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MSI Z68A-GD80-G3 (Intel Z68) Motherboard Review

MSI expand their motherboard line-up with the new "G3" versions which bring with them PCIe support. Let's check out the Z68A-GD80-G3 today.
By Shawn Baker from Sep 7, 2011 @ 10:40 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: MSI





The introduction of PCIe 3.0 has done almost what your normal new chipset would do when it comes to the motherboard market. We've seen companies start releasing a new flock of motherboards supporting PCIe 3.0. Unfortunately we're still yet to see anything really make use of it, but at least we're prepared for the next iteration of CPUs from Intel and GPUs from AMD who have hinted at PCIe 3.0, and hopefully NVIDIA too.


What's funny about MSI is that they've been pushing the whole "Worlds 1st" thing when it comes to the release of their Gen 3 boards. To be honest, while I actually heard about them jumping on PCIe 3.0 before anyone else, ASRock actually released both a press release and samples before MSI did.


Don't get me started on the whole "Words 1st" thing, though, after the "World's first true gaming laptop" from Razer. I'm not even going to start talking about my feelings on a non SSD wielding, non-highest end GPU and $2,800 US price tag "gaming laptop". Anyway, that's nor here or there; instead let's just check out what's going on with this new motherboard from MSI.


The first thing we'll do is get stuck into the package to see what MSI are offering us, then we'll take the time to have a closer look at the board itself before we get into the BIOS and check out the newly released ClickBIOS II. Once that's done, it's time to do some overclocking before we get into the performance side of things.



The Package










We've got a fairly typical box setup from MSI here which opens up and gives us a wealth of information in regards to the main features.




As for the bundle itself, we've got the normal line up of paperwork and a driver CD. We've also got four SATA cables, Molex to SATA power connector, SLI Bridge and Rear I/O panel to round out the normal kind of connectors.




As far as extras go, we've got a USB 3.0 header that has two USB 3.0 ports on it. Along with that, we've got some quick headers to make connecting everything up a bit easier along with four little connectors that are used on the voltage check points that you'll see in the coming pages.

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