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MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming Review

ccokeman    -   June 9, 2013
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MSI Z87-GD65 Conclusion:

After spending some time with the latest from MSI, I found that it has put together a comprehensive package for the gamer and enthusiast looking for a great looking, solid performing motherboard. Right out of the box you get a three-year warranty to keep you comfortable with your purchase. Really though behind the scenes it's the component selection and how well it all is integrated to deliver a product you would be proud to put into your chassis. MSI has been using components that meet or exceed MIL-STD-810G for some time as part of its Military Class build philosophy. Parts such as Super Ferrite Chokes that run at up to 35 degree Celsius lower temperatures, have a 30% higher current handling capacity, and a 20% improvement in power efficiency; Tantalum filled Hi-C Caps that are are up to 93% efficient; and  "Dark Capacitors" that feature Lower ESR and a ten-year lifespan all tied into a PCB with improved temperature and humidity protections as part of the "Military Essentials" package.

MSI's Click BIOS has evolved over the years and is a pretty fluid experience at this point. The Click BIOS is laid out in easy to navigate tabs that allow you to find what you are looking for in short order. Voltage options are granular enough to allow the enthusiast a way to effectively find and apply the best voltage for his or her processor. DRAM timings are robust enough to give the true tweaker enough settings to get lost in. The Overclocking profiles are easy to setup and name. During testing and tweaking this is an invaluable tool for getting back to square 450 without having to manage each step of the process. Just in case you hose up the BIOS, MSI has equipped the Z87-GD65 with a pair of BIOS ROMs that can be accessed with the flip of a switch. Flashing the BIOS was a simple process using M-Flash in the Click BIOS. The only reall challenge I had in the Click BIOS is the use of a RAT 3 gaming mouse that just did not navigate correctly across three different BIOS.

MSI put together a nice audio package on this board with the use of the Realtek ALC 1150 codec enhanced with Creative's Sound Blaster Cinema suite. Called Audio Boost, the sound package includes an OPA1652 headphone amplifier and high end audio capacitors. Listening to games, movies, and music was an improved experience.

Stock performance was impressive across the board when compared to the Intel solution in just about every single test, showing how well the clock speeds are dynamically managed to deliver higher performance metrics. Overclocking is a way to further drive improved performance and the Z87-GD65 is no slouch in this department, able to easily take my Core i7 4770K up to its limits with no problems. As far as the memory/clock speed ratio is concerned, MSI has the board tuning down to allow the end user the ability to get the most out of the installed memory and processor. OC results of 4.7GHz on the CPU cores running the system memory at 2600MHz illustrates that yes, your parts stand a chance at getting to the top of the Gaming charts. If tuning manually is not your style you can always use OC Genie 4 with multiple profiles to step up the performance a bit.

Getting the most out of your games requires having the graphics horsepower to play the latest games. As a gaming centric board the Z87-GD65 supports Multi GPU formats from both NVIDIA and AMD as well as taking advantage of switchable graphics technology using Lucid LogiX Virtu software.

In the end MSI's Z87-GD65 is a board that comes with an expansive feature set that includes all your basics and the extras that set them apart such as the V-Check points, upper end audio, Dual BIOS ROMs, KIller Network package, Military Class IV package, and a three-year warranty. Couple that with good looks that carry the dragon theme through the board, and you have a winning combination at $189.

 

Pros:

  • Military Class IV
  • Click BIOS
  • OC Genie 4
  • OC feature set
  • Stock performance
  • Spirited overclocking
  • Stability
  • Cooling
  • Looks
  • Audio package
  • Good looks

 

Cons:

  • Mouse support in the BIOS


 

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