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MSI P55-GD65 P55 Lynnfield Motherboard Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI
Tagged:

Features and Layout

Last month we did a video preview of the MSI P55-GD65 motherboard before the Lynnfield release in order to give our readers that wanted to do a day-one purchase of Lynnfield CPU and motherboard a base of information on a few P55 motherboards we had in house.  I still feel that this video is a great summation of the motherboard's features and layout and is definitely worth viewing before we get into the overclocking performance of the motherboard.


The
layout is clean and basic as this lower-cost board will be missing some
of the frills found on higher end motherboards.  You still get enough
space for most any kind of CPU cooling, two x16 PCIe graphics card
slots, a pair of x1 PCIe slots, 1 x4 PCIe slot and two legacy PCI
slots. 


MSI's
motherboards are using DrMOS-based MOSFETs that will provide the power
switching capabilities comparable to four standard MOSFETs.  The GD65
model uses a 6+1 design so you should effectively see a 24-phase design
here.


There
are four DIMM slots for the dual-channel DDR3 memory that Intel's
Lynnfield CPUs support as well as a unique voltage monitoring
connection seen here as the odd blue connections.  Here you can use a
multimeter to gauge the voltages of the CPU, memory, chipset and more
without having to find specific traces.  This is really an extreme
overclocker's feature only.


Above
you can see the heatpipe MSI uses (called the SuperPipe) to share
heatsink duties between the two areas of power components as well as
the 8-pin ATX power connection.


As
I mentioned above, the expansion configuration is pretty robust and
offers support for up to two graphics cards in SLI or CrossFire.  You
can see the OC Genie and power buttons at the bottom of the image as
well - full descriptions and uses are in the video above.


Though
nearly standard by today's levels, MSI does provide enough SATA for
most anyone on the P55-GD65 including 6 channels courtesy of the P55
chipset and a pair of channels (one internal, one eSATA) via JMicron
chip.


The external connections show a good range of options from the legacy PS2 ports to the USB-powered eSATA and more.

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