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Five Z87 Motherboards Under $220, Reviewed

Z87-GD65 Gaming Firmware

Sometimes familiarity makes things easy, as is the case with MSI’s Z87-GD65 firmware. Everything appears just about where it should, though our complaint about its relatively small text remains.

Unable to reach the anticipated 4.7 GHz, we achieved 4.65 GHz at 1.30 V by dropping the CPU multiplier to 46x and raising its base clock to 101 MHz.

Our desired 1.30 volts was achieved at the board’s 1.29 V setting. Though a CPU-integrated voltage regulator should allow the same core voltage setting to apply to all boards, it appears a small variation might be related to each motherboard’s VCCIN differences.

A DRAM setting of 1.635 V pushed an actual 1.65 volts, in spite of the board’s report of 1.616 V. That volt meter is beginning to look like a wise investment.

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Individual primary, secondary, and tertiary timings can be adjusted without affecting the automatically-assigned values of others.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.