MSI Z68A GD65 G3 Review
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?
Besides the inclusion of the 3rd Generation PCI Express slots this is a fairly standard Z68 board with a focus on performance over frippery.
|CPU (Max Support)||i3/i5/i7|
|FSB/BCLK/Hyper Transport Bus||100MHz|
|Chipset||Intel® Z68 (B3)|
|DDR3 Memory ||DDR3 1066/1333/1600*/2133*(OC)|
|Max Memory (GB)||32|
|PCI-E Gen||Gen3 (1x16, 1x8)|
|USB 3.0 ports (Rear)||2|
|USB 2.0 ports (Rear)||4|
|Audio ports (Rear)||6+Coaxial / Optical SPDIF|
|VGA Max Share Memory (MB)||1024|