June 5, 2013
MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming LGA 1155 Motherboard Review
Micro-Star International Co., Ltd (MSI) was established in August 1986 in Jhonghe, Taipei by 5 founders, one of the world’s largest information technology manufacturers with more than 12,700 employees, including those in Taipei headquarters, Baoan Plant (Shenzhen), Kunshan Plant and sales staff around the world.MSI started from the motherboard and graphics card industries and extended into consumer and commerical electronics including notebooks, All-in-One PCs, servers, workstations, industrial PCs, household appliances, car infotainment products, barebone systems, multimedia, communication devices, and others.
About the Product
Today we are going to have a look at MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming , which is MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming motherboard . There are couple of things which MSI have added in the new gaming series motherboard which we will discuss in this article . MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming runs on Intel Z77A chipset and support all LGA 1155 processors . This motherboard meant for extreme usage like overclocking CPU and Memory Modules . The power delivery is design to be very constant and maximum so that your CPU get enough volts to work in extreme condition . Some of the salient features and the specifications will be discussed shortly .
Features and Specifications
The specifications of the motherboard are following
|Memory Slots||Four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to 32 GB
Up to Dual Channel, 1066-3000 MHz
|Onboard LAN||Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2205|
|Onboard Audio||Realtek ALC898|
|Expansion Slots||3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16, x8/x8, x8/x4/x4)
4 x PCIe 2.0 x1
|Onboard SATA/RAID||2 x SATA 6 Gbps (Chipset), RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
4 x SATA 3 Gbps (Chipset), RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
2 x SATA 6 Gbps (ASMedia), RAID 0, 1
|USB||4 x USB 3.0 (Chipset) [2 back panel, 2 onboard]
10 x USB 2.0 (Chipset) [4 back panel, 6 onboard]
|Onboard||4 x SATA 6 Gbps
4 x SATA 3 Gbps
1 x USB 3.0 Header
3 x USB 2.0 Headers
5 x Fan Headers
1 x FireWire Header
1 x TPM Module connector
OC Genie Button
Two-Digit LED Debug
Voltage Check Points
|Power Connectors||1 x 24-pin ATX Power Connector
1 x 8-pin CPU Power Connector
|Fan Headers||1 x CPU (4-pin)
4 x SYS (2 x 4-pin, 2 x 3-pin)
|IO Panel||1 x Combination PS/2 Port
2 x USB 2.0 (Gaming Port enabled)
2 x USB 2.0
2 x USB 3.0
1 x Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2205 NIC
|Warranty Period||3 Years|
Some of the salient features of the MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming are ,
- Supports 3rd Gen & 2nd Gen Intel® Core™ / Pentium® / Celeron® processors for LGA 1155 socket
- DDR3-3000 (OC) Memory
- USB 3.0 + SATA 6Gb/s
- Killer Ethernet: Kill Your Lag
- Military Class III: Top Quality & Stability
- OC Genie II: Overclock in 1 Second
- Click BIOS II: World’s 1st UEFI and Software Graphical User Interface
- PCI Express Gen 3: World’s 1st PCI Express Gen 3 Motherboard Brand
- Multi-GPU Support: NVIDIA SLI & AMD CrossFire Support
- Sound Blaster Cinema: Realistic Surround Sound Experience
- Gaming Device Port: Optimized with Triple Gold-plating for High Frequency Gaming Devices
- Total Fan Control: Optimize All Fan Speed As You Wish
- Lucid Virtu MVP: Uncompromised Game Response Performance
- Super Charger: Quickly Charge your iPad/iPhone/smartphones even under S0/S1/S3/S4/S5 mode
There is one best principle of MSI gaming motherboard which is ,
Unboxing and Packaging
MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming comes in black box , with dragon logo placed on the front side . Also you can see on the right the ” Gaming G Series ” Badge , On the top Right you can see that it supports Intel Core i3,i5,i7 processors and run on Intel Z77 chipset .
On the side of the box , some of the specs are mentioned along with the details of the motherboard . Also on the back some of the features are mentioned which we described in the previous section .
Once we opened the box following items were retrieved which includes
– MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming LGA 1155 Motherboard
-Quick Installtion Guide
-Driver Utilities Disc
-Rear I/O Shield
– 4 SATA III ( 6.0Gb/s )
-Front Panel Connectors and V Check Cables
A closer look at the motherboard
The top left part of the motherboard contains . the 8 pin CPU Power Connector . In the middle you have your LGA 1155 CPU Socket which supports Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge Processors . Also there is very cool heat sink design to cool the area around CPU processor. Also there are fan headers located at the top of the board and in the middle as well .
At the top right side , You have 4 Dual Channel DIMMS Slot which support DDR3 Memory Modules upto 3000MHz (OC) . Also there are power phases LED and DR MOS led just above the DIMM Slots . Also note that there are physical buttons for Reset , Power On/Off and Restart . Also On the right side , there is 24 Pin CPU Power Connector ,and V Check points to measure the voltages .
On the bottom right , You have DEBUG LED with multi bios switch . Also all necessary front panel connectors are available at the bottom right including USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 .
On the bottom left you have your PCIE Slots and PCI Slots . Note that the PCI-E Slots are PCIE Gen 3 slots so you will be getting maximum bandwith for your graphic card as compared to old Gen2 slots . Also in order to use the 3rd PCIE slot you have to install IVY Bridge processor .You can have SLI or Crossfire configuration according to your need .
On the edge of the motherboard , there are all your SATA ports , the First 2 on the right are SATA3 (6.0Gbps) running of Intel Z77 chipset . The next 4 to the left of SATA3 are SATA2 . The Last on the extreme left are SATA3 but they are powered by third party chipset ( ASMEDIA ) .
There are very rich combination of the I/O ports on the back . You have Keyboard/Mouse combo port . Beneath it there are 2 USB ports . You also have Digital and Optical Audio Out . There are some more USB2.0 ports along with HDMI port . On the right of these , You have Killer Ethernet port and 2 USB3.0 Port. You also have VGA and DVI port . In the end you have 7.1 channel support audio jacks .
A Look at ClickBIOS II
Another great feature in B75A-G43 Gaming is the ClickBIOS II which is the GUI type BIOS in which you can use your mouse as well along with the keyboard . The BIOS is very well design and give you all basic information in the very first site . On the top left , the model of the board is mentioned along with the CPU and mainboard temperatures . On the Top , Time and Date are displayed along with the details of the CPU installed and the amount of RAM and Its Frequency is shown . Just Below these details are the Boot Devices Priorities which you can adjust according to your convenience .
Also you can see the three modes which are in the middle of the screen . ECO mode let your computer run on power efficient settings . The Standard mode helps you run the computer on normal settings . OC Genie II Mode is for overclocking , but for some reason our computer did not post into the BIOS after OC Genie II Mode was activated .
Also you can see there are 3 big boxes on left and right . which allows you to access the various portions of the bios for settings .
There are many included software with the motherboard, the most useful we found are Control Center , which allows you to adjust almost every thing for overclocking in your operating System . Also the Super Charger , is one of the great thing to charge your mobile devices faster .
There is another application for the Killer Ethernet , which allow you to allocate bandwith for each and every application so you can enjoy lag free gaming experience . Also the sound blaster application is very good for the music and movies. It certainly enhance the bass and clears out the sound .
Overclocking and Benchmarking/Testing Results
Overclocking on GD65 gaming is very good and easy . We are using Intel Corei5 3570k . We were able to turn our frequency upto 4.7GHz @ 1.32Volt . We turned Intel Speed Step , Turbo Boost . Also we set VDroop to 25% .
We think that this motherboard could squeeze a bit more . But we have to stop as our temperatures under stress testing were going out of same limits.
The rig we used for testing this board is following ,
- Intel Corei5 3570K @ 4.7GHz
- MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming LGA 1155 Motherboard
- ADATA 16GB 2400 MHz Memory
- OCZ Vertex4 128GB SSD
- Seasonic 1250Watt Power Supply
- Custom Water Cooling Setup
In the End ( Conclusion )
In the end all we have to say is that this is one of the best Z77 motherboard from MSI . If you are looking to upgrade your rig and want such motherboard which supports every latest hardware and also gives your some extra gaming features then Z77A-GD65 Gaming is the only board to for . You can get Killer e2200 network which gives your better and smoother gaming experience . Also the durability you get in Z77A-GD65 Gaming is anothing plus point , the military components used by MSI is the best thing you can get in this board . The High Quality Capacitor gives your motherboard smooth current so that your components are safe from electric shock or jerks .
Another great thing about this board , is the color scheme which MSI implemented on this board. This surely gives the board a unique look and the dragon heat sink perfects well according to the gaming title . Also some other great features like ClickBIOS II is another great thing implemented in this board .
The Overclocking and benchmark results are awesome , you can clearly see that there is a huge difference in the benchmarks score when you overclock . So all those overclockers out there you can squeeze every frequency out of your processor if you have more extreme cooling setup .
We are pleased to announce that Z77A-GD65 Gaming LGA 1155 Motherboard from MSI receives Editor Extreme Buy Award at TechTipsnReview for Amazing Built Quality , Magnificent Design and Structure , Overclocking and Benchmark Results and Best Performance to Price Ratio .