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MSI Z87 MPower Motherboard Review

Posted June 20, 2013 by Kenny in CPU & Motherboards







Total Score


Manufacturer: ,
Price at time of Review: $234.99 on newegg.com


Massive 8+12 Power Phase, Military Class 4 Hardware and Solid Caps for long life Performance, Great overclocking abilities, mSATA Support


If you are looking for an exceptional performance to value ratio motherboard with excellent features and software, the MSI Z87 MPower will easily meet those demands.
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by Kenny
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8 Series Chipset

With a new Processor, comes a new chipset. With its Haswell platform, Intel has developed 5 desktop chipsets to meet the demands of various enthusiasts, from budget builders to high-end gamers and more. We have the following: B85, H87, Q85, Q87 and finally the Z87 chipset which we will be taking a look at today.

Let’s take a look at some comparable charts of its previous 7 series chipset vs. today’s 8 series chipset.

Taking a look at the 2 side by side, you will first notice a couple of differences immediately. First is its new I/O Port flexibility. We see that the 8 series chipset will support 6 native USB 3.0 ports vs. its previous 4. Also, this was a nice change to see and the most notable change is its support of up to 6 native SATA 6Gbps port.

To give you a better idea of what the Z87 chipset looks like, let’s take a look at Intel’s break down grid.

Breaking down the grid, the Z87 didn’t change a whole lot. It still has most if the same previous controllers in place as the Z87. The z87 also still supports PCIe 3.0 lanes for great multi-graphics card support like (Crossfire and SLI). So what this breaks down to is the PCIe 3.0 (generation 3) lanes are able to provide 32GB/s of bandwidth. With the new developments in today’s graphics cards, we can definitely see the increased need of PCIe 3.0.

However, graphics isn’t the only arena to join in on the available PCIe bandwidth as we are starting to see the expansion of PCIe add-on cards and storage devices. Compared to its previous generation, the lanes are now capable of handling 1GB/s per lane, so PCIe 3.0 at x16, can handle up to 16GB/s of bandwidth for add on devices.

Breaking it down to the USB channels, you can clearly see that the USB 3.0 channels are now supported by the Intel chipset. This was a nice change to see for users and manufacturers. While it can support up to 6x USB 3.0 natively.

Before we continue, we also have some of Intel’s lesser performance chipset charts available. Please take a look below:

Please click on tab for content:

B85 Chipset

H87 Chipset

Q85 Chipset

Q87 Chipset


Now let’s take a look at Haswell.


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    Eric H

    Wow, I am thoroughly impressed with this board. Nice review again kenny.


    I’ve never owned a MSI motherboard but that might have to change. Every single review of their new Gaming and Power line have been positive. Thanks for the review.


      Thanks! MSI has really stepped up the game with the new motherboards. Of the 5 motherboards I have now reviewed from MSI, they have all performed flawless to date.


    I just sold my MSI z77 MPower board, because I wanted that new MSI z87 XPower board..a step up from the z87 MPower.


      Thanks for reading, The MPower is a great board, and I’ve read and seen that the Xpower is another awesome board from MSI, although we haven’t reviewed the Xpower board, if it performs anything like the recent MSI’s motherboards we have reviewed, I am sure its a great performer.

    Fong Vang

    Really nice mobo. I bought it from microcenter with a promotional deal for $150. It feels solid and installation is quite simple. It even tells you on the mobo which two DIMM slots to fill in first. My first ever build was 13 yrs ago with an MSI board. Since then I’ve been using Asus and Gigabyte boards and decided to relook at MSI for my most current build. I would have to say that I am quite satisfied with it and it didnt cost as much as Giga/Asus.


    What wattage is recommended in the PSU for this particular motherboard?
    Much appreciated!


      There isn’t such a thing for a particular board. It entirely depends on what you’ll be connecting into the board, and primarily graphics cards. Size a PSU by the graphics cards you’ll need (and if you’re overclocking anything), not by the motherboard. Good luck!

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