Not long ago we saw Intel’s introduction of Ivy Bridge, and there was good and bad, if you could call it that. The good being a more efficient processor using Intel’s new Tri-Gate 3D transistors and 22nm shrink of the die, while the bad was that the chips generated considerably more heat. We also saw a small increase in performance over Ivy’s older Gen. 2 processors codenamed Sandy Bridge. For those not familiar with Intel’s Tick Tock strategy, Intel initiated a development plan that generates a Tick; The development of a new silicon, while increasing transistor density every other year and a Tock; Engineering new micro-architecture on the flip side. The two alternate every other year so Sandy Bridge brought the "tock", while Ivy Bridge keeps the clock "tick"ing.
Prior to Ivy Bridge, MSI released their Z77A-GD65 motherboard and we had nothing but great things to say about the GD65. It performed as good as any product we tested and hit 5.2GHz on our Sandy Bridge 2600K. The motherboard boasted enthusiast features at lower price tier so we saw a phenomenal bang for the buck but since Ivy Bridge had not hit our lab at that point, we did not have the opportunity to see the beast unleashed.
That was then and this is now, as we have a very similar board, the MSI Z77A-GD55 in our lab, and we also have the chance to compare Sandy Bridge with Ivy Bridge this time around. Can the GD55 match the prowess we saw in the GD65? Let’s get the Z77A-GD55 on the test bench and find out.
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