetic marks, but perform well and are priced so competitively that everyone else has to take a long hard look at their pricing. The Z77 saw two monsters with the Gaming series and the MPOWER. The MPOWER was the best performing of all of our Z77s, and the pricing was so good that to buy any other motherboard was pointless.

Things have continued in the same vein with the Z87 range so far. The GD65 Gaming is up there with the very best and exceptional value for money. Can that trick be repeated with the MPOWER MAX? It’s the middle child in the MPOWER range this time. There is the basic MPOWER, the MPOWER MAX we have on test today, and then the XPOWER for extreme enthusiasts. That doesn’t mean that the MAX is shorn of features though. If anything the extra cost of the MPOWER MAX seems, on paper at least, to be fully justified.

Technical Specifications

Glancing through the specifications reads like almost any other Z87 motherboard you’ve seen. Plentiful SATA3 and USB 3.0 ports are backed up by lots of room for memory and PCI Express lanes. So far, so average. As always though there is more than meets the eye in a simple specification table, so let’s move on to take a look at the MPOWER MAX and see what else in on offer.