As we draw closer to the November launch of the Sandy Bridge-E platform, we get the chance to check out some of the new motherboards that are due to coincide with the launch. Due to NDA, we can't get too specific on CPUs, nor can we talk about anything performance related. We seem to have the ability to tell you a fair bit about the board, though.
So, in following our normal preview style, we'll check out the MSI X79A-GD65 today and see what we've got to look forward to come November. Apparently I can't be specific about a launch date, but let's be honest, we all have a fairly good idea of when it's due.
So what's our normal preview style? - Well, we'll check out the box and the package of the board. Once that's done we'll take a closer look at the board itself and go through some of the main features that are on offer. There are some things we can't cover, but there's a lot we can.
Once we've done all that, we'll wrap everything up a little bit while we wait for the official NDA to lift and we can start to have a really good time with the new platform. But first, let's see what's going on with the package.
The packaging was one of the first things that took my attention as we see MSI move away from that white / reflective package. Instead, we've just got a darker black one here which looks pretty good. It's worth noting that we're dealing with the "GD65" here today and not the higher end "GD80" that we normally see from MSI. At launch it seems we'll only see the "GD65" with a "GD80" probably coming in the near future.
Turning the box over, we've got a bunch of details in regards to the main features that are on offer including mainly MSI specific ones. Things like OC Genie II and Click BIOS II are present along with a push on those "Military Class III" components MSI promote.
Moving inside the box, we've got the normal line-up of paperwork (albeit the final paperwork will have the new Military Class III branding seen on the CD) and the certificate of quality and stability. Along with all that, we've also got the normal Driver CD which includes a couple of MSI utilities as well.
The cable department is pretty full on; we've got a total of five SATA cables, two Molex to SATA connectors and a Molex to dual SATA connector. We've got a single SLI bridge installed and of course the normal I/O back plate.
As far as extras go, we've got two back plates; one for eSATA and the other consists of two USB 3.0 ports. We've also got some connectors for making plugging in your front panel stuff easier along with our little connectors for the voltage check points that are clearly going to be present on the board.