Page 1:Haswell: Is Now The Best Time To Build?
Page 2:ASRock Z87 Extreme6
Page 3:Z87 Extreme6 Firmware
Page 4:Z87 Extreme6 Tuning Software
Page 5:Z87 Extreme6 Applications
Page 6:Asus Z87-Pro
Page 7:Z87-Pro Firmware
Page 8:Z87-Pro Tuning Software
Page 9:Z87-Pro Applications
Page 10:ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme
Page 11:Z87H3-A2X Extreme Firmware
Page 12:Z87H3-A2X Extreme Tuning Software
Page 13:Z87H3-A2X Extreme Applications
Page 14:Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H
Page 15:Z87X-UD4H Firmware
Page 16:Z87X-UD4H Tuning Software
Page 17:Z87X-UD4H Applications
Page 18:MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
Page 19:Z87-GD65 Gaming Firmware
Page 20:Z87-GD65 Gaming Tuning Software
Page 21:Z87-GD65 Gaming Applications
Page 22:Test Settings And Benchmarks
Page 23:Results: 3DMark And PCMark
Page 24:Results: SiSoftware Sandra
Page 25:Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 26:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 27:Results: Productivity
Page 28:Results: File Compression
Page 29:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 31:Picking Our First Z87-Based Winner
MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
Arriving at its anticipated $190 price point, MSI’s Z87-GD65 Gaming relies primarily on Intel’s feature set to create value with gaming enthusiasts. For example, four I/O-panel-based USB 3.0 ports complement a dual-port front-panel header to consume all six of the chipset's ports, without the need for added hubs or controllers.
The Z87-GD65’s I/O panel features a digital coaxial S/PDIF output—a rare find on modern motherboards—in addition to optical and HDMI audio. And speaking of HDMI, the board also adds DVI and VGA graphics outputs to this oft-used connection.
While the easy-access CLR_CMOS button is only found on the Z87-GD65’s I/O panel, on-board power and reset buttons are available on top, next to its two-digit POST code display, within easy reach for bench top testing. MSI also includes its OC Genie automatic overclocking button, a GO2BIOS button for easier firmware access, and a BIOS selector switch.
Lacking eSATA, MSI makes use of its single added SATA 6Gb/s controller by expanding internal connections to eight ports. Next to those, its USB 3.0 front-panel header also faces forward for enhanced card clearance.
Keeping with the gaming-enthusiast theme, the Z87-GD65 Gaming’s third x16-length slot borrows PCIe 3.0 lanes from the middle slot. As with its ECS and ASRock competitors, the Z87-GD65’s CPU PCIe lane configurations drop from 16-0-0 to 8-8-0 and 8-4-4 depending on the slots you populate. Four lanes might not sound impressive, but PCIe 3.0 transfers make up for the bandwidth deficit on most recent graphics cards.
Installing a slower card in the bottom slot still causes it to steal lanes from the top and middle slots, but MSI attempts to make up for that by putting a total of four PCIe 2.0 x1 slots above it. One of those slots will likely get covered up by a graphics card, but the three remaining slots are more than adequate for most builds.
The Z87-GD65 also has an mSATA slot to host tiny SSDs, connected to the Z87 Express chipset’s SATA 6Gb/s controller. Using it requires the builder to leave one of the forward-facing ports empty.
Next to the Z87-GD65’s main power connector, a row of voltage rail testing points makes it easy for fussy overclockers to find the true voltage that corresponds to their set voltage. MSI even adds a set of output wires to its installation kit to expand this feature’s appeal.
This motherboard's one layout issue is a front-panel audio connector that, by being in the bottom-rear corner, is too far away from the slightly short cables of some cases. Moreover, MSI’s audio header placement follows a 1997 tradition that’s often hard to break.
The Z87-GD65 Gaming includes four SATA cables, a set of voltage monitor leads, a flexible SLI bridge, a pair of cable-bundling header extenders, a “go away” door tag, and a very large and shiny case badge.
- Haswell: Is Now The Best Time To Build?
- ASRock Z87 Extreme6
- Z87 Extreme6 Firmware
- Z87 Extreme6 Tuning Software
- Z87 Extreme6 Applications
- Asus Z87-Pro
- Z87-Pro Firmware
- Z87-Pro Tuning Software
- Z87-Pro Applications
- ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme
- Z87H3-A2X Extreme Firmware
- Z87H3-A2X Extreme Tuning Software
- Z87H3-A2X Extreme Applications
- Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H
- Z87X-UD4H Firmware
- Z87X-UD4H Tuning Software
- Z87X-UD4H Applications
- MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
- Z87-GD65 Gaming Firmware
- Z87-GD65 Gaming Tuning Software
- Z87-GD65 Gaming Applications
- Test Settings And Benchmarks
- Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Results: SiSoftware Sandra
- Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: File Compression
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- Picking Our First Z87-Based Winner