msi z77a gd55 More MSI Z77 motherboards get previewed

Our Chinese language site got a look at a couple of MSI Z77 motherboards back at CES, although early revisions and now pictures of what appears to be close to a final revision of a yet unseen Z77 motherboard has appeared online. The model in question is the Z77A-GD55, a slightly more basic model than what we've seen so far, albeit a reasonably feature rich board nonetheless.

Our Chinese language site got a look at a couple of MSI Z77 motherboards back at CES, although early revisions and now pictures of what appears to be close to a final revision of a yet unseen Z77 motherboard has appeared online. The model in question is the Z77A-GD55, a slightly more basic model than what we've seen so far, albeit a reasonably feature rich board nonetheless.

The board pictures appeared over at MyDrivers and although some attempts were made to cover up which board model it was, it's pretty clear that we're looking at the Z77A-GD55 in this case. The board is near enough identical to the Z77A-GD65, albeit with a few features missing. The main differences here is the lack of the two additional SATA 6Gbps ports, no FireWire and a missing plastic support on the Voltage check points.

msi z77a gd55 More MSI Z77 motherboards get previewed

However, we noticed one other peculiar difference between the two boards which points at the PCBs actually being different, as the GD65 has all the pins on its lowest x16 slot connected to solder points on the bottom of the PCB, whereas the GD55 only has eight lanes connected and the PCB lacking solder points for any more. While looking for more details we also found some fresh pictures of a revision 2.1 model of the Z77A-GD65 over at Zol.com.cn which made us aware of two other differences between the two boards.

msi z77a gd55 io More MSI Z77 motherboards get previewed

The GD65 has a pair of BIOS chips and a POST80 debug LED, features not present on the GD55. Once you start taking a closer look you also noticed that there are some minor changes to the pin configuration at the bottom of the board and comparing with the pictures from CES, it appears as if MSI has made quite a few changes to the GD65, or possibly taken the model shown at CES and turned it into the GD55 after some minor changes.

Both boards have very similar looking heatsinks, although the GD65 model has a heatpipe connecting the two blocks fitted to the PWM, something that has required a slightly different placement of the 12V EPS power connector. Speaking of the PWM, the GD65 has been upgraded from an 8+1 phase design to a 12 phase design which further helps explain the move of the 12V EPS connector.

msi z77a gd65 More MSI Z77 motherboards get previewed

We'll just have to wait and see what the final boards will look like, as we even spotted a version of the GD65 with gold coloured chokes, although we're not certain if this will be the final design on or not. We should have a clearer picture at Cebit in March, as by then MSI should have its final board designs ready, unless there are some last minute changes. We can't say that we're blown away by either model here, as MSI has only added enough features without having made a real effort to add any unique selling points to either model.

Source: MyDrivers, Zol.com.cn