Below are the memory slots and some of the overclocking features. The memory slots claim support up to an impressive DDR3-2667! This is quite a jump over existing platforms and gives a hint of the capabilities of the platform.

We also see the voltage read points, power and rest switches and the one touch OC Genie automatic overclocking button.

IMG 2251 MSI Z77A GD65 Quick Preview

The three blue 16x slots all support PCIe 3.0 in either 16/0/0 or 8/8/0 with Sandy Bridge or 16/0/0, 8/8/0 or 8/4/4 with upcoming CPU's. CrossfireX and SLi are supported. All of the 1x slots support PCIe 2.0 only.

On the right hand side we see the BIOS chips with the toggle switch, debug LED and the Asmedia ASM1061 chip that controls the extra SATA 6GB/s ports for a total of eight. The chipset heatsink is quite large and functions well.

IMG 2247 MSI Z77A GD65 Quick Preview

The PWM section of the GD65 appears to be solid. It incorporates the usual DrMOS II components with tantalum capacitors and super ferrite chokes similar to what we've seen on MSI's Z68 and X79 range. The board should have no problem powering heavily overclocked CPU's.

IMG 2255 MSI Z77A GD65 Quick Preview

On the real panel we see a total of four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a single Gigabit LAN 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. We also have HDMI, DVI-D and VGA outputs taking care of the video output side.

IMG 2238 MSI Z77A GD65 Quick Preview

Overall the board appears to be a good mid range contender with the bells and whistles reserved for the high end boards. We hope this means the board will come with an attractive price.

We can't give away any performance figures…yet. Some preliminary tests with a 2600K processor left a good impression. Memory compatibility, overclocking capabilities and efficiency look good even with a pre production BIOS. MSI has the makings of a solid board that should hit a nice sweet spot for performance and price with a practical set of features. We look forward to giving the board the full review treatment with a 3rd Generation Intel Core CPU soon.