A Closer Look at the MSI X79A-GD65
A quick glance at any motherboard box should tell you instantly about the major features on offer. MSI is pushing the military class theme and PCIe 3.0 support with prominent logos with detailed benefits and testing information on the rear. MSI is keen to promote the the fact that their components have undergone a strict regimen of qualification testing.
The board comes with a decent bundle of accessories. There's an eSATA adapter with supporting cables, additional twin USB 3.0 port bracket and a full complement of SATA cables with Molex to SATA power adapters. MSI also includes small adapters to connect a multimeter to the voltage read points. Topping it all off is a flashy certificate stating the board has met stringent testing criteria, qualifying for the military class designation.
Moving onto the board itself, we have four DIMM slots unofficially supporting up to 2400Mhz DDR3. There are three PCIe 3.0 compliant x16 slots, two PCIe 2.0 slots and a single 1x slot. On the storage support side we have the standard two SATA 6GB/s ports and four SATA 3GB/s ports from the X79 chipset. There are an additional two SATA 6GB/s ports courtesy of a ASMedia ASM1061 chip.
The rear I/O panel is fairly standard. There are a total of eight USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a single Gigabit LAN, Firewire and analogue audio jacks. MSI offers a choice of S/PDIF and coaxial digital audio outputs. Also present is a legacy PS/2 port and a CMOS clear button.