MSI Z87-G45 GAMING (Intel LGA 1150)

MSI Z87-G45 GAMING (Intel LGA 1150)

Intel Z87 Chipset »

Introduction


As we reach just about four weeks since the launch of Intel's latest platform, and I pass into my seventh week of testing with Haswell, I have constantly found myself in shock at what the platform offers and how enthusiasts react to it. Many enthusiasts seem happy, but there are still those that don't see much value in the upgrade. One of the biggest benefits of this platform is to me purely based on the features that are packed into all the supporting motherboards, as many of these break traditional molds with their designs, having clear and concise design ideals that cater towards specific users. Gone is the ability to get decent overclocks with high-end boards only because the sub-$200 market is now full of OC-oriented products. Onboard audio has also seen some fantastic attention with quite a few products boasting superb audio capabilities and customization. But what about the normal user who has no need for all the frills and gimmicks? Enter the MSI Z87-G45 GAMING.

I started my Haswell board reviews off with the MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING, a board I affectionately refer to as the Dragon. I had the opportunity to speak to MSI long before the launch of the Z87-GD65, and many of the concerns I raised were addressed with the Z87-GD65 GAMING, which was very nice to see. I wasn't the only one who noticed that MSI really took the time to develop a great product, as the same board won an award from Computex for it's innovation and style. Like it's "bigger" brother, the MSI Z87-G45 GAMING carries a lot of the same features, but the focus on overclocking-specific features is gone while the GAMING style remains. Does the removal of these features make the MSI Z87-G45 GAMING a lesser board? Let's take a look and find out.



Specifications

Specifications
CPU SUPPORT:4th Gen Intel Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron processor family for the LGA 1150 Socket
POWER DESIGN:CPU Power: 8 Phases
PCH Power: 1 Phase
Memory Power: 2 Phases
CHIPSET:Intel Z87 Express
INTEGRATED GRAPHICS:Dependant on installed CPU
MEMORY:4 x DIMM, Max. 64 GB, DDR3 1066 to DDR3 3000+(OC)
BIOS:AMI EFI BIOS with 64 Mb Flash ROM
SLOTS:3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16 or x8/x8 or x8/x4/x4)
4 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot
HDD CONNECTIVITY:6 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s (Intel Z87)
1 x mSATA slot (disables Intel SATA Port 5)
NETWORKING:1 x Killer E2205 Gigabit LAN
PORTS:6 x USB 3.0 ports (2 at front panel, 4 at rear panel)
8 x USB 2.0 ports (6 at front panel, 2 at rear panel)
1 x RJ45 LAN connectors
1 x Audio block with 6 OFC audio jacks
1 x Optical Digital Audio port
1 x Coaxial Digital Audio port
1 x PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse port
1 x HDMI port
1 x DVI-D port
1 x VGA port
1 x ClearCMOS button
AUDIO:Realtek ALC1150 HD CODEC
FAN HEADERS:5 x 4-pin PWM
FORM FACTOR:ATX Form Factor (305 mm x 244 mm)
EXCLUSIVE FEATURES:
  • Audio Boost
  • Killer Ethernet
  • Military Class4
  • OC Genie4
  • Click BIOS4
  • SoundBlaster Cinema
  • V-Check Points
  • Clear CMOS Button
  • Total Fan Control
  • Lucid Virtu MVP 2.0
  • Gaming Device Port
  • Super RAID
  • Command Center
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