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MSI Z87-G45 Gaming Review


MSI Z87-G45 Testing:

Testing MSI's Z87-G45 Gaming motherboard will involve running it through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which includes both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual gameplay, in which we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and the NVIDIA 320.49 driver for the new GTX 770. In the past we had locked the clock speed on the processor to eliminate any easily controlled variables due to processor speed. However there is a difference in how each manufacturer handles the CPU default and boost speeds creating opportunity for one board to deliver a higher level of performance. This variable is a point of difference between boards. The majority of users will run the stock settings making this point a valid concern so we are changing up the test methods to capture this difference.

Testing Setup: Socket 1150


Comparison Motherboard:



Overclocked settings:


Jumping into the BIOS was still a little strange to me. I'm still not a big fan of these UEFI BIOS setups, which seem less straight forward to me. The graphics were pretty, but settings were a little hard to find at first. Knowing that the highest stable OC I could push my 4770K to on the AUSU-Plus board was 4.6GHz, I was a little hopeful to get more with all the available settings in the BIOS; there seems to be a lot of control for both frequency and voltage settings. Unfortunately it didn't seem to matter which way I pushed her as 4.6GHz was the limit again. Besides the throttling at higher frequencies and the rediculous heat pouring out, the inevitable BSODs just wouldn't stay away. I was happy with the ultimate OC of 4.6GHz with only 1.3V. (Oh how I would love to pop the lid and push so much more!)

With the final tweaks out of the way it really was a simple OC, just time consuming finalizing the lowest voltage and maximum core clock. I set the vcore to override mode and upped the voltage there. Like I said before, 1.3V ended up being the sweet spot. The SA Voltage needed a little boost to allow the 4.6GHz OC to run stable; with it set on auto, it just couldn't quite keep the energy going. DRAM wasn't picky in this board, as leaving the standard memory profile on the XMP settings with everythng on auto was perfect, there was no need to up voltages for this set or do anything really special. The frequency was set hard at the 46 multiplier and booted quite nicely. After some good stability runs on Intel Burn Test v2, Prime95, and some rigorous gaming (for common use), the chip sailed smoothly without any issues. It was quite impressive considering anything more and it was a near guaranteed BSOD and failed IBT. 



Maximum Core Clock Speed:

Each CPU has been tested for stability at the listed overclocked speeds. These clock speeds will represent the level of performance shown by the overclocked scores in the testing. Just try to remember when looking at the chart below of maximum overclocks; the ASUS-Plus and G45 are results from my chip The other resulting numbers at 4.7GHz are from ccokeman's slightly more friendly ES chip. 




  • Scientific & Data:
  1. PCMark 7
  2. SiSoft Sandra 2013
  3. Cinebench 11.5
  4. X.264 5.1
  5. AIDA 64 3.00
  6. Crystal Disk Mark
  7. ATTO
  8. iPerf
  9. Rightmark Audio Analyzer
  • Gaming:
  1. 3DMark
  2. Metro: Last Light
  3. DiRT 3

  1. MSI Z87-G45 Introduction & Closer Look
  2. MSI Z87-G45 Gaming Closer Look: The Motherboard
  3. MSI Z87-G45 Closer Look: Programs & Utilities
  4. MSI Z87-G45 Closer Look: The BIOS
  5. MSI Z87-G45 Specifications & Features
  6. MSI Z87-G45 Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  7. MSI Z87-G45 Testing: PCMark 7, SiSoft Sandra 2013
  8. MSI Z87-G45 Testing: Cinebench 11.5, x264, AIDA 64
  9. MSI Z87-G45 Testing: Crystal Disk Mark, ATTO
  10. MSI Z87-G45 Testing: iPerf, RMAA
  11. MSI Z87-G45 Testing: Gaming
  12. MSI Z87-G45 Conclusion
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