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MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) LGA 2011 ATX Motherboard Review

Author: Steve Grever
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Overclocking Results

MSI OC Genie II Overclocking

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4GHz overclock using MSI OC Genie II

Most high-end motherboards include numerous overclocking options for beginners and experienced enthusiasts. The MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) provides plenty of options for adjusting CPU and memory voltages, ratios/speeds, and timings. Their Click BIOS II UEFI interface is easy to use to tweak the processor to the user's exact specifications to get the best overclock possible. 

We opted to change up our typical overclocking method with the X79A-GD65 (8D) and use MSI's OC Genie II technology first before moving on to manual overclocking. To use this feature, we had enabled it in the UEFI BIOS and clicked the OC Genie button on the PCB. Next, we opened the Click BIOS II application in Windows 7 and headed straight for the overclocking section to monitor how the OC Genie II technology was tweaking the CPU ratio and associated voltages. Upon opening the Click BIOS II GUI, and confirming the results using CPU-Z, we noticed that the board was automatically overclocked to 4GHz by increasing the CPU multiplier to 40 without adjusting the core voltage. This is around a 10 percent increase in performance from the i7-3820's stock speed of 3.6GHz. 

 

Manual overclocking

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Achieved 4.625GHz overclock

The second part of our overclocking tests included manually overclocking our Intel  i7-3820 processor through the BIOS. To do this, we restarted the system and disabled the OC Genie feature. Then, we rebooted again and accessed the BIOS to manually configure the CPU ratio and voltages. Ryan wrote an excellent tutorial for overclocking the i7-3820, which helped me in learning the ropes to get the most out of the LGA 2011 platform. Here's a quote from Ryan's review that illustrates a key change in the overclockability of the i7-3820:

"...overclocking on the Core i7-3820 is a bit different than with any other Sandy Bridge processor out there.  Because it is not fully unlocked, the multiplier is limited to 43x, about the same as the non-unlocked Core i7-2600.  Unlike the original Sandy Bridge though, Sandy Bridge-E allows us to use "straps" or bus speed multipliers that still operate with the 3820."

Since the CPU multiplier is locked at 43x, I switched up my traditional method for overclocking Intel CPUs. I followed Ryan's advice for adjusting the strap options to 125MHz or 1.25x, which helped me overcome the CPU multiplier limitations. I also increased the CPU voltage to  1.45v and the SA voltage to 1.3v to help improve the stability of our overclock. After numerous attempts to increase the CPU multiplier, I eventually left it at 37x, which was pretty rock solid in terms of stability. I wasn't too discouraged by this outcome because I got a decent 4.625GHz overclock by just following these simple steps, which also kept our core temps below 50c. I'm sure with a higher-end cooling solution and more BIOS tweaks we could have gotten closer to 5GHz.  

 

CPU Speed BCLK CPU Multiplier DRAM Frequency DRAM Timings CPU Voltage
4.625 GHz 125 MHz

37x 

1667.6 MHz 9-9-9-24 2T 1.464v

Detailed Overclocking Results

March 6, 2012 | 08:24 PM - Posted by amythompson (not verified)

The one thing the X79A-GD65 (8D) has going for it is the number of DIMM slots you have. Of course 8 DIMMS can give you a huge workable memory footprint of 32GB for not much money now days. The MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) costs $290.00 at Newegg. Other enthusiast set motherboards start around the $250 mark.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0064LW8UY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=...

March 7, 2012 | 08:54 AM - Posted by AMDScooter

Nice review, thanks! These look to be great boards and MSI continues to pump out quality product. That said a few things really disappoint me on the new Intel IB chipset lineup that are in no way unique to this board. The most disappointing to me is the lack of native SATA3 ports.

: - Supports two SATAIII ports (SATA1~2) by X79

Really Intel? Still only 2 ports? Lacking is too kind a word IMHO. This is supposed to be an enthusiast chipset yet it has no more native SATA3 ports than the "old" P67 based board I'm currently running. So as an enthusiast the only way I get SATA3 speeds with more than 2 SSD's in a RAID0 is an aftermarket solution taking up an expansion slot.

Aside from that I'm really impressed by the temps you achieved on air with that OC. 4.6Ghz~1.5v and only 50c on air with a 125TDP cpu HT enabled? That's the best I've seen to date. I cant keep my 2500K 4.6Ghz~1.3v that cool using a H70 under load. You guys testing in a walk in freezer? ;)

Anyway thanks for the review. All I have to do now is find a reason to justify an upgrade with the boss. I don't think upgradeitis is gonna cut it this time around.

April 10, 2013 | 02:21 AM - Posted by Rajan (not verified)

I recently bought the MSI x79A GD45 8D . I installed the components, and switched on. Unfortunately the computer kept on restarting every couple of seconds. I couldn't even get into the BIOS

October 3, 2013 | 01:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You have to reset the cmos at the back of the pc ;)

December 15, 2013 | 03:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have recently bought one of these unfortunately when I turn it on I get no display. There is a dubug code FF on the board.

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