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MSI Z68A-GD80 Revision G3 Review

ccokeman    -   October 27, 2011
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Specifications:

Socket
1155
CPU (Max Support)
Sandy Bridge
AM3 CPU Ready
N/A
FSB / Hyper Transport Bus
100MHz
Chipset
Intel Z68
DDR2 Memory
N/A
DDR3 Memory
DDR3 1066/1333/1600*/2133*(OC)
Memory Channel
Dual
DIMM Slots
4
Max Memory (GB)
32
PCI-Ex16
3
PCI-E Gen 2.0
Gen3 (1x16, 1x8, 1x1)
PCE-Ex4
N/A
PCI-Ex1
2
PCI
2
IDE
N/A
SATAIII
3
SATAII
4
RAID
0/1/5/10
LAN
10/100/1000*1
TPM
1
USB 3.0 ports (Rear)
2
USB 2.0 ports (Rear)
4
Audio ports (Rear)
6+Coaxial/Optical SPDIF
Serial ports (Rear)
N/A
Parallel ports (Rear)
N/A
1394 ports (Rear)
1
eSATA
1
Display Port
N/A
VGA
N/A
HDMI
1
DVI
1x SL-DVI
VGA Share Memory (MB)
64
DirectX
NA
Form Factor
ATX
DrMOS
Y
APS
Y
Sideport Memory
N/A
SLI
Y
3-way SLI
N
Hybrid SLI
N
CrossFire
Y
Hybrid CrossFire
N/A
D-LED2
N/A
Green Power Genie
N/A

 

Features:

  • PCIe Gen 3: World’s 1st PCI Express Gen 3 mainboard brand,  With ultra-high 32GB/s transfer bandwidth, PCI Express Gen 3 provides a 2X faster transfer rate than the previous generation, this delivers amazing capabilities for true next generation extreme gaming.
    Benefits:
    - 2X bandwidth
    - Increased efficiency and compatibility
    - Extreme performance for current and next gen PCI Express cards
  • MSI ClickBIOS II:  provides a consistent user interface both in the UEFI BIOS and in Windows, it provides the most convenient way for users to control system settings and supports touchscreen control.
    Benefits:
    - Graphical User Interface, with touchscreen support
    - Simply click or touch and move to change settings
    - Full system control, including overclocking, security and information 
  • OC Genie II (Z68):  Just press the OC Genie button or enable OC Genie II function in BIOS menu, the CPU, memory, iGPU and HDD performance will be highly improved. Whether users want to watch a high bit-rate HD movie or go online gaming, both can be enjoyed with image performance that is smoother and lag-free!
  • Virtu Switchable Graphics: Based on LucidLogix Virtu technology, MSI Z68 mainboard series firstly provides the most expectable feature for desktop platform - switchable graphics, which allows users to enjoy both graphics power of integrated GPU and discrete GPU. It will switch to integrated GPU for HD movie playback, video transcoding and general applications to save system energy, or release full power for hardcore 3D gaming by switching to discrete GPU automatically.
  • Military Class II: The perfect trinity of quality, stability and efficiency all exist at one mainboard to meet end user expectations. The MSI Military Class II series products provide the long lifespan, unparalleled quality, extreme performance and ultimate efficiency.
  • Hi-c CAP: 8X Lifespan than solid Capacitor!! Insisting on the best stability, MSI utilizes Hi-c CAPs on Military Class series.  Made of the rare element Tantalum, often used on space shuttles and satellites, which sustains very high temperatures and shows an amazingly high electrical conductivity.
  • SFC: SFC(Super Ferrite Choke).The super Ferrite Chokes use a Ferrite core that is Super-Permeable. Compare with traditional choke, the Super Ferrite Chokes run at a 35 degree Celsius lower temperature. The lower working temperature will enhance mainboard stability.
  • Solid CAP: 10 years long lifespan For providing the highest quality products, we built-in Solid CAP in the entire Military Class series. This not only makes bursting capacitors a non-issue but also ensures a dramatically extended lifetime and ultra-low ESR.
  • THX TruStudio PRO:  THX is a trade mark of a high-end audio/visual reproduction standard for movies, home theaters, computer speakers and other audio devices. THX Certified Audio products are designed to let users experience movies & videos as live show. The true sound effect can make high definition video more powerful.  A high-fidelity sound reproduction standard - Accurately reproduce the fullest audio experience of movie, music and game soundtracks
  • USB 3.0: Revolutionary SuperSpeed USB 3.0, 10x faster than USB 2.0   Up to 5Gbps bandwidth, boost data transfer rate between PC and USB device
  • Super Charger: Mobile consumer appliances are getting more and more attention in current day fast moving life style, with smart phones and tablets almost becoming a fashion accessory. However, many ordinary personal computers cannot charge some of these devices, making it difficult to stay connected.  The MSI Super Charger is a Windows resident program capable of revising the power supply mode of your USB port to become more powerful. Once your phone or tablet is connected to your USB port, the Super Charger sends a signal to initiate its charging circuit, making it a really smart and convenient charging solution for mobile computing needs.
  • SATA 6Gb/s:  Support next-generation SATAIII, up to 6Gbps bandwidth,  Double the data transfer rate of SATAII (3Gbps)
  • NVIDIA SLI:  SLI technology allows using multiple Nvidia graphics cards in a single computer system with a mainboard equipped with an nForce SLI MCP. Users need an a mainboard with two PCI-Express 16x graphics slots and two matching GeForce graphics cards which are "SLI Ready". Most NVIDIA's PCI-Express graphics cards starting from the 6600 GPU can enjoy the benefits of SLI.
  • Loss-less Content:  The loss-less content protection technology with full-rate audio enjoyment from Blue-ray Disc, Support for 24-bit / 192kHz sample rate offers high quality digital decoders and speakers,  support 7.1 channels playback, plus 2 channels of independent stereo sound output (multiple streaming) through the front panel stereo outputs
  • Live Update 5:  Live Update 5 is a single utility software that automatically checks BIOS, driver and utility updates and installs for you , which can save your time for searching and lower the risk while updating.
  • Instant OC:  Instant MB info monitor,  Intelligently auto set clock/voltage of CPU and memory,  Smart Mode: 4 instant OC modes
  • Winki 3:  is a free Linux-based O/S which is based on the Linux core. With an ultra-fast  booting speed and a multi-language interface, the built-in Winki 3 provides an easy-to-use internet environment that includes the most popular functions such as internet surfing, web mail, instant messaging, picture browsing, and more. It's the most practical way to be online in the shortest time.
  • DrMOS:  Excellent energy-saving capability and offers high-computing performance,  Provide superior energy-saving function and maintain an ultimate low temperature operation. Comes with three incredible features.
  • APS (Active Phase Switching):  Active Phase Switching, APS, technology is an intelligent design that helps to save energy on MSI’s mainboards. The underlying idea is to switch off the power supply as soon as no electricity is needed, and when the system needs more resources again, APS will automatically adjust electricity supply accordingly. APS will automatically detect your processor’s loading at any given time and save energy accordingly. This is only possible by means of a very advanced power controlling technology. Other than software-based solutions, APS technology stands out from MSI's own research. The specially developed IC chip can operate automatically depending on the demands of the power supply, which is to reduce the total power usage
  • M-Flash: Compared to common mainboard which need extra BIOS chips, MSI’s M-Flash has a double advantage which doesn’t need extra components and secondly, all your BIOS data will be saved in the USB drive. The stored data does not only have backup and upgrade function, moreover it can also be seen as a portable BIOS chip which is actually able to boot up your PC.
    Features
    - Backup/Restore Your BIOS to/from Any USB Flash Disk
    - Avoid Unnecessary Repair Due to Accident Failures During The Upgrading Process
    - Earn more BIOS Lifespan by Reducing Unnecessary Rewriting Process
  • MSI Advanced Live Update Online: MSI Live Update Online is a powerful and useful application for updating latest BIOS and Drivers, which can save your time for searching and lower the risk while updating. Live Update Online is online services exclusively. End-users only have to connect to the download center and enable the Live Update Online function, and the updating will continue via the web pages completely. Live Update Online offers the latest BIOS, drivers and utilities from MSI for automatic updating. Through the user-friendly operation, end-users can update the system easily and increase performance immediately.
  • DrMOS: In order to provide customers stable and high quality products, starting from P45 series mainboards, MSI is leading the industry to introduce the world's most advanced power supply component, DrMOS (Driver-MOSFET), which integrates Driver IC, Top MOSFET and Bottom MOSFET into one chip. Except for its outstanding performance in power saving, DrMOS possesses switch frequency which is 400% faster than traditional MOSFET and has great improvement in stabilizing power supply and voltage control. Even under heavy loading and overclocking conditions, DrMOS can still provide the most stable and efficient power supply and quality.
  • CrossFireX Support: AMD CrossFireX™ is the ultimate multi-GPU performance gaming platform. Enabling game-dominatig power, AMD CrossFireX technology enables two or more discrete graphics processors to work together to improve graphics performance. AMD CrossFireX technology allows you to expand your system’s graphics capabilities. It allows you the ability to scale your system’s graphics horsepower as you need it, supporting up to four AMD Radeon™ HD graphics cards, making it the most scalable gaming platform ever. With an AMD CrossFireX gaming technology, the traditional graphics limitation exists no more, allowing you to enjoy higher performance as well as visual experience.
  • 3TB+ Infinity: 3TB+ Infinity is not only breaking through the limit of traditional BIOS, but also enhancing the utilization of hard drives efficiently. In addition to supporting the latest 3TB hard drives, MSI 3TB+ Infinity technology can use the 3TB hard drive as boot disk when installing a 64-bit operating system. Compared to competitors, MSI 3TB+ Infinity is an industry-leading technology which substantially presents an advantage of development and application in the future.
    Features
    - All the latest 3TB hard drivers on the market can be supported
    - Make the 3TB hard drive as boot disk when installing a 64-bit operating system

 

 

All information courtesy of MSI @ http://us.msi.com/product/mb/Z68A-GD80--G3-.html#/?div=Overview




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Motherboard)
  3. Closer Look: Programs and Utilities
  4. Closer Look: BIOS
  5. Specifications & Features
  6. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  7. Testing: Apophysis, WinRar, Geekbench, Bibble 5
  8. Testing: Office 2007, POVray
  9. Testing: Sisoft Sandra 2011
  10. Testing: ScienceMark, Cinebench, HD Tune
  11. Testing: PCMark 7
  12. Testing: Aliens vs. Predator
  13. Testing: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  14. Testing: Sid Maiers Civilization V
  15. Testing: Futuremark 3DMark 11
  16. Testing: LucidLogix Virtu, Smart Response Technology
  17. Conclusion
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