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.