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MSI Z87A-GD65 Gaming Motherboard Review

11
Posted June 27, 2013 by Kenny in CPU & Motherboards

Rating

Price
 
 
 
 
 


Performance
 
 
 
 
 


Installation
 
 
 
 
 


Warranty
 
 
 
 
 


PureOC
 
 
 
 
 


Total Score
 
 
 
 
 


Overview

Hardware:
 
 
Price at time of Review: $187.99 on Newegg.com
 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Great Aesthetic Appeal, Overclocking Stability, Feature Rich Software
 

WHAT WE DISLIKED:

The rear panel VGA connector may be a waste, but this is a minor gripe.
 
BOTTOM LINE:
At the price of $187.99 the MSI Z87A-GD65 Gaming Edition Motherboard is both aesthetically pleasing and a rock solid performer.
Discuss in the Forum
by Kenny
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Summary

To wrap things up, the MSI Z87A-GD65 Gaming motherboard has a color scheme which didn’t change much from its previous version on the Z87 chipset motherboard. However, this is very much appreciated! This is because the new black and red theme is a huge improvement in aesthetic appeal over its older traditional classic design motherboard. Also, the dragon logo on the S/B heatsink is a great touch and gives it a unique look. We appreciated this change from MSI and hope we continue to see this going forward.

When it comes to its software package, we think that MSI included an abundance of software. The intensive software package that was available with the motherboard really made it stand out from the rest. While we won’t see all users taking advantage of everything included, we did like that it was without the additional high ticket price tag. This was especially appreciated since this board offered quite a bit of unique features such as the Killer E2200 NIC and the Sound Blaster Cinema software to enhance your experience while gaming or media playing.

For its performance, this motherboard had outstanding performance. We also had no trouble with its set-up, which was a great sign. With the 4770K, we found that our 2133MHz memory was able to run at the advertised speeds with little to no work. All we had to do was enable the XMP profiles and we were set. While in the OC sector, we had some trouble getting OC Genie to reach its advertised speed of 4.2GHz, but we quickly narrowed that down to the processor being the issue and not the motherboard.

Taking another look at its performance, the board overclocked quite nicely. While the overclocking will vary from chip to chip, the motherboard does play a big role in its overclocking stability. We didn’t have any stability issues with the MSI Z87A-GD65 Gaming Edition board up to 4.6GHz, however heat became our enemy in this sector.

With the 4770K Processor, all we had to do was find its sweet spot with speed and voltage. Once you find that, this motherboard performed rock solid.

The Z87A-GD65 Gaming Edition can be found at a price point of $187.99 on Newegg.com. This is an outstanding price for a stellar performing motherboard. Because of the features, value and performance of the MSI Z87A-GD65 Gaming Edition motherboard, it earns top billing with our PureOverclock Editors Choice Award.

MSI Z87A-GD65 Gaming Edition Motherboard – Editor’s Choice

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11 Comments


  1.  
    Stephen

    One quick question. MPower or Gamer (color scheme aside)?




    •  
      Kenny

      Hi Stephen,

      When it comes to the MPower, there are allot other factors that can come into play. The MPower does have a beefy Power Phase compared to the Gaming which will be better for overclock, however the gaming still does great as it is… also the MPower has the built in Wifi and Bluetooth. And that is just to name a few of the items, What I would do it take a look at the MPower and see if you will use all of its features. If not, the gaming edition will probably suit your needs. IMO, the gaming edition board will suite 90% of users today and comes with a great price.

      Hope that helps.




      •  
        Stephen

        Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I’m torn between theses series and the ASUS brand (their software adds a lot of value IMHO). 5 years ago I’d go Gigabyte and call it a day.




        •  
          Kenny

          Hi Stephen,

          No Problem, I can understand what you mean. The software package that is included now a days can play a role into purchasing decisions.

          I would say, over the last few years, MSI has done a great job in revamping its design and software. I currently own (on a personal level) 5 MSI Boards for both Intel and AMD platforms. Infact, my MSI AMD APU board has been one of the best I have used.

          I currently still own 2 Z77 GD65 boards and both are running my gaming systems without issues. So hope that helps you with your buying decision.

          Asus is also a great company, so I wouldn’t discount them all together, but I would compare the features and software vs pricing and see what comes out on top for you.




      •  
        pm

        How important would you say on-board WiFi is? This is really the crunch point for me. Do I pay an extra $60 to get the MPower, when the only additional feature I am likely to use is on-board WiFi?

        At the moment I am using a WiFi set up and do play online games.




        •  
          Kenny

          The Wifi on the Mpower board worked great with no issues during our testing, Wheater its’s worth it will depend on if you have the space to add on a wifi card you need with the GD65 Gaming.

          If Wifi is important factor for you, then the Mpower board will suit your needs better. Most Decent Wifi cards now a days will cost upwards of $50+, so having one on board with that little cost and getting a better motherboard is a no brainier.




  2.  
    Bob

    what about the G45? Any discernible differences between the two? If yes, is the GD65 worth the higher price?




    •  
      Kenny

      We haven’t reviewed the G45, however based on my comparisons they are rather similar with a few extra SATA ports on the GD65 and some of the onboard power and OC genue features. Otherwise, they are pretty much the same board. So unless you need the extra SATA ports and want the OC Genie Feature button, I would assume they are close in performance.




  3.  
    jhayzee26

    question would you suggest or recommend this motherboard for gaming or not? if yes would you suggest a spec for gaming with this board.. thanks




    •  
      Kenny

      This is def. a great gaming motherboard. I can def. see allot of people using this with the i5 4670k and a couple of high end graphics cards. The GTX770 Gaming card or GTX760 will be a great match esp for the price.




  4.  
    n3m37h

    Love this board, lots of nice features. Post codes, Power/reboot buttons, OC genie button and 2 setting switch, dual bios.
    Overclocking is a breeze with this board, got G.Skill (2x8gb 1600Mhz 1.5v) to 2400 1.605v just by changing the frequency and the voltage, the board handled everything else, same goes with the CPU.





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