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MSI Z68A-GD80 Review



Testing the Z68 chipset based 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 to the P67 based comparison board. 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 64bit edition and used the latest drivers for each board and the latest AMD Catayst drivers for the HD 5870.

Testing Setup: Intel Core i5/i7 Socket 1155


Comparison Boards:

  • ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
  • ASUS P8P67
  • ASUS Maximus IV Extreme
  • ECS P67H2-A
  • Intel DP67BG
  • MSI P67A-GD65




Overclocked Settings:

  • Processor: Intel core i7 2600K at 105.5 X 47 4966 Mhz
  • Motherboard: MSI Z68A GD80

Overclocking the MSI Z68A GD80 is in reality the same as overclocking the MSI P67A GD65. The same tools are used and in the end I came up with a slightly better overclock than I did on the P67A GD65 (by about 80MHz). To get to this level I worked exclusively in the Click BIOS and made adjustments to the CPU core voltage, memory voltage and for the most part, left the balance of the voltages on auto. When I did this though, I found that at the maximum clock speed the CPU would start throttling. By adjusting the "Long Duration power limit" from 95 to 110 I was able to eliminate the throttling. This gave me a good 4.96GHz clock speed that proves stable when the CPU is kept cool enough. Playing around in the BIOS is not the only way to overclock an MSI motherboard. MSI's Control Center application can be used from within the Windows environment and adjustments that can be applied without rebooting. Or if a hands off approach is required, the OC Genie again proves to be reliable for a nice overclock. In this case, a bump up to just about 4.2GHz with nothing more than the push of a button. Each time I have tried this application the results have been positive. Each time proving to be not only stable but Prime 95 stable. One button, One second, One great result.



Maximum Clock Speed:

Each CPU 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 Vantage Professional
  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. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  3. Batman Arkham Asylum
  4. 3DMark Vantage

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: MSI Z68A-GD80
  3. Closer Look: Included Programs
  4. Closer Look: The BIOS
  5. Specifications & Features
  6. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  7. Testing: Apophysis, WinRar, GeekBench, Bibble 5
  8. Testing: Office 2007, POV Ray
  9. Testing: SiSoft Sandra 2011
  10. Testing: ScienceMark, Cinebench, HD Tune
  11. Testing: Aliens vs. Predator
  12. Testing: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  13. Testing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  14. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  15. Testing: IGP, Virtu, SSD Caching
  16. Conclusion
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