New Year and CFO(Wife) just approved my upgrade to my motherboard....here comes MSI-Z77A-GD65, I have used GD45 and GD55 now time to use the older brother.
I particularly feel that from MSI's lineup of motherboard the GD65 series are among if not their best value in terms of performance + value/price ratio. the GD65 is sporting their new Military Class III (5 Stars) which in it have the best quality components used which are DrMOS II MOSFETs, Hi-c CAPs, Japanese solid capacitors, and SFC (super ferrite chokes). With these components gives you superb stability and reliability.
MSI was the first to introduced the support for PCI-E Gen 3.0 and given this is Panther Point chipset this means that it is natively supporting PCI-E Gen 3.0 with the use of the Ivy Bridge 22nm processor.
The MSI-Z77A-GD65 is not only aimed for enthusiast overclockers but also to beginners with the help of OC Genie II, with just a flick of a button may it be on the motherboard or the Click BIOS II software you can achieve overclocking right away. This motherboard gives you 8 sata ports 2 of the SATA 3 are Intel native(Z77 Chipset) 2 are by ASMEDIA and the rest are SATA 2 which are by the Panther Point(Z77) chipset.
1x IO Backplate
1x MSI CD Installer
1x SLI cable
3x V Checkpoint cable
1x M Connect set
4x Sata cables
1x MSI Certificate
1x Software Manual
1x Installation Guide
1x Overclocking Guide
I could only say that the motherboard layout was well thought off design and the color combination of almost duo-tone is a non deterrent for most users. the placement of the USB internal headers are in a good position as well as the position of the SATA ports. I like that MSI decided to use an angle port for the USB 3.0 header but for this to really work it the port should have a locking mechanism of some sort to secure the cable as I always dislodge it when I was fixing the cables. all in all you have 5 fan header ports 3 of which are PWM the rest are not.
MSI reminds you to use the latest ivy bridge processor to enjoy the massive bandwidth of PCI-E 3.0.
Multi BIOS and ASMEDIA ASM 1061
I really like the Multi BIOS support of motherboard and MSI this time did not skimp in giving it to this motherboard, this gives you added protection of having to corrupt your BIOS. Also updating the BIOS is a breeze and secure way and also gives you the versatility on which BIOS to update though the BIOS DIP switch. also in the picture you can see the ASMEDIA ASM 1061 chip which gives this motherboard another 2x 6Gbps Sata 3 if you ever need it.
VIA VT6315N for Firewire
although I would say that not much people now are still using Firewire, MSI is still generous enough to provide this feature in case you may ever need it.
Gigabit LAN by Intel
LAN 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet by Intel® 82579V this I would say is a very welcome feature knowing the stability, reliability and performance of the Intel LAN chipset this goes well in their Military Class III motherboard theme.
the Vocal Chord Realtek ALC898
I am not an audiophile but I am very happy with the performance I get with this realtek chipset, and as per others the performance of this ALC898 chipset is on par with some dedicated PCI-E sound cards out there in the market.
it will also give you these features:
- Flexible 8-channel audio with jack sensing
- Compliant with Azalia 1.0 Spec
The first two white ports from the right side are SATA III supported by Intel in which you should plug your SSD and/or OS storage the four black ones are SATA II which are supported by Intel also. The other 2 white SATA ports from the left are SATA III by ASMEDIA
Just below the 24pin Power port is the VCheckpoints, this is very helpful if you really want to know how much Voltages is running like in your processor and ram. as we all know software monitoring is not as accurate as they should be so if you really want to know MSI have provided an easy way for you to do it.
Power Phase and Dr MOS alarm LED:
The power phase leds will tell you how many phase it is currently using so this means that if you set the Active Phase Switching for power saving expect to have blinking leds inside your motherboard, if you don't want the blinking LEDS you can disable the APS and have them used all which means it will all light up else you can disable the motherboard led in BIOS or Click BIOS II software so it wont be lit up. also at the left most of the LEDs is the Dr MOS led which will light up if your mosfet is above 100c!!!
Back IO Port:
MSI still retained the PS2 keyboard/mouse port which I like it very much as I always or still using my PS2 keyboard. the PS2 and the 2 USB ports below it are MSI's Gaming Device Port which specially caters for Gaming Mouse and Keyboards. There are 6 USB ports, 2 of which the blue ones are USB 3.0 supported by Intel Z77 Chipset. The very convenient Clear CMOS button means that you dont have to open your casing to reset your CMOS in case you have problems in booting up due to bad OC. also MSI did not skimp on the video/display port as it provides you with VGA, DVI and HDMI port. also you can find great support for your Audio needs.
Military Class III Components:
Military Class III components are not likely to fail and have passed the military standard, as per MSI' website:
MSI motherboards maintains the commitment to product stability and reliability by introducing Military Class III components! In addition to the use of Hi-c CAP, SFC, and Solid CAP, MSI now incorporates DrMOS II, the next-generation DrMOS that provides an integrated Double Thermal Protection to maximize the lifespan of components. All Military Class III components have passed MIL-STD-810G certification, making MSI's Military Class III components synonymous with premium quality and ultimate stability.
The Beautiful Heatsink:
I personally like the design of MSI's heatsinks as they are not too wild and it does the job it is supposed to do...to cool the components below it
Overclocking and Performance:
Processor: Intel i5 3570K @ 4.5Ghz
Cooler: ThermalTake Frio Motherboard: MSI-Z77A-GD65
Graphics: Just sold off my GPU, awaiting procurement approval from CFO!!!
RAM: Patriot Viper 3 IEM 2133Mhz 2x4GB @ 2666Mhz 11-14-12-30-2T
PSU: Super Flower Golden King 750W Platinum
SSD: Samsung 830 256GB
Casing: Fractal Design Arc Midi
Sisoft Sandra 2012
AS SSD Bencmark
Clean no files SSD:
After OS installation and everything
MSI Control Center and MSI Click BIOS II
to be updated later on:
MSI OC Genie II
When MSI stated that you only need a second to overclock your CPU and maybe RAM as well they were not joking:
Warning: Never never never ever edit the values in BIOS nor update the BIOS nor reset the CMOS while OC Genie is enabled as it will have some issues. if you plan on changing the values or updating it turn off first the OC Genie II
Before OC Genie was Enabled and how to enable it
After it was enabled and rebooted
The MSI-Z77A-GD65 is a superb motherboard, it is able to achieve high overclocks while maintaining the system fully stable. The UEFI Bios is one of the best out there in terms
of response and usability. Their intuitive BIOS will not confuse users on what and where to modify the values in the BIOS. the latest update of the BIOS now supports Windows 8
which means you can have blazing fast boot up. With an ample amount of SATA ports this is a very good investment if you want to expand your storage. The well thought of design
of the motherboard the placement of ports adds up to the value of this motherboard. This motherboard is good to have support on both SLI and CrossfireX technology which is
just right provided the price point of this motherboard is above mainstream. Lastly the components used in this motherboard gives me confidence that it will not easily fail.
May you be a novice or enthusiast overclocker or just a beginner in overclocking this motherboard will suite both, with the many option to tweak in BIOS enthusiast overclocker have a variety of option to optimally tweak every parameter in the BIOS. and for beginner OC Genie II s their fried but as I always mention just use OC Genie as a guide to see which parameters in the BIOS it has changed and try to understand what are those parameter because OC Genie generally set the value on high like the Vcore and such.
the dual BIOS though it has a switch is still a software base, so if you managed to corrupt the main bios and doing the switchero when trying to update the corrupted bios it won't work..
I am sorry if you feel that way I will try to improve later on, thanks for you input will surely keep it into consideration.
Not saying it's a bad review, I would just like to hear a bit more about your opinion. Like TTL, he gives his opinion pretty much every little feature on the reviewed product. Though it really isn't bad at all