Motherboard Guide

MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming review

MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming Motherboard - The March of the Dragoon Army

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Launch SRP S$329
Latest Price From S$289 (Check Latest Prices)

Overall rating 8.5/10
Performance:
9
Features:
8
Value:
7.5
THE GOOD
Consistently good performer across all tests
Very overclockable
Killer Gaming networking controller
THE BAD
Lack of bundled Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity which its competitors offer
More PCIe lanes for multi-GPU configuration would have made this the best gaming board


BIOS Utility & Test Setup

BIOS Utility

The UEFI BIOS Utility of the MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming has been given the Dragoon Army makeover to boost the red and black color scheme just like its Click BIOS II software access to the UEFI BIOS. However, in terms of layout and functionality, it is almost identical to that of the MSI Big Bang Z77 MPower.

Building on our observed voltage settings, we have added to the list, the various voltage settings of the Z77A-GD65 Gaming board that we modified in order to maintain its stable overclocked states. There were two ways to go about changing their values in the Windows environment by using the Control Center or the Click BIOS II applications; however, being creatures of habit, for our overclocking efforts with the MSI Z77 MPower, we decided to manually adjust the voltage of the CPU PLL to determine how high we can push the CPU Base Frequency. In the case of this particular board, base frequency values can be adjusted by 10KHz for finer tweaking.

Basic Voltage Settings in BIOS
Model CPU Voltage DRAM Voltage Other Voltage Settings
MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming  0.805 to 2.1550V
(0.005V steps)
  1.1080 to 2.4655V
(0.0015V steps)
  • CPU IO Voltage: 0.9500 to 1.5500V (0.02V steps)
  • CPU PLL Voltage: 1.4000 to 1.7500 (0.05V steps); 1.8100 to 2.4300 (0.01V steps)
MSI Z77 MPower   0.80 to 2.155V
(0.005V steps)
 1.1080 to 2.4655V
(0.0075V steps)
  • CPU IO Voltage: 0.95 to 1.55V (0.02V steps)
  • CPU PLL Voltage: 1.400 to 2.430 (0.05 steps)
ASRock Z77 Extreme6

0.80 to 2.20V
(0.005V steps)

1.17 to 1.80V
(0.005V steps)
  • Vtt Voltage: 0.77 to 1.63V (0.01V steps)
ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe
0.80 to 1.99V
(0.005V steps)
1.20 to 1.92V
(0.02V steps)
  • VCCIO Voltage: 0.80 to 1.70V (0.00625V steps)
Biostar TZ77XE4

1.000 V to 1.790V
(0.01V steps)

1.300 to 2.112V
(drop-down menu selection)
  • VCCIO Voltage: 1.062 to 1.700V (0.012/0.013V steps)
  • System Agent Voltage: 0.900 to 1.605V (0.012/0.013V steps)
ECS Z77H2-AX 1.00 to 1.50V 
(0.015V steps)
Voltage Offset:+0 to +0.63 V
(0.01V steps)
  • IMC Voltage: 0.010 to 0.630V (0.01V steps)
  • System Agent Voltage: 0.01 to 0.630V (0.01V steps)
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H WiFi
0.80 to 1.90V
(0.005V steps)
1.17 to 1.80V
(0.005V steps)
  • CPU Vtt Voltage: 0.800 to 1.900V (0.005V steps)
MSI Z77A-GD65  0.80 to 2.155V
(0.005V steps)
 1.10 to 2.10V
(0.005V steps)
  • CPU IO Voltage: 0.95 to 1.95V (0.02V steps)  

 

Test Setup

This is the test configuration for our Intel Z77 Express-based motherboard comparisons.

  • Intel Core i7-3770K
  • 2 x 2GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 (CAS 9-9-9-27)
  • MSI N460GTX Hawk (ForceWare 285.62)
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gbps hard drive (one single NTFS partition)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • Intel INF 9.3.0.1020

 

Benchmarks

The following benchmarks were used to test the motherboards:

  • BAPCo SYSmark 2007 Preview (ver 1.06)
  • SPECviewperf 9.0
  • Futuremark PCMark 7
  • Futuremark 3DMark11 (ver 1.03)
  • Far Cry 2