MSI P67A-GD65 Motherboard Review

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MSI P67A-GD65 Review

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The box is standard MSI fare with their quality components "Military Class II" classification dominating the box.

Once open the accessories bundle has all the bits you'd expect. SATA leads, IO shield, manuals for both the motherboard and the included utility disc. The utilities are comprehensive containing monitoring, overclocking, updating, and a wealth of other features in an easily installed, small footprint package.

MSI P67A-GD65 Review     MSI P67A-GD65 Review  

The board itself follows the modern MSI colour scheme of black and dark blue plastics with gun-metal hardware. It looks very classy although it's visually strange to not have the standard chipset cooler below the CPU socket.

PCI arrangement is fine with plenty of space between the two main PCIe slots. It's, as I said on the previous page, odd to see three PCIe x1 sockets and 2 legacy PCI ones on such a modern board. Sure the GD65 isn't the top-end model, but if MSI are going for the masses then why hasn't it got an IDE socket?

MSI P67A-GD65 Review     MSI P67A-GD65 Review  

The bottom right hand corner has the on-board buttons for overclocking out of the case, and of course the magical OC Genie button itself. Just above the OC Genie is the JFP1 which is actually the front panel connectors. We laud Gigabyte regularly for their use of a colour-coded one, but to see one without even a plastic surround is perhaps a step too far in the other direction for our tastes.

Around the DIMM sockets we have the ATX24 pin as we'd expect and also a place for your probes if you're a high-end overclocker wanting more accurate monitoring of your motherboard. It's nice to see a couple of fan headers out here too which makes cable routing for your intake fans much simpler.

MSI P67A-GD65 Review     MSI P67A-GD65 Review  

The CPU socket has plenty of room around it for even the largest cooler, although if you've got tall RAM and a big cooler the DIMM sockets are too close to be able to use both. Thankfully modern RAM doesn't really need the oversized heat-sinks any more. The down-slope of the MSI power circuitry heat-sinks are incredibly polished.

MSI P67A-GD65 Review     MSI P67A-GD65 Review

MSI have provided plenty of SATA headers for your storage needs and thankfully we haven't got any of those silly vertical ones.

Around the back is all you'd expect these days, including USB 3.0, e-SATA and a combined PS2 port. It's nice to see the CMOS clear switch located somewhere easy to get hold of too, for reasons we'll get to on the next page.

MSI P67A-GD65 Review     MSI P67A-GD65 Review

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Most Recent Comments

31-01-2011, 05:06:43

tinytomlogan
Following their success with their P55 series of boards, can MSI continue that brilliance with the P67s?

Continue Reading

31-01-2011, 05:21:41

Aurus_OC
I am pretty disappointed by the results of this board. I expected it to be a great board at that price level. Well maybe next time MSI.

31-01-2011, 06:19:33

PCTwin
lol. 28.8Ghz.

31-01-2011, 06:20:58

Aurus_OC
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCTwin View Post

lol. 28.8Ghz.
I just can't understand why it wouldn't boot at those speeds??

31-01-2011, 06:42:31

SnW

So perhaps the truly brilliant OC Genie will be the solution to the poor stock performance?



If it works as good as it does on my P55-GD65 then weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

I finally thought MSI was going good in the mobo section yet this is pretty disappointing to me

EDIT i must be fair i also hear people using it and its perfectly fine,

i guess my luck comes in again....

31-01-2011, 07:16:26

Zeals
I feel crushed I read in all these other sites about how awesome it was, but after seeing this I feel bitterly disappointed as well as being confused how it fared to badly here.

EDIT: Quite a few people seem to get 4.2GHz clock, so I guess MSI is being extremely conservative, in case someone got a half completed chip or something.

31-01-2011, 07:56:44

VonBlade
Speaking personally rather than as an OC3D Reviewer, MSI were my manufacturer of last year. Their AM3 and 1156 boards were insanely good so trust me when I say I'm as disappointed as you all were.

We have to review as we find, and it was just a bit.. meh.

31-01-2011, 07:56:49

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeals View Post

I feel crushed I read in all these other sites about how awesome it was, but after seeing this I feel bitterly disappointed as well as being confused how it fared to badly here.

EDIT: Quite a few people seem to get 4.2GHz clock, so I guess MSI is being extremely conservative, in case someone got a half completed chip or something.
The point in auto clicking is it is meant to work out the best clock for your chip not just stick everything at the same clock

The board isnt 'bad' just that it isnt a great as it should have been.

31-01-2011, 08:11:54

THD
Thanks for another great review.

Real dissapointment on the results, I had this at top of my list for my new system. Gues i'm gonna have to wait untill another midrange board gets a good (overclock)review.

Or untill MSI can make the 28 GHZ work

31-01-2011, 08:14:32

marsey99
just to play devils advocate here, was you expecting greatness as standard on all msi boards based on last years findings?

its a lower end board so lesser results are to be expected vs some of the others. im happy you was honest and open about your findings but i got the feeling as i read it you was harsh on it because you expected more.

imo (and thats all it is) is i think people are wanting ocing to get too easy, it used to be about soldering bits on to pcb and fiddling with jumpers, then it all went into the bios and now we have fancy gui and 1 button ocing. pfft kids today dont know they are born xD

also, long live pci!! my xfi still kicks arse

31-01-2011, 08:29:00

VonBlade
Yes indeed we were expecting greatness, but we aren't harsh on something just because we expected it to be good.

The results are what they are, and then we review based upon that. In this case although the overclocked results were disappointing if the stock benchmarks had held out we'd have happily accepted it as being potentially great and possibly hindered by the flaky BIOS.

As it is either our test CPU is abysmal, or the MSI just doesn't perform as well as the other boards we've tested. Sure one button overclocking is nice, but if a 4.2GHz overclock gives the same results as a stock chip on other motherboards, it's tough to come to any conclusion other than poor performance.

We always make sure we consider each product on its merits, and not against what has gone before. Otherwise you end up in this hell-hole of "well I remember when a 486DX2-66 was brilliant" (personally my first PC was a 386-SX16).

31-01-2011, 08:46:26

SnW
Quote:
Originally Posted by marsey99 View Post

just to play devils advocate here, was you expecting greatness as standard on all msi boards based on last years findings?

its a lower end board so lesser results are to be expected vs some of the others. im happy you was honest and open about your findings but i got the feeling as i read it you was harsh on it because you expected more.

imo (and thats all it is) is i think people are wanting ocing to get too easy, it used to be about soldering bits on to pcb and fiddling with jumpers, then it all went into the bios and now we have fancy gui and 1 button ocing. pfft kids today dont know they are born xD

also, long live pci!! my xfi still kicks arse
That's not really true as they where getting into the mobo game pretty good !

also don't think Tom was expecting more...

31-01-2011, 10:25:59

killablade
The results are strange to say the least. I don't think any of the other reviews I read showed similar results. Maybe you just got a bad sample? O.o

Tbh I think an improved bios would to the board a world of good.

31-01-2011, 14:25:11

Zeals
Quote:
Originally Posted by killablade View Post

The results are strange to say the least. I don't think any of the other reviews I read showed similar results. Maybe you just got a bad sample? O.o

Tbh I think an improved bios would to the board a world of good.
Well if it's a bad sample, than this could mean there are some quality control issues.

31-01-2011, 14:52:17

Bungral
I'm running this board now and can confirm that they are still ironing out the EFI BIOS as the one it shipped with (1.4 I think) was garbage.. They are now officially up to 1.6 I believe but there are plenty of other beta versions out there which make a massive differnce. All the single click and double click crapness is gone from the BIOS with the BIOS I'm running.

Haven't had a proper chance to overclock yet but I did a very quick run in at 4.5 GHz at 1.2v which went in ok before I updated the BIOS again. This new one is meant to overclock much much better.

I'll happily run a test or two again afterwards and post them in this thread with the BIOS I'm running if anyone is interested as my setup is practically the same. Running a 570 along with 4GB of 2133MHz memory.

Oh yeah, at 140 maybe not great value but I got it when the VAT back deal was going so got it for 110.

Oooo yeah one last thing... No dissin the PCI! I've still got my Xfi which I have no need or want to replace... The sound is fantastic so as long as boards support it, I'll use it

31-01-2011, 16:51:33

killablade
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungral View Post

I'm running this board now and can confirm that they are still ironing out the EFI BIOS as the one it shipped with (1.4 I think) was garbage.. They are now officially up to 1.6 I believe but there are plenty of other beta versions out there which make a massive differnce. All the single click and double click crapness is gone from the BIOS with the BIOS I'm running.

Haven't had a proper chance to overclock yet but I did a very quick run in at 4.5 GHz at 1.2v which went in ok before I updated the BIOS again. This new one is meant to overclock much much better.

I'll happily run a test or two again afterwards and post them in this thread with the BIOS I'm running if anyone is interested as my setup is practically the same. Running a 570 along with 4GB of 2133MHz memory.

Oh yeah, at 140 maybe not great value but I got it when the VAT back deal was going so got it for 110.

Oooo yeah one last thing... No dissin the PCI! I've still got my Xfi which I have no need or want to replace... The sound is fantastic so as long as boards support it, I'll use it
I'm definitely interested in those results as I'm still interested in buying this board + 2500k if I can get the money (all depends on my birthday )

31-01-2011, 19:08:49

Bungral
No probs.. I'll probably look to do it maybe on Thursday as I'm working late all this week. If not then Sunday night.

Any pref as to the benchies you want to see??

31-01-2011, 19:56:58

marsey99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungral View Post

No probs.. I'll probably look to do it maybe on Thursday as I'm working late all this week. If not then Sunday night.

Any pref as to the benchies you want to see??
at the risk of being a pain could you do some of those from the review but compare the bios revisions to see if thats the root of the issues here?

31-01-2011, 20:11:49

Bungral
I'll see what I can do when I get the time

01-02-2011, 03:46:42

THD
@Bungral, would love to see your results but there is no rush in light of the big new on Intel yesterday (chipset issues)

But hey maybe MSI will take the time waiting on Intel to improve this board

@ OC3D do you guys know any intresting inside facts on the Intel issues ?

01-02-2011, 05:04:32

Zeals
Quote:
Originally Posted by THD View Post

@Bungral, would love to see your results but there is no rush in light of the big new on Intel yesterday (chipset issues)

But hey maybe MSI will take the time waiting on Intel to improve this board

@ OC3D do you guys know any intresting inside facts on the Intel issues ?
Well currently all stores and manufacturers have been advised to cease shipment and sales of all motherboards. The chip flaw is only affects the the controllers of the SATA 2 ports, which are the 4 3GB/s ports. Intel currently advises that all users have devices plugged into the SATA 3 ports, since those appear to be ok. However in the event you have more devices than the available SATA 2 ports, than Intel recommends that high traffic devices; such as hard drives, should be placed on the SATA 3 ports, while CD/Blu Ray drives should be placed on the SATA 2, since those tend to have less traffic. The problem occurs that the more you use the port, errors start to occur, what normally happens in the event of an error, the controller retry sending the information, this slows the speeds, but as time goes on the errors become more and more common, resulting in even slower speeds and potentially corrupt data, and maybe even failure.

So right now if you have a Sandy Bridge motherboard, plug the devices into the SATA III ports, however if you have too many devices, make sure high traffic and more important devices are in the SATA III ports, but it's best minimalize use. In all likelihood a mass recall would probably be initiated.
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