• CPU Support: Intel Core Processor
  • CPU Socket: LGA 1155
  • Chipset: Intel Z77 Chipset
  • Memory Type: Dual Channel Memory
  • Pros:
  • Excellent performances
  • Great features and components
  • Cons:
  • Not enough USB 3.0 ports
  • Requires a powerful power supply
  • Loud during gaming sessions

Let The Games Begin

MSI’s Z77A-GD45 motherboard has been one of the best value-for-money Intel Ivy Bridge boards in the market right now. After announcing its line-up of brand new Gaming motherboards, the GD45 is one of the recipients of an overhaul, in the form of the MSI Z77A-GD45 Gaming motherboard.

The Gaming variant of the GD45 motherboard has undergone a few massive changes in terms of the components used and the PCB used for the board. The design now utilises the colour black with streaks of red to make the board look a lot more aggressive. On top of the already-impressive OC Genie II easy overclocking feature, the upgrades include new Killer Ethernet ports and PS/2 and USB gaming ports that use three times more gold connectors than regular USB ports, which prevents oxidisation to allow for more responsive and smoother gameplay in the long run.

The memory DIMMs are capable of supporting up to four RAM sticks of up to 32GB in size, and 3,000MHz in speed. MSI has also upgraded the six SATA ports to be SATA 3.0 6Gbps-ready, making it perfect match to get the most out of the current gen SSDs. The PCIe ports are also capable of dual-GPU SLi or CrossFireX, depending on which cards you use.

Performance-wise, paired with an Intel Core i7-3770K processor and a current-gen GPU, the setup runs like a well-oiled machine. Current games such as Bioshock Infinite, Crysis 3 and Borderlands 2 run smoothly at above 60 fps, and if you’re into some over
clocking, the OCGenie software makes it easy for you to get started.

There are enough of connectivity ports to go around, though we noted that there are only two USB 3.0 ports at the back. A couple more would’ve been fantastic. Otherwise, the gaming-centric ports are excellent, especially the latency-improving Killer Ethernet.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The MSI Z77A-GD45 Gaming is one motherboard which should be up for consideration if you’re looking for a board to set up a gaming machine. Not only is the motherboard very powerful, but it’s packed with fantastic features and components that makes it a killer dragoon in the gaming world.

(previously published in issue May 2012)