Tuesday, January 10th 2012

MSI Z77 Motherboards and Next-Gen GUS Pictured

MSI showed off its upcoming socket LGA1155 motherboards based on Intel's Z77 chipset, designed to accommodate next-generation "Ivy Bridge" Core processors out of the box. Like many other motherboard manufacturers with similar motherboards on display, MSI's Z77 motherboards lack the final designs of their typically fancy-looking heatsinks over the chipset and VRM, and make do with basic ones that get the job done, and more importantly, let visitors take a look at the components in use more closely. MSI displayed two motherboards, the mid-range Z77A-GD65, and premium Z77A-GD80.

The Z77A-GD80 is designed for gaming PCs with up to two graphics cards, with a strong CPU VRM. The CPU is powered by a 14-phase VRM, complete with SFC chokes, compact DrMOS, and server-grade capacitors. There are three long PCIe slots on the board, but it appears like only two of the three are wired to the CPU, the third one to the Z77 PCH. Those two slots are PCIe 3.0 capable. SATA ports include four 6 Gb/s capable ones. The USB 3.0 front-panel header is angled like the SATA ports. Other connectivity includes Intel Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, display connections that include DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI; 8-channel HD audio, GbE, and eSATA.

The Z77A-GD65 is the more affordable board. It uses a simple 9-phase VRM to power the CPU, but has the same expansion slot layout as the GD80, with two PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16/NC or x8/x8), one PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4, wired to PCH), and four PCIe 2.0 x1. It even has the same number and kind of SATA ports. Its connectivity might lack Thunderbolt.

MSI also showed of GUS (graphics upgrade system), an external graphics card enclosure. This box connects to a host PC/Mac using Thunderbolt (essentially PCIe 2.0 x4), and internally has a PCIe x16 slot and related power delivery circuitry. It draws power from an external source.Source: HardwareCanucks
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9 Comments on MSI Z77 Motherboards and Next-Gen GUS Pictured

#1
Csokis
GUS = Gravis UltraSound for me. :)
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#2
Drone
the mid-range Z77-GD65, and premium Z77-GD80
correct names are Z77A-GD65 and Z77A-GD80
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#3
CoreDuo
Wait, what are VGA ports doing there?
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#4
Zakin
Well, Z77 lets you use the built in GPU on Ivy Bridge.
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#5
CoreDuo
by: Zakin
Well, Z77 lets you use the built in GPU on Ivy Bridge.
I'm aware, but if they wanted to retain legacy support like that, wouldn't DVI have been a better option since DVI has pins that carry analog video and adapters for it are dirt cheap?
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#6
Zakin
Something I could question on probably 90% of motherboards for Sandy Bridge, although I wouldn't complain, if you're honestly using those ports then it for the most part is probably on an older monitor. Just saying though, do a nice search on Newegg's LGA1155 section of Motherboards and it's just an array of VGA ports. Although Asus and MSI both have some motherboards with both VGA and DVI ports, surprised to not see that here.
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#7
Isenstaedt
by: CoreDuo
I'm aware, but if they wanted to retain legacy support like that, wouldn't DVI have been a better option since DVI has pins that carry analog video and adapters for it are dirt cheap?
Now that you mention it...

Yeah, VGA should be dead already. I'm still on a VGA monitor but I have a DVI to VGA adapter.
Posted on Reply
#8
_JP_
Another external GPU thing that is probably going to cost a fortune and not really going to be really worth it.
Besides, 99% of computers...scratch that...100% of non Apple-made laptops lack thunderbolt, so it will take some time before it gets any market.
Posted on Reply
#9
Jizzler
Well at least the GD80 and possibly the GD65 has DVI and HDMI as well. I'll live, but still want to VGA to die!

Otherwise, nice looking boards.
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