After the P67 chipset flaw debacle, Intel has been very quick to remedy the situation, so the B3 Stepping boards are now shipping and users are jumping back onto the Sandy Bridge wagon. Don’t let that isolated issue make you second guess the Sandy Bridge platform; it is a performance behemoth. And the MSI motherboard is perfectly suited to take advantage of that.
It seems MSI has really taken the time and effort to push things to the next level, and it really shows here on the board. The details that make a difference have been carefully considered and addressed, and the layout is very good overall with only a few minor niggles, such as the 8-pin power connector positioned away from the board’s edge and rotated 90 degrees. There is also no 3-way graphics card setup available, but for those who don’t have money to burn, the P67A-GD65 will do just fine.
There are a few niggles though. The groundbreaking UEFI BIOS, decades overdue, is a welcome addition but MSI’s graphical interface is over the top, and the functionality is rather cumbersome. A good streamlining would work wonders.
The auto overclocking OC Genie is extremely simple and effective for novices who may be apprehensive about overclocking and touching the voltages. OC Genie has been a ground-breaking innovation for MSI, but the competition has caught up. ASUS has dynamic adjustment and ASRock has presets, and both offered higher auto overclocking results in our testing. MSI still puts a beatdown on Gigabyte who really hasn’t grasped the importance of auto overclocking and really has nothing to show. That being said, OC Genie is the easiest to use amongst all manufacturers, and with only a push of a button, beginners needn’t even venture into the BIOS at all. Manual overclocking is a bit clunky with the BIOS layout and will take quite a bit more time to squeeze the maximum out of your system.
MSI has aggressively priced the P67A-GD65 at $180 USD. The competition below this pricing level isn’t up to snuff and MSI simply crushes the likes of Gigabyte and Biostar. Priced above this are impressive boards from ASUS and ASRock, but they’ll set you back at least $30 more. The P67A-GD65 really has no equal in this price range, offering an excellent combination of features and performance. It does have a few drawbacks, but they are minor, and really don’t detract from what is otherwise an excellent value. The P67A-GD65 isn’t tops in features or performance but it’s a great board for the price.