MSI MPOWER MAX Software
With the base capabilities of any motherboard defined by the CPU and the chipset, vendors strive to distinguish their products, which they can do either with enhanced hardware or software. Most of the top tier vendors these days do both: MSI adds enhanced power circuitry, wireless connectivity, extra USB and SATA ports, and other hardware features, but with their Z87 line they’ve stepped up their software game. The main exhibit here is the new MSI Command Center. The idea is to provide some of the status and control you’d normally need to drop into the BIOS to work with up at the Windows level.
Of course if you’re overclocking from the Command Center, you’ll need to be able to adjust voltages too. Command Center doesn’t provide power control (vdroop, etc.) though.
You can leave Command Center running, and by doing so you get some useful capabilities, like the ability to set warning thresholds for voltages, fan speeds, and component temperatures.
A recording feature lets you designate what to record, and for how long, great for stress testing and overclocking runs…or just seeing how toasty things get during a gaming session with your overclock settings.
As you’d expect, you can also use Command Center to drill down deep into hardware details, such as RAM timings.
You can collapse the Command Center main window into a small status window you can leave on the screen. Since Microsoft has tossed the idea of sidebar apps, stuff like this is especially useful under Windows 8.
I’ll continue with the bundled MPOWER MAX software in the next section