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MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming (Intel Z87) Motherboard Review

By: Shawn Baker | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Sep 16, 2013 2:01 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: MSI

MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming Motherboard




Taking a look at the motherboard, you can see the black and red color scheme, which matches the packaging. You can also see the dragon logo which is associated with the Gaming Series name on a heatsink towards the bottom right corner.


When it comes to the expansion slots, you can see we've got four PCIe x1 slots, along with three PCIe x16 slots. If one card is installed, the top slot will run at x16. If two cards are installed, both will run at x8. If you install three cards, the top slot will be x8, while the other two slots will run at x4.




Taking a look across the bottom of the board you can see we've got power, reset and OC Genie buttons towards the left hand side. Moving slightly over, you can see the LED debug reader that makes trouble shooting any problems easier. You can also see we've got three USB 2.0 headers and the front panel connectors.




Turning the corner, you can see we've got eight SATA III ports. Six of them run off the Intel Z87 controller, while the other two (SATA7-8) run off the ASMedia ASM 1061 chipset. To the right hand side, you can see we've got a USB 3.0 header.




Moving up towards the top of the board you can see four DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of DDR3 at speeds ranging from 1066MHz all the way up to 3000MHz DDR via overclocking. Around here you can also see the main 24-pin ATX power connector, and next to that the V-Check points, which are used in conjunction with the V-Check cables that we saw in the package on the last page.






Moving around to the CPU area, you can see the 8-pin CPU power connector and the CPU area itself, which is quite clean. Taking a closer look at the heatsink design, you can see we've got a pretty neat looking setup with a heat pipe connecting the two heat sinks.




Before we move onto the I/O side of things, we move just below the CPU area and above the PCIe x16 slot. Here you can see that MSI has chosen to include an mSATA port, which we'll be testing out today later in this review. What's really good about this mSATA port, though, is that it's a SATA III type, which supports up to 6 Gb/s.




Finishing up with the I/O side of things, you can see we've got a combo PS/2 port, along with two USB 2.0 connectors. Continuing to move across we have a clear CMOS button, Optical and Coaxial Out, which along with the six Auxiliary ports at the end of the board all run off the Realtek ALC1150 codec.


Video out options come from VGA and DVI-D, along with a HDMI port sitting a little further along. Gigabit networking is provided via the Killer E2205 controller and rounding things off you can see we've got a total of four USB 3.0 connectors.

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