The Motherboard From Hell

Hello, sometime around mid-2012, I picked up the MSI z77a-G41 Mainboard (Motherboard).

This motherboard has been nothing but trouble. I seriously recommend that no one ever considers to buy this motherboard. Its specifacations look good on paper, but in reality everything on this motherboard is terrible.

So let's begin with my first issue with the motherboard. The first issue that cropped up with the motherboard was a mere week after I installed it. Whenever it was on, the front audio out and the back audio out would get "confused." It would constantly switch between the two, even if there was nothing plugged into the front audio port. Apparently, RealTek makes a driver in which you can "disable front audio port detection." No where on the internet told me about this; only after searching for hours and installing the RealTek drivers, was my problem remedied.

The second issue that I had with the motherboard is terrible Crossfire performance. I suppose this is my own fault. Perhaps, I was being naive when I purchased the motherboard. However, when the motherboard is run in Crossfire, one slot runs at 2.0x16 and the other at 2.0x4. I am 90% sure, that I am not getting close to the desired performance on the second card with only 2.0x4.

The next issue that I had with the motherboard has now come into play fairly recent. I bought a new microphone. It is not the best microphone in the world, but it definitely is not the worst. I was actually surprised at the quality when I plugged it into my BROTHER'S COMPUTER. There was no static, and it recorded voices beautifully.

However, I plugged it into my computer; all hell breaks lose.

First, the mic doesn't record on both channels. It recorded on mono channel. This was very strange as I thought most computers convert mono to dual/stereo. Anyway, this wouldn't work for me as I use on Skype and Fraps. (It would suck to have an LP with audio coming out of only one ear.) I struggled once again with the drivers and finding a solution. Eventually, by the graces of god, I was able to somehow (and I still don't know how) get the microphone to record in stereo.

Everything is good... for a while. (meaning only one day.)

I am on Skype, and I decide to run a benchmark when I was talking over Skype. The person I was talking to over Skype then asked me what music I was playing so loud. This really confused me, because normally my microphone can't pick up anything if it is past 4-5 inches from it. I did some testing and I realized that somehow the drivers were mixing all of my audio inputs into the front panel audio input. (only front panel for some reason, the back works fine.) So I spent 3 hours looking at the drivers again. I eventually opened my PC to see if somehow the cable's connections were crossed. As I expected, the cables were just fine.

I also noticed something about this motherboard. The quality of my microphone is terrible on it. On my brother's PC it is just fine. I'm not sure what would be causing that, but I am almost 100% certain it is the motherboard. I built my brother's PC and it works wonderfully, so I know that all he has is a motherboard and he does not have a sound card to improve his audio.

Edit: Another cheap design feature that I overlooked was the SATA ports. The are facing upwards instead of out. It is a pain in the ass to install graphics cards and hard drives. Never buy motherboards with SATA facing upwards.

So, today, I am buying another motherboard and MSI is never getting another cent from me.

I don't care if you think that I got a "bad apple" motherboard. I am sure these faults lie in all MSI z77a-g41 motherboards.

Msi´s G41 and G43 are indeed a bit poor feutured,and not have the best components on it. but hey maybe thats the reason why they are cheap.

Msi quality boards starts a bit from GD65-gaming  or the Mpower . the G45 gaming is also not a bad board either but its still a midrange budget board.  the Mpower is top of the line ☺

I've had a lot of trouble from the lower end MSI z77 boards, the only Mobo company I trust is asus and in certain situations Asrock

Gigabyte is on my blacklist for all the problems I've had with them

I've read many reviews on a lot of MSI's lower-end/cheaper motherboards, and most of them were negative. People complained that they've had motherboards arrive DOA or they die within a month or arrival. 

It's sad, really.

I'd stay away from MSI. I prefer Biostar or ASRock.

Don't forget that you get what you pay for, and always trust the reviews.

I have that same motherboard with a 3570k and have had no problems the crossfire is probably because the second pci e lane is only 4x.  The other things it probably needs a bios and driver updates thats what I would try.  Its not the best motherboard ever but that stuff sounds like software and driver issues.

Hmm, that is strange. Maybe they updated the hardware on the board from when I purchased and received it. I updated the bios and drivers less than a month ago. I'm glad that your board works though!

All this MSI hate is sad considering I just bought this today:

I stand by my decision for now though, EVERYTHING I've read has been positive about that board.

there higher end boards are fine just the low end ones people have had bad luck with

That may be the same reason I've forever sworn off Gigabyte. The motherboard I'm replacing is shit for everything but stock....everything.


Well, I hope you the best of luck with your motherboard. I'm sure that my hate is founded on the fact that I bought a crappy low-end mobo.

Thanks for the advice. I am definitely going to stick to the higher end motherboards from now on. I think I just wasn't thinking when I purchased my motherboard. 

I agree with raginghavoks post 100%. Did the OP ever try an update the BIOS and grab the latest chipset drivers? I wouldve just RMA'd the board if things never got better. People are pretty quick to jump on hate bandwagon. Chances are you probably just got a dud. There are duds that slip through from all makers and from all ranges of boards.

This should not come as a surprise, but there is about 15% failure rate on any piece of IT electronics parts across the board, that means high end and low end. Depending on the use, lower end parts might be punished harder and fail faster, but statistically there is no noticeable difference. The only reason why fora are full of bad experiences with lower end gear is because there is much more lower end gear sold than higher end gear, but in the end, the failure rate is about the same.

I've had terrible luck with Asus desktop motherboards, but I kept on buying them because I've had very good experiences with other Asus gear, until they stopped providing a build quality bonus in comparison to MSI and Gigabyte and the extra price was only justified by extra Windows software that was included, for which they then pretty much gave up linux support, which for me meant that I was better off buying a cheaper Gigabyte board with the same parts, and that had no linux specific support either, but at least I didn't have to pay for the windows bloatware.

So you've had bad luck with your mobo, that happens, and can happen several times (I've had problems with eight or so Asus boards in a row lol).

I've never had an MSI board, but I see them used by overclockers without sponsorship, so that means that they are certainly not that bad.

I have no problem with ASRock either, you can get ASRock boards with the same quality of parts as on Asus or Gigabyte or MSI boards, whether high-end or low-end, and a capacitor is a capacitor and a MOS-FET is a MOS-FET and a SB chip is a SB chip, and the board designs are pretty much the same across the board, with very little differences that basically mostly have a marketing value, and make little difference. Sometimes, boards will have crappy design choices, that happens with all manufacturers, like crappy BIOS, a UEFI BIOS with a locked bootloader so the board always has to be started first with Windows NT 6.2/6.3, which makes the board manufacturer that implements this an accessory to license fraud and anti-trust regulation infringement, etc... but in general, once you get a board with similar parts, you'll get the same quality from every manufacturer. That used to be different, but for a few generations of computing architectures now, the functional integration in the AMD or Intel CPU/SB chips is so great, that there is very little added value by the board manufacturer, the difference only lies in the quality of the parts that are used for the board, and those are pretty much the same in corresponding price tiers across the board, in fact, they often use exactly the same capacitors and MOS-FETs, and exactly the same Swedish or German machinery to populate the boards, and it should be clear that by using the very same robots to populate the boards, and by using the same parts, there is not much difference in quality.

Some series have a lower RMA, like the upper tier Gigabyte and MSI motherboard series that have been extensively factory burn-in tested in an overclocking application, or like boards for professional workstations or servers, which are functionally tested and burned in, but that kind of quality control also comes at a price, whereas the difference in price is not justified by the difference in quality of parts, you only pay more for these boards because they sell fewer of them for the same design investment, and the extra quality control costs extra production time and logistics.

Boards that are produced for the lowest possible market price, will statistically fail equally often, whatever the brand. A lot of noname brand or budget brands, deliver exactly the same product made by exactly the same plants, with exactly the same parts, for a lower price, and they will be just as reliable as the branded boards, but will save on marketing and advertising overhead and will buy from the cheapest supplier, so one model can be made by Asus, another by MSI, another by Gigabyte, etc... and for graphics cards and other stuff, that's exactly the same.

Yeah well many people making the same mistake, i see it often happen on build advices, people wanne build a decent gaming system, for heavy gaming, so thy buy a great  gpu, cpu, psu, alot of ram. and then oh shit i need a mobo, and they put in some cheap lower end board. i see that so often happen, and its soo wrong... people think that a mobo does not give me any performance boost. so i can cheap out on it..  but thats such a bad mistake. A motherboard is one of the most important part of the system stability ☺

 Msi premium and higher end intel boards are realy fine. the Z77 mpower is personaly one  of my favorite Z77 boards.Its stable high quality, and it overclocks like a champ. It also has great feutures like wifi and bluetooth, and it has a great price, compaired to other brands.

i also realy like the premium or higher end Asus intel boards as well. like the RoG series, or sabertooth.

Yep, I installed the latest bios and installed ALL of the latest drivers for everything. I still have issues. See, the board worked good enough for me NOT to RMA it. It is like when something is on the fence. You aren't sure to RMA it.

I also bought the board way early. Back when I purchased it, it was only 3 stars, and it had a majority DOA rate. I'm wondering if they changed the hardware since then.

Wow, your post kind of opened my eyes. So, because something is of a lower price, more people will purchase it and therefore get a higher DOA rate. Also, lower end boards don't go through nearly as much testing as the higher end boards.

I suppose you are right in the end. Perhaps, my hatred should be founded at the particular board and not MSI. In reality, I've purchased two Radeon HD 7950s from MSI and they have worked almost 100%.