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  • sherlockwing - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    I really love the 90 degree USB3.0 port on this board, it makes hiding the large and bulky 3.0 connector so much easier.

    This was one of board I considered before I bought my UP5-TH. Unforunately this board like most MSI boards use analog VRMs and MSI Bios don't allow Offset Overclocking so I went with the UP5-TH instead.
  • Blibbax - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    What exactly does this board need to be a top-notch overclocking board? Reply
  • IanCutress - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    A revised BIOS layout for options, a fully working software package that allows overclocking without issues in the OS (for digital power delivery options as well), and a series of automatic overclocking options for users that are unsure about overclocking but want more than the 4.2 GHz that OC Genie provides. There are a couple of boards in the $240-$280 range that adjust the VRM heatsinks to allow water cooling as well. Extreme overclockers would perhaps enjoy switches to disable PCIe slots, a wider variety of temperature probes on board, onboard on-the-fly adjustment buttons and a super level of BIOS options for skew, slew et al.

  • NitroWare - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    The Intel ME is no longer solely ganged to the primary firmware and has not been for a while.

    Intel's package allows the ME to be invidually flashed or recovered using a number of bundled tools from DOS or Windows . Grab the ME pack either from the board OEM,Intel or station-drivers if you want to use the bleeding edge build#

    If you are lazy, you can use asus's updater as it has been QA'd for end users from any ASUS Z77 download page, which is just Intel's flash tool and binary bundled with a custom ASUS front end which doesnt really work too well especially if you need to downgrade or reflash - they forgot the decision trees in the front end, but Intel's tool works well.

    This will either contain a installshield or loose files

    The Intel tools you are looking for are in neatly organised folders. MEtool.exe and FWUpdLcl64.exe, found in a variety of packages especially the ASUS package
    both have context senstive help to dump version#s, recover, or force/flash the ME.

    There are 2 sizes of ME for v8, 1.5MB and 5MB. Consumer Z77 use 1.5MB, I dunno what the 5MB one is for, maybe vPro systems

    I cannot see any OEM custom builds as the binary comes from Intel, but each OEM releases a slightly older or newer buld depending on random reasons. I have used bleeding edge builds on various mobos without issue but that is something for personal preference.

    I honestly can' remeber if you can flash v7 to v8 as it has beren a while since I have however last year for releaser of Ivy Bridge, Cougar Point (7 series) and Win8 some mobo vendors such as ASrock did a complete overhaul of their UEFI BIOS and updated all of the modules to the latest standard.

    Z77 boards should have come with v8 or v8.1 ME anyway, I can't see why theyd ship a v7.
    ASUS provided a end-user recommended update to 8.1 to 'enhance windows 8' as above.
    Intel Desktop Boards support 8.1 also.

    One wonders why they dont take this approach with the RAID OROM, as its just a BIOS module anyway.
  • NitroWare - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    I forgot to add that some third party vendors such as NEC-Renesas and ASmedia make it painful to flash the firmware for their products. ASmedia needs a DOS boot disk afaik.
    Some other vendors make it dead easy.

    Why do you feel a one touch OC key is needed? Do you not think this is a gimic? It may be handy for bench testing but everything should be point and click or at least front bay controlled once the system is built up.
  • Sabresiberian - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    One of my "pet peeves" with mainboards is that the socket layout is terrible on pretty much all of them - regardless of size of board. They don't even take advantage of having more room in an E-ATX, XL-ATX, or what have you.

    This board has one of the best layouts I's seen in the sense that I could actually install 2 PCIe-1 devices even after installing 3 graphics cards! Unfortunately, that would make the graphics cards run on 8x-4x-4x and isn't enough for me, but still, it is a tempting board just for the socket layout. Most boards won't even allow for 1 PCIe-1 device if you have 3 graphics cards installed. It's ridiculous, in my opinion.

    I love the color, too. Nice thing about black - it pretty much goes with anything, so even if my memory and graphics cards didn't match in color scheme, the mainboard wouldn't really add to a color confusion explosion. The yellow areas are small enough that they won't have much of an impact (I think).

    I have built more computers based on MSI mainboards (hence my exposure to and acceptance of a term I like better, "mainboard" :) ) than any other brand, and they've always been reliable. I tend to prefer Asus these days for high end, but would always consider an MSI offering.
  • mayankleoboy1 - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    With someVRM moving to the CPU in Haswell, i expect the mobo to get a cleaner layout. Or that the space could be used for cramming some additional stuff. Not sure which i would prefer.... Reply
  • cjb110 - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    You mention that there's no help on-screen, but are the BIOS settings detailed in the manual though?

    As I'd say that's acceptable, maybe not for the target market (that would more likely be changing settings regularly), but for a general user a once-off trip to the BIOS with the manual next to you would be fine.
  • peterwhitehouse - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    Surely this is not true for Windows 8 as that has native USB 3.0 support?
    Perhaps if we ever see a Windows 7 SP2 that may possibly support USB 3.0 natively as well.
  • peterwhitehouse - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    I have checked this today and Windows 8 does indeed support USB 3.0 ports during install as suspected so I guess we can cross off having lots of USB 3.0 ports on the rear as being a possible downside. Reply
  • waldojim42 - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    But once more, the audio codec means very little to me. Only the supported features. If Dobly Digital Live or DTS connect were supported, then the analog measurements would mean absolutely nothing to many of us gamers with a real 5.1 system.... Reply
  • peckiro - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    Although I have built every system that I have run since 1999 I would certainly not consider myself a "Power User" in any strech of my very limited imagination. Heck, I get nervous when I play around trying to overclock, thinking that I'm going to brick the bios chip (although this board has two). I purchased this board for my latest build and I'm quite satisfied with it. My decision to check this board out for possible purchase was some usual propaganda (advertisement) I caught online. The ad mentioned that MSI had overclocked every single MPower board before leaving their factory to 4.6 GHz for 24 hours straight running Prime95 with limited cooling. So, I began to look at this mainboard as well as a host of others from the usual suspects Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock as well as a few from a couple of smaller players, as I do before every new build. After researching for some time I kind of took a shining to the MSI board, probably because of their overclock shtick. I do most of my hardware shopping on the Egg, and when they offered the this board for $180 WITH 8 Gigs of GSkill 1600 ram thrown in for free to sweeten the deal, I pulled the trigger. I dropped a 3570K processor on it and I'm pretty darned happy with the results. As I stated earlier, I'm too dense to overclock it myself so I let the OC Genie do it's thing. It's been running at 4.25GHz 24/7 for nearly 3 months now with narry a hiccup. I might have gone for a different board at $210, but I'm very pleased with it especially considering what I paid for it. At 4.25 GHz it idles at less than 10 degrees C. above ambient and no matter what I throw at it I have never seen temps over 45C with a Hyper 212 EVO. Of course your milage may vary. This board runs exactly like I want a mainboard to run, stable, stable and again, stable. If your looking to build a Z77 system you may want to consider this board, especially if you can get a helluva deal on it. Reply
  • cjmurph - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    I've owned this board for about 4 months now and I love it. Lots of useless but fun toys like being able to control it from my phone or tablet. Having the bios in windows is also nice. I've got a mild clock on it 4.6 on a 3770k and it runs cool and silent and has never crashed. Its a keeper. Reply
  • theone2030 - Monday, February 18, 2013 - link

    Looks like a good and solid motherboard but i lean more towards Asus plus if you get the F2A85-V PRO FM2 AMD A85X you also receive a bonus Razer Kraken pro headset ! id say thats a sweet deal if you ask me :) Reply

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