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

Author: Steve Grever
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Power Consumption and Conclusion

Power Consumption

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Power management is becoming an increasingly critical feature for many home and business users who want to save a few bucks on their energy bills but keep their system performance as high as possible. These X79-based motherboards gave us steady power performance under idle and load conditions over a 24-hour period, which is very encouraging for users looking to upgrade to the LGA 2011 platform. 

 

Performance

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MSI continues to mature as a motherboard vendor and the MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) seems to be one of the most stable and feature-rich boards I've tested in recent years. Most of the credit may go to the Intel Sandy Bridge-E platform combined with the X79 chipset that gave us consistent performance results throughout our benchmarks and overclocking tests. I was pleasantly surprised by how MSI's Click BIOS II technology worked under the normal BIOS and Windows GUI. It was very fluent and optimized for a Windows environment, which is something I can't say about other Windows-based applications from other vendors. Many of these applications are very laggy, unrefined, and not intuitive to use. Kudos to MSI for taking the time to get it right with the OC Genie II and Click BIOS II technologies.

 

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The motherboard as a whole has unique features and options than typically reserved for higher-end motherboards in the $400-$500 range. The ability to use triple PCI-E 3.0 graphics cards in CrossfireX or SLI is an important option for enthusiasts looking to create high-definition gaming systems with multi-monitor, 3D setups to run games at higher resolutions with no lag. The option of using multiple solid state drives at SATA 6GB/s in RAID 0 also seems to be a popular upgrade that is certainly a possibility with the X79A-GD65 (8D).

 

Pricing

As of Mar. 4, the MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) motherboard was available at Newegg.com for $279.99 with $8.50 shipping. Consumers can also purchase this product at Amazon.com for $289.99 with free shipping as well.

 

Conclusion

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We'd like to thank MSI for providing the X79A-GD65 (8D) motherboard for our review today. This is my first review of an X79-based motherboard and it showcased how vendors are incorporating the LGA 2011 socket and X79 chipset into their products. The availability of SATA3 ports, RAID options, and additional PCI-E 3.0 lanes will entice many enthuasists to upgrade their graphics workstations and high-definition gaming systems to Intel's latest platforms.

There is always a steep price with upgrading to the newest processors and motherboards, and this is where the X79A-GD65 (8D) may have difficulties against other competitively-priced offerings from Gigabyte and ASUS. Users with deep pockets won't blink an eye at dropping $300 on a motherboard, but combine that with purchasing quad-channel memory and an i7-3820 and the entire upgrade could cost close to $800 for only three components. 

However, if you didn't make the jump to Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge, the latest Sandy Bridge-E motherboards like the X79A-GD65 (8D) have unique features for power users looking for high-end performance features at high-end prices. PC Perspective gives the MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) its Gold Award for its unique overclocking options, triple PCI-E 3.0 support, and bundled software package.

 

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Strengths

  • Triple PCI Express 3.0 slots with SLI/CrossfireX support
  • Excellent on-board overclocking utility
  • UEFI BIOS with Windows GUI

 

Weaknesses

  • Expensive for mid-range users
March 6, 2012 | 11:24 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 | 11:54 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 | 05:21 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 | 04:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

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

December 15, 2013 | 06:16 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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