MotherBoard MSI Z68A-GD65 (G3)

The G3 version of MSI’s Z68A-GD65 motherboard offers two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, and the new PCI-E 3.0 bus standard will provide twice the potential bandwidth of PCI-E 2.0 once it receives full platform support next year. And once PCI-E 3.0 cards are in the wild, the Z68A-GD65’s Pericom PI3PCIE3412 chip will support multiple Gen 3.0 cards. MSI attaches a fiveyear warranty to the Z68A-GD65 (G3), too, meaning this board could be in your
system for a long time to come. The Z68A-GD65 (G3) is one of MSI’s Military Class II motherboards, which
means that MSI uses components that are designed to provide reliability and extend the lifespan of the mainboard.
Some examples include Hi-c capacitors made with tantalum to support high temperatures and Super Ferrite Chokes
for a lower operating temperature. We also like that MSI includes voltage check points (CPU, CPU VTT, CPU graphics, DDR, and PCH) and V-Check cables, so you can attach a multimeter and measure the board’s current voltages. It’s nice that the motherboard features two PCI-E x16 3.0 slots, but we’ll note that if you install two graphics cards (both CrossFire and SLI are supported), the PCI-E x16 slots will only operate at x8 speeds. In terms of software, MSI provides no shortage of utilities for use with the motherboard. One of the most helpful options is MSI’s OC Genie II, which is a utility that can automatically overclock the CPU, integrated GPU, and memory. In our system, OC Genie II pushed our 3.4GHz Core i7-2600K to 4.2GHz. Another handy utility is Live Update 5,
which scans your PC for MSI hardware in need of updates. For example, you can configure it to automatically download motherboard drivers and BIOS updates. The Video Genie utility offers color correction and enhancement for both images and video. We enjoyed modifying system settings through the Click BIOS II interface. For example, the primary settings and overclocking options were split between two tabs to make it easy to find the controls we wanted. Commonly referenced info, such as the CPU temperature and boot device priority, are always available at the top of the interface. The Click BIOS II software can also be installed onto your PC, so you can control BIOS ettings via Windows. MSI’s Z68A-GD65 (G3) went through our benchmarks without issue. Even when we verclocked the Core i7-2600K with OC Genie II, the motherboard delivered stable performance in our most CPUand GPU-intensive tests. This high-end board also provides you with a variety of connectivity for today’s high-end hardware, and MSI’s Military Class components make it highly overclockable.

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