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MSI Z68A-GD80 Revision G3 Review



Testing this Z68 chipset motherboard will include a run through the OCC test suite of benchmarks that include both synthetic benchmarks and real world applications to see how this board performs in relation other Z68 boards. The gaming tests will also include a couple of synthetic benchmarks and actual game play to see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The test system received a fully updated fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64it edition and used the latest drivers for each board and the latest AMD Catayst drivers for the HD 6970.

Testing Setup: Intel Core i5/i7 Socket 1155


Comparison Boards:

  • ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty
  • ASUS P8Z68-V
  • ASUS P8Z68-V PRO
  • ASUS P8X68 Deluxe



Overclocked Settings:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K 105.6 x 47  4961MHz

Putting the screws to the MSI Z68A-GD80 G3 gave me almost identical overclocking results as the B3 revision did. No surprise there! The way to the promised land is through adjustments of the bclock, clock multiplier, vcore, and turbo boost settings. The CPU I am using needs the PLL overvoltage option enabled to reach a multiplier greater than 44 and really does not care to run over 47. But it is tolerant of increasing the bclock at higher multipliers. On this board, that equated to a bclock 105.6MHz. The vcore needed to get to 4.96GHz on this chip is in the 1.48 to 1.49 range, depending on the board and how the Load Line calibration options are structured to manage the vdroop. In this case, a setting of 1.485v in the BIOS would show as 1.472 under load. As is the case with the Sandy Bridge platform on the P67 and Z68 chipset motherboards, most of the other voltage settings can be left on auto. Pretty simple when you get down to it with the max clock speed attainable limited by your CPU and cooling solution. Making overclocking simple with their one touch OC Genie hardware-based overclocking tool is one thing MSI has worked at perfecting. I have to say MSI has a winner with this revision. Even though the results are conservative at just about 4.2GHz, the result is a Prime 95 and 3D stable overclock without extra tuning. If all you want is a quick and easy boost, this tool will get you there. Just make sure the cooling solution employed is up to the task.



Maximum Clock Speed:

Each CPU and motherboard has been tested for stability at the clock speeds listed when in an overclocked state. These clock speeds will be used to run the test suite and will provide the performance difference increase over the stock settings in the overclocked scoring.




  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. Bibble 5
  3. WinRAR
  4. Geekbench
  5. Office 2007
  6. POV Ray 3.7
  7. PCMark 7
  8. Sandra XII
  9. ScienceMark 2.02
  10. Cinebench 10
  11. Cinebench 11.5
  12. HD Tune 4.60
  • Video:
  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  2. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  3. Civilization V
  4. 3DMark 11

  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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