MSI Z68A GD65 G3 Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

MSI Z68A GD65 (G3) Review

Introduction

There has been a lot of talk about the benefits and drawbacks of the Gen3 motherboards. The only one we've seen so far is the Gigabyte Sniper which was a genuine Gen3 motherboard and today we take a look at another technologically stuffed board in the guise of the MSI Z68A GD65 G3. Quite a lengthy title.

The last GD65 we looked at was the P67 version and, at first glance, they are identical. Of course with the Z68 chipset being an evolution of the P67, and the LGA1155 socket still being in place, there wont be many changes.

So what does the Gen3 bring to the table? Largely it's the inclusion of PCIe 3.0 which provides double the bandwidth of PCIe 2.0 and should give us benefits even with our test GTX570. When genuine PCIe 3.0 graphics cards arrive we'll obviously see how great it is, but for the moment we'll focus on finding out if the extra bandwidth can give us any 'free' performance.

We've discussed in a previous article the accuracy or not of Ivy Bridge compatibility with UEFI BIOS so that angle shall remain in that article as without Ivy Bridge chips to hand we wont know either way.

So at half the price of the Sniper 2 does this deliver?

Technical Specifications

Besides the inclusion of the 3rd Generation PCI Express slots this is a fairly standard Z68 board with a focus on performance over frippery.

Socket 1155
CPU (Max Support) i3/i5/i7
FSB/BCLK/Hyper Transport Bus 100MHz
Chipset Intel® Z68 (B3)
DDR3 Memory
DDR3 1066/1333/1600*/2133*(OC)
DDR2 Memory N/A
Memory Channel Dual
DIMM Slots 4
Max Memory (GB) 32
PCI-Ex16 2
PCI-E Gen Gen3 (1x16, 1x8)
PCI-Ex4 N/A
PCI-Ex1 3
PCI 2
IDE N/A
SATAIII 4
SATAII 4
RAID 0/1/5/10
LAN 10/100/1000*1
TPM 1
USB 3.0 ports (Rear) 2
USB 2.0 ports (Rear) 4
Audio ports (Rear) 6+Coaxial / Optical SPDIF
eSATA N/A
VGA 1
HDMI 1
DVI 1
VGA Max Share Memory (MB) 1024
DirectX DX10.1
Form Factor ATX
DrMOS Y
APS Y
Sideport Memory N/A
SLI Y
3-way SLI N/A
Hybrid SLI N/A
CrossFire Y
Hybrid CrossFire N/A
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Most Recent Comments

28-09-2011, 05:19:45

tinytomlogan
With the Gen3 technologies starting to appear on motherboards, we take a look at the GD65 from MSI.



Continue Reading

28-09-2011, 05:43:34

SieB
Good to see the Gen3's are starting to come out now. The GD65-G3 seems a pretty decent board and just shows how overpriced the Sniper 2 is.

The GD65-G3 might not look as good but it doesn't look bad and performance wise, at half the price, it's not far off the Sniper 2 either nothing worth spending another 150 for anyway.

Also, I have probs with my Steelseries Xai in the BIOS of my P8P67 I have to use the keyboard, I think UEFI doesn't like some gaming mice

28-09-2011, 06:40:40

murphy7801
Would be nice could test some of the Asrock gen3's ?

28-09-2011, 06:43:56

VonBlade
Quote:
Originally Posted by murphy7801 View Post

Would be nice could test some of the Asrock gen3's ?
Last I heard they were planning to send us one, so watch this space.

28-09-2011, 08:24:11

murphy7801
Quote:
Originally Posted by VonBlade View Post

Last I heard they were planning to send us one, so watch this space.
Good! then full sweep of all the gens 3 on the market.

28-09-2011, 09:17:06

Murdolator
Interesting, i've been trying to shortlist some Gen 3 motherboards for my upgrade so it's nice to see some performance results.

Shame the overclock wasn't too great but overall performance for the price seems reasonable.

28-09-2011, 11:53:24

murphy7801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murdolator View Post

Interesting, i've been trying to shortlist some Gen 3 motherboards for my upgrade so it's nice to see some performance results.

Shame the overclock wasn't too great but overall performance for the price seems reasonable.
Thought the performance for the price is fair the looks are little dull.

28-09-2011, 12:43:08

Murdolator
Quote:
Originally Posted by murphy7801 View Post

Thought the performance for the price is fair the looks are little dull.
True, it's certainly not the nicest looking board. But worth considering for a windowless build perhaps.

The asrock board probably has it beat looks wise, be interesting to see how they compare performance wise, since i don't think there is too much difference in price right now between this and the extreme 4 gen 3 board.

And i think Asus have possibly just thrown some Gen 3 boards into the mix too.

29-09-2011, 09:59:49

murphy7801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murdolator View Post

True, it's certainly not the nicest looking board. But worth considering for a windowless build perhaps.

The asrock board probably has it beat looks wise, be interesting to see how they compare performance wise, since i don't think there is too much difference in price right now between this and the extreme 4 gen 3 board.

And i think Asus have possibly just thrown some Gen 3 boards into the mix too.
Well asrock was created by asus and still hold majority ownership by long way so Iv always wondered if they use asrock as a Petri dish for new tech. Also the asrock extreme 4 and 3 look rather nice to me hopefully they perform well because want I liked use one for a htpc.

29-09-2011, 16:39:50

clone38
This board runs my 2600k @4.5ghz 1.29v its my first MSI and so far i like it bios needs a bit of work they are updating it every week or so now so it will get there in the end

15-10-2011, 05:26:44

Steamy
Planning a look at the new ASUS P8Z68-V Pro (etc.,) GEN3 MB's? Would be interested to know your findings as I have an eye on one of these.
Reply
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