It was very obvious that the MSI Z77A-GD65 GAMING board is truly something different as soon as I opened the shipping container that the board came in, with a large black box sitting inside and a silver dragon emblazoned across the front. With just a dash of red here and there on the packaging, as well as very simple yet fully detailed feature explanations on the rear of the box, the Z77A-GD65 GAMING board's box was a treat to my eyes. I am not sure why the colors of red and black appeal to me so much, but given that the specific color combination is pretty prevalent on the market already, there must be some animalistic appeal in such designs. Very fitting, considering this here board does be a dragon!
The majority of products MSI gives out to reviewers are pre-tested before shipping around the globe to various tech sites, and my sample is no different. I found a sticker on the box front and one sealing the board shut in such a way that I had to remove it before I could open the box. When I did get it open, I found a certificate from MSI's "MTC" denoting how they tested the board.
As you can see, MSI's "MTC" didn't push this product very far. They used a very basic configuration, only testing the board with a low overclock of 4200 MHz. The certificate lists the full configuration used, score results, and not much else, but it was nice to see all of this information written in by hand. Ultimately, this is a useless exercise to me, since I test under much higher clocks while also using other hardware, so I tossed it aside, making a mental note to check other reviews to see if they simply copied the results shown here as their own test results.
Anyway, I found the MSI Z77A-GD65 GAMING board in the top half of the box, wrapped in an anti-static bag. Underneath of that were all of the included goodies, separated from the board itself by a cardboard divider.