MSI Z77 GD65 Gaming motherboard review -
The Z77 GD65 Gaming is to be considered a enthusiast class product. It jam packed with features, but that does come at a really fair price price. This motherboard will cost you 165 EUR/185USD. Money well spend as you are about to find out.
Above and below packaging and bundle. As you'll notice the MSI Z77 GD 65 Gaming edition is certainly a good looking motherboard alright. An all new black & red style that will be matching their Gaming series graphics card products from MSI, new cooling heatsinks. Yeah it's a feast for the eyes we think.
Included with the motherboard are the standards like SATA cables, manual, driver CD, IO rear backplane, some Voltage Check cables no USB 3.0 bracket was included.
The I/O panel reveals four USB 2.0 ports with another two USB 3.0 ports. The most right USB 2,0 connectors have extra gold in them. The motherboard features three PCIe x16 Gen 3.0 expansion slots and four PCIe x1 slots. A Realtek ALC898 high definition audio codec is the source for audio and comes with a Creative labs SoundBlaster Cinema software layer, oh and we spot an Atheros 10/100/1000 for fast Ethernet (KillerNIC E2200). There is a single PS/2 combo port that can be used for either a keyboard or mouse, optical and coaxial SPDIF out ports. Monitor connectors wise we are confused, HDMI, 15pin D-Sub VGA and a DVI. Now everybody will be using a graphics card with a Gaming motherboard, so that's space misused we feel. Also D-SUB ? That should have been a Display port connector to our honest opinion.
The motherboard is just gorgeous to look at really. The Z77 has an improved 12-phase VRM. The board comes with diagnostic LEDs and voltage measurement points. Familiar will be the three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x8/x4/x4-capable slots and four PCI-Express 2.0 x1. Of course MSI applied their Military Class III components on the motherboard and you'll spot OC Genie II which increases your overall CPU, Memory performance (pressing it will result in a Core i7 3770K to OC to 4200 Mhz).
The board has one 8-pin power header for the processor located on just behind he rear IO panel. The board is loaded with hidden little extra's by the way. We'll show you them all in this review of course. The Z77 is built with Military Class III components that entails DrMOS II - Hi-c CAP - SFC (Super Ferrite Choke) and usage of Solid capacitors.
You will spot on-board Power and reset buttons. V-Check Points to accurately measure voltages for the CPU, integrated graphics, memory, and PCH. If we zoom in at the lower right corner we spot Easy Button 3. It has one OC Genie II button and then a power and reset button. We tested with a Core i7 3770K, and once the OC genie button is pressed the system will be automatically overclocked a little. The CPU now ran at 4200 MHz with the XMP profile of the memory automatically enabled. Four DIMM slots with support for dual-channel 1066/1333/1600*/1866*/2000*/2133*(OC), 2200*/2400*/2600*/2667*/2800*/3000*(OC, 22nm CPU required).
We review, test and benchmark the MSI Z77 GD65 Gaming series motherboard. The Z77 gaming themed mainboard is intended for Intel's 22nm Ivy Bridge processors on Socket LGA1155. It is the new flagship product amongst the MSI gaming series LOADED with features and overclock potential, it has the latest Killer E2200 chip and SoundBlaster Cinema audio. Oh and of course new gorgeous looks.