Micro-Star’s Proprietary Software
Every now and then we discuss software and utilities bundled with the mainboards. Therefore, we are very well familiar with most of the Micro-Star’s utilities and their functionality. Before, I have always had to download the latest versions of all applications from the company web-site. This time, however, I discovered a very cute interface that made driver and utility installation fast and easy. The startup screen is used to install the drivers. Note that the icons for your system’s current drivers will be highlighted. Moreover, you don’t have to pick the necessary drivers one by one, but install everything by clicking on the “Total Installer” button.
The next screen will show you a complete list of everything available sorted according to categories.
The largest and most interesting sub-section here is MSI’s brand name proprietary software.
You have to go to the company web-site for technical support and assistance.
You can also search for the latest information on this or any other mainboard:
The last sub-section offers you to install a 60-day trial version of Norton Internet Security 2011.
Everything looked great, but I couldn’t find Winki 3 OS on that list and had to install it manually. I was about to put it in as a drawback, but after carefully reading the user manual I learned that the installation interface does allow you to install Winki 3 automatically. However, it is not listed among applications, so I should have checked out the driver section, which wasn’t all that obvious. I had to select the “Others” icon in the startup window and find Winki 3 among the drivers. Therefore, I would like to stick to my opinion that they should have paid more attention to the installation process for this operating system. Moreover, I couldn’t find any links to Winki 3 download on the official company web-site. So, if you lose or damage your DVD disk, you will lose some of the mainboard’s functionality. This is also very wrong, although I suspect that the links might be hidden somewhere far way on the web-site and I just failed to locate them.
As for the Winki 3 OS itself, it is currently one of the best available. The basic functionality in the form of a browser for Internet surfing, picture viewing and instant messaging are also available in Express gate from ASUS and eJIFFY from Elitegroup. The distinguishing features of Winki 3 include office document processing and such additional utilities as HDD Backup and Live Update. The only thing that doesn’t strike me as super-convenient is launching this OS exclusively from the BIOS. I think it would make much more sense if you could boot this OS individually, the same way they implemented it on ASUS and Elitegroup mainboards. Or maybe it is available, but is hidden well enough…
By the way, since we mentioned the HDD Backup utility, I have to explain that it allows creating an image of a disk or disk partition and restoring it rapidly to its original condition. There are a lot of utilities like that, so we usually take a screenshot of the start-up window only.
This time, however, we decided to take a closer look at the HDD Backup utility, but it didn’t do as well as we expected it to. The screenshot below shows that the utility offers to create an image only from the second disk partition, which we use for storing archives and applications. The first partition where the system is and which image we actually tried to create is not shown.
In reality the utility does see the system drive, because later on it will offer the system drive as a location for storing our images. Unfortunately, in our particular case the HDD Backup application turned out absolutely useless.
I am sure that our regular readers are already well familiar with the functionality of the “MSI Control Center” utility, that is why here we will only remind you what it looks like:
Today we will focus on a brand new program called MSI Click BIOS II. It is not a coincidence that it has the same exact name as the new version of the UEFI BIOS of our MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) mainboard. Their interface was intentionally unified, which theoretically allows configuring the system easily in both: Windows as well as UEFI environment.
The startup screens are indeed very similar, but the differences are actually quite serious, as you can see from checking out the very first “Settings” section. The functionality of the namesake utility is much more modest.
However, the major settings of the “OC” section are all there, and you can fine-tune and overclock your system just as well from the utility.
However, the actual fine-tuning procedure is not very convenient. At first I decided to change the memory frequency. I opened the corresponding setting, chose 1333 MHz frequency, pressed Enter and nothing happened. Mouse click also do not seem to work. It wasn’t right away that I noticed the Apply button at the bottom of the window that didn’t really stand out at all. This is what I had to click.
However, this is not the end yet. After that you have to click Apply again, but this time the one in the utility window, in the lower right part of it.
And still this isn’t all. In a few seconds the utility will offer you to reboot, in order to finally apply the changes.
So, I have to admit that I didn’t like MSI Click BIOS II utility at all, compared to the actual MSI Click BIOS II. However, they just started working on this program, so there is hope that it will get better eventually. The first versions of the utility, which we discussed earlier, were totally non-operational. Now, however, it works pretty decently, although still not in the most optimal way. Strange as it might seem, but the BIOS turned out much easier to work with and much better-looking than the Windows tool.