MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming Reviewccokeman -
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MSI Z87-GD65 Introduction:
Having just looked at the performance delivered by the Intel DZ87KLT-75 in the Intel Core i7 4770K launch article, it's going to be interesting to see what the aftermarket has brought to the table that trumps what we can get directly out of Intel's house. MSI Gaming series motherboard fit comfortably in the middle of the product stack as far as pricing and feature set go. However, the feature set is decidedly not low end but quite top shelf. MSI's Z87-GD65 is a full featured motherboard built around Intel's Z87 PCH and LGA socket 1150 Core series processors. The Z87-GD65 features support for multiple graphics solutions, is equipped with a Realtek ALC 1150 sound solution featuring a dedicated headphone amp, Killer E2200 network solution, and a great cooling package.
Priced at $189, it offers a lot for the money but the key is how well does it perform? A board can look great from a distance, or even up close, and still not have the ability to impress as far as performance metrics are concerned. Let's take the Z87-GD 65 for a spin to see if it can deliver performance to go along with the looks.
MSI Z87-GD65 Closer Look:
What we get from MSI in terms of packaging is a bold new look that seeks to grab the attention of the consumer with bold black and red graphics. On the front panel is a large tribal-style dragon emblem with the name of the motherboard "Z87-GD65 Gaming," that it supports 4th generation Intel Core series processors, and features the Intel Z87 chipset as well as a Killer Network E2200 built-in NIC. The large red Gaming series shield is added eye candy. The gold emblem at the top of the package puts the three-year MSI warranty out front so you know going into the purchase the warranty period available to you should you have something go wrong. The back side follows the front theme but illustrates the added value feature set included on the Z87-GD65 Gaming. You get Audio Boost that uses gold contacts on the connection points, a headphone amplifier, and EMI shielding along with high quality audio caps. Creative Labs software is used to enhance the experience, while the Killer E2200 NIC and software package can tailor your Internet usage to the scenario. Military Class IV component selection is used and meets MIL-STD-810G. Multi GPU support is included so you do not have to choose to run a single GPU, as both CrossfireX and SLI are supported, and last but not least a PS/2 port is included.
Internally the MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming sits in the top section of the box so it is the first item that comes into view for added visual excitement. Underneath in two sections are the supplied accessories, both hardware and documentation portions are included there. The documentation includes a user guide, sales brochure, software user guide, and the driver/utility disk. A door hanger is included so you can warn the family to stay out when you are busy "Gaming" while the Gaming series case badge is fairly substantial so you can show your allegiance. The hardware consists of two pairs of SATA 6Gbps cables with 90 degree ends, the I/O shield, SLI bridge connection, V-Check adapters, and the M-Connections that really make putting the front panel wiring in place so much easier.
Just looking at the feature set I am intrigued with what MSI is bringing to the table with this new series of motherboards.