Archive Home arrow Reviews: arrow Motherboards arrow MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA1155 Motherboard
MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA1155 Motherboard E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by David Ramsey   
Saturday, 07 April 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA1155 Motherboard
Intel Z77 Express Chipset
Closer Look: MSI Z77 Motherboard
Z77A-GD65 Detailed Features
MSI ClickBIOS II and Control Center
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Extreme Edition Tests
PCMark Vantage Tests
CINEBENCH R11.5 Benchmarks
CPU-Dependent 3D Gaming
Media Encoding Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
SPECapc Lightwave
Blender and POV-Ray
Intel Native USB 3.0
Lucid Virtu MVP
Overclocking and Final Thoughts
MSI Z77A-GD65 Conclusion

Z77A-GD65 Detailed Features

Like the Z68 chipset, the Z77 supports the integrated GPU of modern Intel processors. What video ports a board provides are up to the vendor; MSI provides VGA, DVI, and HDMI outputs, any two of which may be used simultaneously. Starting from the left, there's a combination PS/2 port for a mouse or keyboard, two USB 2.0 sockets, the Clear CMOS button, RCA and optical audio outputs, two more USB 2.0 ports and the HDMI connector, a gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 3.0 connectors, the VGA and DVI ports, and last a standard analog audio panel.

msi_Z77a-gd65_io_ports.jpg

At the bottom edge of the board are the front panel audio connector, a system fan connector, the Trusted Platform Module connector, the Voice Genie connector (for an optional voice control module), the MSI split front panel connectors JFP2 and JFP1, and the IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connector.

msi_Z77a-gd65_lower_left1.jpg

Continuing along the edge of the board we see three USB connectors, the first of which has a red interior. This "Super Charger" connector can provide 1.5 amps, triple the normal USB current rating, for charging iPads and other high-current devices. Above the USB connectors are the two BIOS chips and a switch to select which one will be used the next time you boot, a nice feature. Finally there's a two-digit POST code readout. MSI provides a list of POST codes and what they mean in the manual, but oddly omit the "everything's running OK" code of "A0". (Actually, according to the reviewer's guide it's supposed to show the CPU temperature after boot...maybe in a future BIOS update!)

msi_Z77a-gd65_lower_left2.jpg

At the front of the board, next to the main ATX power connector, are plug-ins for the supplied voltage probe wires. If you don't trust the BIOS readouts of your various voltages (and many overclockers don't), you can connect your own instruments and directly measure the voltage applied to the integrated GPU, CPU core, CPU uncore, memory, and Z77 chipset. At the corner of the board are power, reset, and OC Genie buttons.

msi_Z77a-gd65_power_button.jpg

At the very right edge of this image is a row of very small LEDs which light up in sequence as more power phases are used. When your system's idling, only two or three will be lit; under load, all of them will light up.

msi_Z77a-gd65_phase_leds.jpg

Eight SATA ports are divided into two Intel 6Gb/s ports (two rightmost ports, in white), four Intel 3Gb/s ports (black), and two 6Gb/s ports from the Asmedia AMS 1061 controller (two leftmost ports, in white). Just to the right is the internal USB 3.0 connector, which is driven from the Z77 chipset.

msi_Z77a-gd65_sata_ports.jpg

MSI's motherboard seems to have a good basic set of features. Let's take quick look at the BIOS.



 

Comments 

 
# Mistaken Video Portshookems 2012-04-09 12:16
The third video port is an HDMI not Display Port. Otherwise great review.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: Mistaken Video PortDavid Ramsey 2012-04-09 13:12
Oh, good catch! I've edited the specifications to reflect this.
Report Comment
 
 
# priceTHUMPer 2012-04-11 12:29
Price is now 169 on newegg.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA1155 Motherboardwrong 2012-04-21 09:11
The board has PCI-E 3.0 not 2.0
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA1155 MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2012-04-21 10:00
No, it doesn't. The Z77 express chipset provides eight PCI E2 .0 lanes. In the very near future it may be possible to install a processor that provides PCIE 3.0 lanes, but not as of the time of this review.
Report Comment
 
 
# great & complete reviewdawgamerhybrid 2012-04-25 04:08
Thx for the great review, ive been "building" my ultimate hybrid system since before the z68 got released and i still didnt pull the trigger :). Would i merrit from waiting for another brand's (asus, gigabyte,...) z77 release to compare with the msi... or should i just pull that trigger allready, questions questions... The fact that it doesnt yet have native pci 3.0 kinda dissapoints me. Also i'm quite shure that after a few bios updates the z77 gd65 will perform above par in comparison to the z68a gd65 which allready had a ton of modifications.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: great & complete reviewDavid Ramsey 2012-04-25 07:23
No Z77 motherboard will ever have "native" PCI-E 3.0. The PCI-E 3.0 lines are provided by the Ivy Bridge CPU.
Report Comment
 
 
# extra cashcolman 2012-09-25 09:11
is this mobo worth the extra cash u pay over the MSI Z77A-G45
Report Comment
 
 
# HELP!!!Martin Rønning 2012-10-21 13:44
I have a problem!
I try OC but when Windows starts up, my computer just stops in the loading Screen for windows....
Same if i use OC-genie
And sometimes it appear a2 in right bottom corner on the screen (rest is black)
My computer specs:
I7-3770K Intel prosessor
MSI z77a-gd65 motherboard
H100 cpu cooling (corsair)
12GB ram Dominator GT / ram fan (corsair)
MSI hd r6800 series HAWK
And i got a H2Go case from MountainMods.com
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: HELP!!!David Ramsey 2012-10-21 13:49
My only guess would be that your overclocked settings in OC Genie are too high. Try loading the defaults in the BIOS before using OC Genie, and then checking the "My OC Genie" page to make sure the settings are reasonable.
Report Comment
 
 
# HELP!!!Martin Rønning 2012-10-21 23:09
Il test it when Im home.
Im crossing my fingers :P
Report Comment
 
 
# PCIx16?Drnkbeer 2012-11-26 08:33
Now MSI is being sneaky and not informing people that they decide to put a second GFX in the 2nd PCI-E 3.0 port it would be reduced to 8x as would the original 16x. Which to me seems ridiculous. Was tempted to get a Mobo that would SLI but if the main card gets reduced what the hell is the point? Does anyone know of any motherboards that can run two video cards at 16x PCI-E 2.0, with 1155 and can accept 1600 DDR3 RAM?
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: PCIx16?David Ramsey 2012-11-26 10:20
Several comments:

1. This is true of ANY Z67/Z68/Z77 motherboard except high-end boards with PLX chips. You've only got 16 PCI-E lanes from the CPU, so provisioning 2 x16 slots is impossible without extra hardware.

2. If you're using an Ivy Bridge chip, you've got PCI-E 3.0 lanes with twice the bandwidth as PCI-E 2.0 lanes, so those two x8 slots are the equivalent of two x16 slots if you're using a PCI-E 3.0 compliant graphics card.

3. But even if you're running Sandy Bridge CPU and older graphics cards, guess what? Nothing out there saturates 8 PCI-E lanes anyway, so games won't play one FPS slower on a 2x8 SLI or Crossfire system than they would on a 2x16 system.

But if you want to spend extra money, yes, there are many LGA1155 motherboard that can supply 2x16: ASUS Maximum V Extreme, ASUS P8Z77-WS, ASUS P8Z77-V Premium; EVGA Z77 FTW. MSI doesn't seem to have any boards like this, but again, unless you're running triple or quad cards, you don't really need a board with a PLX chip.
Report Comment
 
 
# Black screenJOHN 2012-12-26 09:59
Bios update failed.. blank screen, anybody knows how to restore bios,, have blank screen, I try to reset removing battery and clear cmos and nothing happen, is another way to do it>>>???
Report Comment
 

Comments have been disabled by the administrator.

Search Benchmark Reviews
QNAP Network Storage Servers

Follow Benchmark Reviews on FacebookReceive Tweets from Benchmark Reviews on Twitter