MSI Z68A-GD80 (B3) Motherboard Review

By on July 28, 2011
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Underwhelming for what it’s worth.

Good: Pretty fast, Good gaming results, One button overclocking
Bad: Competition is faster
Price: AED 900
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

With the new Z68 based boards finally released, MSI provided us with one of their high-end boards, the Z68A-GD80 (with B3 revision) for review. As an over-$200 motherboard, the Z68A-GD80 comes with all the bells & whistles you’d expect from a board in that price range.

Let’s take it from the top then. This LGA 1155 based motherboard comes with the new Z68 Intel chipset, which means SSD caching comes stock. Then there’s the LucidLogix Virtu chip as well that helps use the Intel QuickSync feature to utilize Sandy bridge processors for faster video transcoding in software that supports this (e.g. Arcsoft MediaConverter and CyberLink MediaEspresso). Apart from that there’s the THX TruStudio Pro sound chip that provides exquisite 8.1 HD surround sound. The rest of the board is pretty standard, with 3xPCIe x16 slots, 4x SATA II and 3x SATA III ports, 4x USB 3.0 ports and 10x USB 2.0 ports.

The board is topped off with Military Class components and solid Hi-c capacitors, super ferrite chokes and solid CAPs. The UEFI BIOS is very easy and intuitive to control, although not as nicely categorized as I would’ve preferred. The OC Genie II allows one button simple overclocking, which overclocked our Core i7-2600K from 3.4GHz up to 4.2GHz without me making any further changes in the BIOS.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

  • Berg_pie

    Asus P8Z68 is  far  than msi Z68,..The Asus boards have a special USB Turbo mode that uses extra PCIe lanes to give extra USB performance.

  • john

    I would also suggest Asus P67 over MSI Z68, unless you know for sure you are going to use Quick Sync and Intel’s Smart Response SSD caching. so why paying more?  

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