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MSI Z68A-GD80 G3 LGA 1155 ATX Motherboard Review

Author: Steve Grever
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Testing Configuration and Benchmarks Used

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We tag-teamed MSI's P67A-GD80 and  P67A-GD65 against their latest Z68A-GD80 to see if there were any performance boosts to be gained from the improvements to the board's chipset and feature set. We also threw in ASRock's Fatality P67 Professional to round out our benchmark competitors. All three of these P67 boards are between the mid-range and high-end categories of the P67 class and should provide adequate competition for the Z68A-GD80 in our gauntlet of benchmarks.

 

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CPU-Z screenshots 

 

Test System Setup

CPU

Intel i5-2500K (running at 3.3GHz, 100x33)

Motherboards

MSI Z68A-GD80

MSI P67A-GD65

MSI P67A-GD80

ASRock Fatality P67 Professional 

Memory 

OCZ (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Dual Channel

Hard Drive

Western Digital Raptor 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA 3GB/s 

Sound Card

Onboard sound

Video Card

XFX Radeon HD 5770 512MB

CPU Cooling

Zalman CNPS10X Flex

Video Drivers

AMD ATI Catalyst 11.9
Power Supply PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750w 

DirectX Version

DX11/ DX10 / DX9c

Operating System

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

 

Our 64-bit test bench for the LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge processors includes 4GBs of dual-channel DDR3 1600 memory, an XFX Radeon HD 5770 512MB graphics card, and a Western Digital Raptor 150GB SATA 3GB/s hard drive for storage. This configuration is based off a typical mid-range users LGA 1155 system and focuses on evaluating the motherboard's capabilities and less on the rest of the hardware components.

 

Benchmarks used:

- SiSoft Sandra 2011 

- CineBench 11.5 64-bit 

- Handbrake DVD compression

- 3DMark Vantage 

- 3DMark11 Professional

- Metro 2033

- Just Cause 2 

- PCMark Vantage

October 14, 2011 | 05:19 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nice board and all. But it's $240 compared to $180 I paid for a P67A-GD65 7 months ago.

Surely the Virtu folks want to get paid, and Intel probably charges a bit extra for a Z68 compared to the P67, but as the consumer I don't ask *why*, I just see the price tag.

The board is not $60 faster. If one really needs the Z68 features, well then this is a great choice. I just think the pricing isn't good for the level of performance.

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October 14, 2011 | 06:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That $240 price (at least, in the US) is for the B3 version, which is being replaced by the G3 reviewed here. I'm not sure why the price is higher, unless it's due to odd supply/demand.

The Z68A-GD80 G3 is around $220 from most resellers, but MSI also has the Z68A-GD65 G3 for people who are in the sub-$200 range; it is priced around $180 and is still an enthusiast class board.

Currently, I'm running a Gigabyte board. However, I am interested in seeing what MSI has up their sleeve with their upcoming X79 and 7-series chipset boards. I've had some good boards from them in the past, and it looks like they are making improvements to their Gen-1 UEFI BIOS with ClickBIOS II, which is very welcome.

October 14, 2011 | 07:46 AM - Posted by drbaltazar (not verified)

i tend to suggest to user to stick to intel when they get intel cpu

November 30, 2011 | 12:16 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

you do know Intel makes the chipsets but doesn't actually make motherboards anymore?

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