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MSI Z77 MPower preview: Affordable and guaranteed to overclock

During the Computex fair in Taiwan, we encountered for the first time MSI's MPower motherboards. Positioned on the market as sub-high-end boards, they are supposed to offer excellent overclocking performance at an affordable price. They also come with a unique extra, in the form of a guaranteed overclocking result. The first MPower board has now arrived in the Hardware.Info test lab, the Z77 MPower.

The Z77 MPower is available for around £155, which is more affordable than overclocking boards from other brands. It's more expensive than the popular MSI Z77A-GD65, but cheaper than the GD80. It also doesn't have a Thunderbolt connector. The new MPower series will be positioned below the high-end deluxe XPower series, hence the sub-high-end description. In the Z77/Socket 1155 category there is no Xpower board available, and one also is not being planned as far as we know.

The most unique feature of the Z77 MPower board actually has nothing to do with hardware or software, but in the way it's been validated. MSI claims that each Z77 MPower board is tested for stability during a 24 hour Prime95 stress test, combined with a Core i7 3770K running at 4.6GHz.

This guarantees an overclock to that point. The test is done under low airflow conditions. This type of overclock guarantee is something we've been calling for for a number of years. When you pay a relatively large amount of money for a deluxe motherboard, it's nice if you get something in return. We are a little curious how many 3770Ks MSI had to acquire for the validations.

The MSI Z77 MPower looks cool. It comes entirely in black, with yellow accents on the heatsinks. The MPower has three PCI-Express x16 slots, with a total of 16 lanes.

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