MSI Z77A-GD65 GAMING Intel LGA 1155 Review 32

MSI Z77A-GD65 GAMING Intel LGA 1155 Review

Intel Z77 Express Chipset »


It should, if you are a regular reader of our forums, be pretty obvious to you that MSI is not my most favorite brand. That's not to say they don't make good products; rather, my personal taste differs from what they currently offer, although MSI motherboards have made their way into many different builds I have had over the years. Recently, MSI made a big departure from the standardized designs they offered by introducing the yellow and black-colored MSI Z77 MPower I covered HERE. The Z77 MPower launched during a busy time for me, when I had product samples pile up in a tower that stacked higher than my head at my office, so I wasn't, to be completely honest, too keen on reviewing the board, and did mention this to my MSI contact. What he told me was a very confident "I'll send it to you anyway. I really trust you'll like this product, and I understand you're busy, so I will send you one anyway, with no review needed". I am of course game for a free board with no strings attached, so the board was shipped to me, arriving a couple days later. What was in the box impressed me enough to conduct a full review since I saw that what MSI was offering was definitely worth covering, offering an impressive package that immediately caught my attention.

I haven't heard much from MSI since then, but my phone rang one morning a few of weeks ago and on the line was my MSI rep. He was ready with another product that breaks the traditional mold, one so secret and so special that emails just weren't enough to get things arranged. MSI has carefully been crafting a new board in secret, with a new tale of design and a completely new look, all with a careful eye towards the discriminate gamer. Today, I am only covering the first product of this new line-up, and there will be more reviews of them in the days and weeks to come.

Hide your children and your wives! A Dragon has been unleashed!


CPU SUPPORT:2nd & 3rd Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor family for the LGA 1155 Socket
POWER DESIGN:CPU Power: 8+3+2 Phases (CPU+iGPU+IO)
PCH Power: 1 Phase
Memory Power: 1 Phase
CHIPSET:Intel Z77 Express
INTEGRATED GRAPHICS:Dependant on installed CPU
MEMORY:4 x DIMM, Max. 32 GB, DDR3 1066 to DDR3 3000+
BIOS:2x AMI EFI BIOS with Dual 64 Mb Flash ROM
SLOTS:3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x0/x0 or x8/x8/0 or x8/x4/x4)
4 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot
HDD CONNECTIVITY:2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s (Intel Z77)
4 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s (Intel Z77)
2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s (ASMedia 1061)
NETWORKING:1 x KillerNIC E2205
PORTS:4 x USB 3.0 ports (2 at front panel, 2 at rear panel)
10 x USB 2.0 ports (4 at back panel, 6 at front panel)
1 x RJ45 LAN connectors
1 x Audio port with 6 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
FAN HEADERS:5 (2 x 4-pin PWM, 3 x 3-pin)
FORM FACTOR:ATX Form Factor (305 mm x 245 mm)
  • Killer Ethernet
  • Military Class III
  • Hi-C CAP
  • Super Ferrite Choke
  • OC Genie II
  • Click BIOS II
  • Sound Blaster Cinema
  • Gaming Device Port
  • Total Fan Control
  • Lucid Virtu MVP
  • Super Charger
  • Easy Button 3
  • V-Check points
  • MultiBIOS
  • Debug LED
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