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MSI Z87 MPower MAX Motherboard Review

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Additional Bundled Software

With RAM prices at historic lows, stuffing your rig with gigabytes of memory has never been cheaper. Of course there’s very little software that will make effective use of all that RAM, so what good is it? Well, MSI thinks a persistent RAM disk with auto save on shutdown and load on boot would be cool, so they provide it.

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You can do some overclocking from Command Center, but you’ll have more detailed control with MSI’s branded version of Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility. Although you can control parameters as detailed as how many seconds the board will provide extra power to the CPU under load, there’s no facility for automated overclocking/stress testing as with ASUS’ Turbo V Evo.

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Gamers will appreciate MSI’s inclusion of Qualcomm’s Killer Network Manager. The first thing to do is run a speed test, so the system knows what it has to work with.

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You can monitor network traffic and the load placed on your CPU, but the most useful function is the ability to set limits on each application’s upstream and downstream bandwidth. In this example I’ve set Internet Explorer limits at 0.9Mbps up and 10Mbps down, which will be allocated out of my 1.43Mbps up/16.34Mbsp down measured maximums.

killer_nic_app_control.jpg

Audiophiles– and maybe just serious gamers who need to be able to hear that person sneaking up from behind them– will appreciate the Sound Blaster Cinema software that leverages the full capabilities of the Realtek ALC1150 sound chip. Sadly, it’s largely wasted on my puny two-speaker-plus-subwoofer audio.

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Let’s check out the performance of this motherboard in the next section.


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