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[REVIEW] MSI Z87 MPower MAX - Performance Test

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
MSI Z87 MPower MAX - Performance Test

Overview.png

Introduction:

The MSI Z87 MPower MAX is intended for Intel's 22nm Haswell processors on Socket LGA1150 and Chipset Z87. This motherboard (mobo) is loaded with multiple overclocking essentials, the latest Killer Ethernet E2200 and AudioBoost sound chip.

I have reviewed, tested and benchmarked the overlocking themed board on my watercooled test bench. Let’s dig out what MPower MAX has to offer.

Specifications:

Specs.png

Full specifications of MPower MAX can be found HERE

Unboxing:

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The MPower MAX is packed in a box with a big yellow "M" on the front which emphasizes that this is an MPOWER product by proudly produced by MSI.

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The two-tone yellow-black mobo packs a Socket LGA1150 and supports Intel Haswell 4th Generation Core i7, i5 & i3/ Pentium/ Celeron processors. The PCB’s size is an ATX with a form factor of (30.4 X 24.4) cm.

DSC_0282.jpg
A close-up at the CPU socket area we can see that the MPower MAX is powered by 20 CPU Power Phases as well as 2 Memory Phases. Besides that, there are two 8-pin CPU power connectors which should supply enough power for the extreme overclocking. The board has four DIMM slots that support up to 32GB of DDR3 dual channel RAM and speed up to 3000MHz+ when overclocked.

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There are three PCIe 3.0 16x slot supporting up to 3-way SLI/CF @ x8/x4/x4, 2-way @ x8/x8 and single @ x16. There are also four PCIe 2.0 x1 slots available. Also spotted, an AudioBoost chip for better audio solution.

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Here we have six SATA3 ports powered by Intel Z87 controller and two by ASMedia controller.

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The rear I/O panel houses PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port, DisplayPort (DP), HDMI, WiFi expansion slot, KillerNIC Gigabit LAN port, six USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, Optical S/PDIF out, Audio block with 6 OFC audio jacks and Clear CMOS button.

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The back side of the board is pretty simple. The MPower MAX comes with a six layer PCB for more overclocking potentials.

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There are a loads of accessories came with the package.
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
Test Setup:

DSC_0252.jpg

CPU: Intel Core i7 4770K
MB: MSI Z87 MPower MAX
DRAM: G.Skill TridentX 2800 C11 2 X 4GB, G.Skill TridentX 2600MHz C10 2 X 4GB, Corsair DominatorGT GTX4 2533MHz C9 2 X 2GB and G.Skill RipjawsX 2133MHz C8 2 X 2GB
GPU: Gigabyte HD7970, MSI's special BIOS, Driver Catalyst 13.8 beta2
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB
ODD: LiteON DVD-RW
PSU: Corsair AX1200
Cooling: Custom watercooling - EK Supreme HF plate #6 CPU waterblock, 2x XSPC RX360 radiator, Swiftech MCP655 pump, EK FC7970 GPU waterblock, EK Multioption X2 Advanced reservoir, XSPC 1/2" ID 3/4" OD white tubing, 12x Scythe GT AP-15 1850rpm 120mm fan + Aerocool Shark 120mm fan, Coolaboratory Liquid Pro thermalpaste etc.
Casing: DimasTech Easy Dual V2.5 Bench Table
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1

The UEFI BIOS:

Main page:
MSI_SnapShot.png

Overclocking Settings:
MSI_SnapShot_00.png

Advanced DRAM Configurations:
MSI_SnapShot_05.png

DRAM Training Configurations:
MSI_SnapShot_09.png

Load Memory Presets:
MSI_SnapShot_17.png

DigitALL Power
MSI_SnapShot_10.png

Overclocking Profile Saving:
MSI_SnapShot_14.png

Hardware Monitor:
MSI_SnapShot_15.png

Board Explorer:
MSI_SnapShot_16.png
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Software & Tools:

Apps.png
MSI Command Center: to tweak overclocking in the OS.

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SoundBlaster Cinema: for realistic surround sound experience
Network Genie: enable network tweaking
Super-Charger: enable fast USB charging for Apple products
Fast Boot: enable faster boot

Stability Tests:

LinX 0.6.4 (w/ AVX):

ap1h.png

LinX 0.6.4 (w/ AVX): The 4770K was overclocked to 4.4GHz @ 1.25v hitting 96C max on one of the cores. This OC settings passed LinX for one hour without an error. The fluctuating GFlops might be due to overheat PWM when loading.

Benchmark Tests:

The 4770K is overclocked to 4.7GHz, except for HyperPi 32M @ 4.5GHz. Meanwhile, the HD7970 is overclocked to 1300MHz core/7000MHz mem @ 1.3v/1.7v.

3D Mark 2013:
ef0z.png

3D Mark 11:
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3D Mark Vantage:
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3D Mark 06:
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3D Mark 05:
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3D Mark 03:
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PC Mark 7:
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Super Pi 32M/ MaxxMEM/ AIDA64 Cache and Memory Benchmark:
lowg.png

Super Pi 1M:
qjrm.png

HyperPi 32M:
ulfh.png

Cinebench 11.5:
o1iz.png

Unigine Heaven 4.0:
efch.png

wPrime 1.55/ Fritz Chess 4.3:
f63g.png

Super Pi 32M Benchmark with Hynix-CFR IC RAM:

G.Skill TridentX 2800C11 2 X 4GB @ 2934MHz 11-14-14-25-2T
x3pf.png

Super Pi 32M Benchmark with Samsung IC RAM:

G.Skill TridentX 2600C10 2 X 4GB @ 2800MHz 9-12-12-21-1T
9iph.png

Super Pi 32M Benchmark with PSC IC RAM:

Corsair DominatorGT GTX4 2533C9 2 X 2GB @ 2666MHz 8-12-8-28-1T
drx6.png

Super Pi 32M Benchmark with BBSE IC RAM:

G.Skill RipjawsX 2133C8 2 X 2GB @ 2400MHz 8-11-7-27-2T
tbs6.png
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thoughts & Verdicts:

Priced at RM999 (SRP), MSI Z87 MPower MAX is an excellent board for mild overclocking. Although I am not quite comfortable with the heat it generated when overclocked during the stress/ stability test, overclocking on the memory was awesome. An active cooling on the PWM area is highly recommended to avoid the PWM from overheating. The UEFI BIOS works intelligently. In conclusion, the MPower MAX has a great Ethernet, good audio, aesthetically appealing and excellent tweaking capability. The MPower MAX just has everything you need.

Last but not least, I would like to thank MSI Malaysia especially Andrew for supplying the MPower MAX for review.

Performance: 4/5
Materials: 4/5
Specifications: 5/5
Appearance: 5/5
Performance/Price Value: 5/5

Pros:
+ Good pricing
+ Excellent memory overclocking
+ Unique yellow and black colour scheme
+ Included many accessories
+ Great software package
+ Intelligent UEFI BIOS
+ Informative user guide manual
+ LucidLogix Virtu MVP software is included

Cons:
- Mixed overclocking performance, might be due to the overheat PWM
- Can’t adjust memory timings in the OS at the time of writing
Edited by owikh84 - 9/26/13 at 7:53am
post #6 of 6
Nice review, was thinking about the OC formula/ac vs the mpower max, I think this offers better value. One question though, there are a lot of onboard LEDs, and I see that on the z77 mpower you could disable the LEDs, can you do the same with the z87 mpower max?
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