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 genioe button is pressed the system will be automiatciialy overclocked a little. The CPU now ran at 4200 MHz with the XMP profile of the memory automatically enabled.
Just under the 24pin motherboard power connector you can spot V-Check points, handy if you like to monitor VCCP, CPU VTT, CPU Graphics, DDR VCC, and the PCH 1P05 voltages with a digital multimeter.
All the way on top you'll see 4 DIMM slots with support up to 32GB of memory running at 2667MHz.
SATA ports then -- MSI is equipping the Z77A-GD80 with eight SATA ports. The white SATA ports to the right are SATA III 6Gbps which are native to the Intel Z77 chipset. In the middle you'll see four black SATA II 3Gbps ports. The remaining two SATA ports to the left are SATA III 6Gbps based on an ASMedia ASM1061 chip.
At the edge of the MSI Z77A-GD80 we see the internal header like front panel headers, Voice Genie connector (JDLED3), Trusted Platform Module, a 3pin system fan header, and the internal header for the front panel audio.
If you use a Sandy bridge CPU like the 2500/2600/2700 models then you'll have less PCIe lanes available and loose the lower slot, hence Ivy Bridge is recommended.
One last photo, it's a good looking motherboard. The new passive heatsinks look great and the overall design is really snazzy.
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