Preview: MSI Z77 MPower

Published by Christian Ney on 25.09.12
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Layout

Like we mentioned in the introduction the MSI Big Bang Z77 MPower board comes with a Twin Frozr IV based design. Therefore the PCB has a matte black finish with a few yellow touches on the heatsinks. The heatsinks themselves have been shaped with a lot of attention to detail and come with a dark grey coloured schema. Combined it makes the design is very unique and good looking. The layout itself has been well thought and there are plenty of cool features - six USB 3.0 on the back, SATA 3.0, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, overclocking features and more ...

MSI equipped the Z77 MPower with a 12+2+1 phase digital power design with an UPI uP1618A taking care of the CPU VRM. This power design has one DRMOS for one phase rather than one DRMOS for two phases like on a lot of competitors motherboards. All those solid capacitors are part of MSI's Military Class III group of components so that's a pretty strong power design.
MSI added a set of LEDs to their motherboard just above the memory DIMMs. This set features twelve LEDs that indicate which phases are in use and thirteenth here to tell you if the VRM is overheating.
The memory gets a 2 phases digital power design here driven by a UPI uP1632P. Like the processor's power design you also find solid capacitors and one DRMOS for one phase.

Totally you'll find four DIMM-slots on the MSI Z77 MPower. Officially supported clock speeds from DDR3-1066 up to DDR3-3000. Max capacity is 32GB of non-ECC un-buffered memory. Keep in mind that to reach those memory clock frequency for a daily usage or even suicide run you need to have a processor with a kickass IMC (Integrated Memory Controller). By the way, the motherboard also has Intel's XMP 1.3 support.

Southbridge as well as current converters are being held at adequate temperatures via a passively cooled heatpipe loop. This loop consists of one single 8mm nickel-plated copper heatpipe and three aluminium made cooling blocks. Three because the southbridge one isn't part of the heatpipe loop, poor him. The cooling blocks have been very well manufactured and also very well attached to the board to provide enough pressure on the components they have to cool down. They are full dark grey colored with yellow strips and feature different inscriptions. For exemple the PCH cooler gets the MSI logo in silver, the CPU VRM one has Big Bang's name one while the one between the back panel and CPU socket is marked Military Class III.  The one just above the main PCIe slot has no inscription nor yellow strip and is here just for the design, it actually doesn't coola anything apart from being attached to the heatpipe loop.
     


Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Connectors and I/O
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Conclusion
Page 3 - Layout



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