MSI Z87I AC Motherboard Essential Guide

Summary

The MSI Z87I AC motherboard has several advantages: it’s small, has plenty of I/O ports, has two Ethernet ports, has integrated video, and comes with powerful wireless capabilities (the AC model includes 802.11ac wireless rather than 802.11n in the Z87I). The information and suggestions on this page are specific to the Z87I AC, but would generally apply to other motherboards.

BIOS Problems

As of October 2014, the motherboards are shipping with version 1.5 of the BIOS that was originally released on 7 January 2014. This is several revisions out of date and has various problems associated with it that are described on this page. The most recent version of the BIOS at this point is version 1.8 released on 18 July 2014. For the most current BIOS, visit the MSI BIOS download page for the MSI Z87I AC.

BIOS Update Instructions

For the reasons described further down on this page, it is essential to update your BIOS. To update your BIOS, follow these instructions.

  1. Visit the MSI BIOS download page for the MSI Z87I AC.
  2. Download the most recent BIOS.
  3. Double-click the file to expand/open it and find the BIOS file. It should have a name like E7851IMS.180 (for version 1.8).
  4. Put that file on a USB flash drive.
  5. Startup your computer and press DEL to enter the BIOS settings mode.
  6. Click on the M-FLASH menu option to view the BIOS flash update menu.
  7. Click on “Select one file to update BIOS and ME.”
  8. Choose your USB flash drive from the list.
  9. Select the file from the list.
  10. Follow the remaining on-screen instructions and watch the computer closely to ensure the process goes smoothly. The computer may automatically restart once the BIOS update is complete.

MSI Z87I AC Restart Problems

With BIOS version 1.5 the computer will shut down properly. However, if you choose the Restart option from within your operating system, or from within the BIOS, it won’t restart. It will just go to a blank screen and not do anything further. This problem is solved by upgrading the BIOS from 1.5 to 1.8.

Won’t Wake on Keyboard Input

Once the computer goes into sleep mode, it won’t wake with keyboard input or mouse activity. This is actually a default setting and can be changed in the BIOS settings. Follow these instructions:

  1. Startup your computer and press DEL to enter the BIOS settings mode.
  2. From the Settings menu, choose Advanced.
  3. Choose Wake Up Event Setup.
  4. Resume from S3 by USB Device is set to Disabled by default. Click this and choose Enabled.
  5. Click the ‘X’ in the upper right corner to Exit the BIOS settings and be given an option to save configuration and restart.

BIOS Clock System Time is Incorrect

You may notice that the BIOS System time appears to be incorrect, and no matter how many times you attempt to reset it, the time is incorrect again. For example, if you’re on Central Daylight Time, you the system time may be five hours ahead. This is actually not an error. Central Daylight Time is UTC -5 hours and the system time is set to display UTC (Universal Time Coordinated or Coordinated Universal Time). So, the time is always automatically setting itself to UTC.

Optimal BIOS Settings

Here are a few settings you may want to set or confirm:

  • Settings > Advanced > Intel Rapid Start Technology. This should be enabled for the fastest startup times.
  • Settings > Advanced > Power Management Setup > Restore after AC Power Loss. Click this and choose Last State or Power On if this is a computer that should be always on. If the power is interrupted, the computer will restart automatically when the power is restored.
  • Settings > Advanced > Windows 8/8.1 Features. This should be enabled if you are running Windows. Otherwise, leave it disabled (if you’re using Linux, for example).
  • Settings > Advanced > Wake Up Event Setup > Resume from S3 by USB Device. You will probably want the ability to wake the computer (or turn the display on from sleep mode) by using the keyboard or a mouse click. This feature is off by default. Click and choose Enabled.

You can learn more by visiting the MSI Z87I AC webpage.

Features

  • Supports 4th Gen Intel® Core™/Pentium®/Celeron® processors for LGA 1150 socket
  • Supports DDR3-3000(OC) Memory
  • USB 3.0 + SATA 6Gb/s
  • Military Class 4: Top Quality & Stability
  • Military Class Essentials: Total Protection for Military Class Motherboards
  • OC Genie 4: Overclock in 1 Second
  • Click BIOS 4: Easily Fine-tune Your System
  • 4K UHD Support: Ultra-high Definition Visual Experience
  • 3 Digital Display Outputs: DisplayPort/HDMI/DVI Support
  • PCI Express Gen 3: World’s 1st PCI Express Gen 3 Motherboard Brand
  • USB Audio Power: A Break Through in USB Audio Quality
  • Command Center: Control & Customize Your PC Settings
  • Fast Boot: Quickly Boot Up & Enter OS in A Few Seconds
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Intel® Wireless Display

Photos

Below are photos of the MSI Z87I AC motherboard.

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