Ok, we have taken a look at the MSI Z68A-GD80 B3 and its design, and features. We uncovered a few things that gave us some concern. Will the board be able to handle being loaded up with cards or other devices? How will the relatively small number of PCIe lanes behave if we give them too much to think about at once? Well we are going to find that out as well as see how far we can push this board and our Core i7 2600k CPU. Let’s pick up where we left off and dive into the BIOS before we move onto the performance numbers.
After taking a look over the MSI X79A-GD65(8D) motherboard and some of MSI’s design choices (and the benefits they bring) we have dove into our performance testing. You may remember that we had concerns about the way the PCIe slots were segmented into Gen3 and Gen2. To check and see what effect (if any) this might have on performance we ran some of our tests with the GPU in the Gen2 slot and some in the Gen3 slot. We were more than a little surprised at what we found out. So let’s get into the performance half of our review of the MSI X79A-GD65(8D) and see what we found.
So we have taken a look into how well the MSI Big Bang marshal was put together and now we are ready to put this board through its paces. We will be taking a look at this product from as many angles as we can to see if it is worth your money. Will all of the components that MSI threw together work well under stress? Well read on to find out.
The fourth X79 board we have in the lab is from MSI in the form of the X79A-GD65(8D). This board features the third generation of their Military Class of hardware as well as what MSI calls true Gen 3 PCIe The X79A-GD65(8D) has a price tag under $300 which makes these represents the lowest priced board we have tested so far. Now the question is; does the X79A-GD65(8D) have the same level of quality and performance as its more expensive peers, or will we find out that the old maxim “you get what you pay for” is true. We will take a look at both the performance and the design choices behind the X79A-GD65 and let you know. We will kick things off with the design and features.
Since the first day AMD presented the AMD Radeon 7850 2GB graphic card, code name “Pitcairn”, they surprised the industry with its performance, abilities, technology and efficiency that put them in front of the rivals. The 7850 series has around 40% better performance when compared to its predecessor (the 6850) when running at higher resolutions. The HD 7850 is based on 28nm GCN Pitcairn GPU with 1024 stream processord and 256bit memory interface.
CES 2012 Las Vegas, Nevada – One of our late night CES appointments was to the MSI suite. Although we have worked with MSI a lot in the past in the last few months they have undergone some internal restructuring. This has been kept off of the net for the most part, but in the end will be a very good thing for MSI. We expect to hear a lot more from them in the coming months.
At the request of some of our readers we are going to start splitting up the way we do our reviews. However, instead of the normal “unboxings” that we find out on the Internet we are going to break up our normal review into two distinct parts. There will be the first part that will cover design choices, board layout, and features. This will be followed up with our normal performance section. We feel that this will give everyone the pieces and parts they are looking for. You can still read both (they will be crosslinked) and also discuss them on our new forum, but this way we can cover things quicker and in a more complete fashion without making each review too long. For our first dive into this new style we have the MSI Z68A-GD80B3 up on the test bench and behind the camera lens. This board follows the same trend as most of MIS’s recent product, but now they are into their second generation; you get Military Class II and OC Genie II. So let’s dive into the more theoretical part of our review and take a look at the packaging, board layout and the features for the MSI Z68A-GD80B3.
The term Big Bang is used by many scientists to describe the moment of creation. They say that before this event the universe was a chaotic mass of gasses and unformed matter. The gravity and heat combined to compress this to a critical mass. At that critical point all of that gas and unformed matter exploded in all directions to form the basis or the universe we know. MSI’s Big Bang is a culmination of ideas, components and design choices that have, well not really exploded but, hit the market in a fairly big way. Before the launch of this line up MSI was having a rough time in the market. However, even then we saw the hints of big things on the horizon. MSI had partnered up with Lucid; they had begun tinkering with new components for their motherboards and their video cards. We have seen what they can do with the X58, P55 and even the 8xx chipsets from AMD. Now let’s take a look at what they do with the P67 chipset in their Big Bang Marshal.
Every now and then we like to step back and take a look at the component industry. It has not been that long ago when the number of individual component makers began to dwindle. We have already watched as ABIT, SOYO DFI, FIC, and other motherboard manufacturers have disappeared. These were once great companies and flourished in the heyday of the DIY market (the Super Socket 7, Slot A and 1, Socket A etc.). Now the market is collapsing and we see companies that once only directly sold the pieces and parts for our computers starting to assemble them for us as well. Although the three major players in the motherboard/GPU market all have presence in Europe and Asia only one has truly penetrated the North American market and stands poised to make an even bigger impact there; this is Asus.
The new motherboard from MSI codenamed J1800I comes with an Intel Celeron J1800 SoC, and with Intel HD graphics. Despite being embedded, the SoC can clock as fast as 2.4 GHz, TDP is only 10W, so for the cooling is sufficient passive aluminum heatsink what we have so far seen only on the chipset. To ensure stable operation, MSI used Military Class 4 components.