MSI Z77A-GD65 Review: Military Class for Ivy Bridge
Over the next few weeks we will be featuring a slate of motherboards for mainstream DIY system builders to high end enthusiasts. First up is MSI's Z77A-GD65, a solid value offering that should satisfy the needs of most Ivy Bridge users who wants to overclock.
Taiwan based MSI (also known as Micro-Star International), is one of the world's largest makers of computer motherboards and video cards. Together with fellow early pioneers ASUS and Gigabyte, the three companies have been battling at the top since the early days for the mindshare and wallets of system integrators and DIY builders.
Today we look at the MSI Z77A-GD65, a mainstream ATX board that is positioned below their premium GD80 offering. Although Intel Z77 Panther Point based offerings have been released for almost one quarter already, most of us enthusiasts have got the impression the manufacturers have only finally sorted out their pesky BIOS firmware bugs, especially when it comes to overclocking.
The packaging of the Z77A-GD65 is typical of MSI's recent box designs, with the manufacturer keen to stress the durability credentials of its "Military Class III" components.
Accessories wise we get the standard SATA cables and I/O shield, as well as a single SLi ribbon connector and wires for connecting to the voltage probe points on the motherboard.
Here we have the block diagram of the Z77 platform, key improvements over the previous 6-series generation being PCIe 3.0 and native USB 3.0 support.