MSI A78M-E35 Versus Gigabyte GA-F2A78M-D3H

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Overclocking Performance

For the sake of an equal comparison, both A78-based samples were overclocked using the firmware's ratio multiplier option. Without adjusting CPU voltage, I was unable to reach the clock rate that Thomas achieved. The MSI board completed an eight-hour Prime95 stress test at 4200MHz, while the Gigabyte board reached a 4100MHz overclock under the same test conditions. At first glance, it seems like the MSI board is better out of the box, but Gigabyte's board has much more potential, offering a wider range of BIOS options and more current through its EPS connector.

As always, overclocking is very stressful on components, and these boards are no exception. The MSI and Gigabyte A78-based boards reached regulator temperatures in the 80- to 90-degree Celsius range, which I do not feel comfortable with over extended periods. In a smaller enclosure or in an area with insufficient airflow, I could see this being a hazardous situation. Since these boards are not true enthusiast-grade parts, I recommend backing off to a 40x multiplier. Both boards were able to run the Mushkin memory modules in their XMP profiles flawlessly, but I did not further tweak the timings to improve performance.