• CPU Support: Intel Core Processor
  • CPU Socket: Intel LG 1150
  • Chipset: Intel Z87 Express
  • Memory Type: Dual Channel Memory
  • Pros:
  • Impressive performance
  • Gaming-centric features
  • Plenty of headroom for overclocking
  • Cons:
  • No Thunderbolt Port
  • Benchmark Results
  • PCMark 7: 6,506 points
  • PCMark 7 (Productivity): 5,549 points
  • PCMark 7 (Computation): 5,812 points
  • PCMark 7 (Entertainment): 6,479 points

Follow The Dragon

While it may seem like MSI has been keeping busy with their laptops, All-In-Ones and desktops, they definitely haven’t neglected what they do best and that is components. If you have been waiting for the right time to upgrade your gaming rig, the wait was definitely worth it as the MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming is finally here.

Much like the Z87-G45 Gaming motherboard we reviewed last month, the Z87-GD65 Gaming bears that same radical red and black colour scheme and also the heatsink adorned with the Dragon logo on the Southbridge. Like most of MSI’s latest Haswell based motherboards, this one also uses Military Class 4 components that ensures the board remains stable even when under a heavy load.

We really don’t have any complaints regarding the layout of this motherboard as it was easy to access its ports and slots without the scraping our fingers. Speaking of ports and slots, MSI have equipped it with all the must-haves such as four DDR3 DIMM slots that supports RAM modules with speeds up to 3000MHz; four PCIe 3.0 slots, perfect for those who want a multi GPU setup and six SATA III ports to create RAID drives.

The rear ports on the Z87-GD65 Gaming are pretty standard fare so we won’t really go into detail about them. However, on board this motherboard, you will find that MSI has included their OC Essentials set of tools, which is great especially for those who love squeezing out every drop of performance from their system. These tools include Multi-BIOS II, V-Check Points, Debug LEDs, Clear CMOS button and Easy Button 3.

As for it’s performance right out of the box, we have to say that it was a beast. For users who want even more impressive results they can utilize features such as VGA Boost, Super RAID and Lucid Virtu MVP 2. When all these features are properly set up and combined, who knows how much better our scores could have been.

CHIP CONCLUDE: As the flagship offering in their Gaming series, the MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming is truly a marvellous piece of technology. With a slew of gaming centric features, great performance and a reasonable price tag, the Z87-GD65 Gaming is a motherboard gamers should have on their shopping list.

(previously published in issue September 2013)