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.
With all the news about the Z68 and P6x chipsets these days is seems that many people feel the X58 is done. Well that is not the case; many manufacturers still see this as a viable top end platform for Intel and are making some great boards for this market space. The nice thing about this is that they are not just making the high-performance/dollar products but are still working on quality boards for every price level. One of these is the Gigabyte X58-USB3. It is a mid-range board that leaves out SATA 3.0 but still keeps many of the other features you would expect from an X58 board (SLI, Crossfire, etc). Gigabyte has made sure they add in USB 3.0 for you while keeping everything around $180. Let’s take a look and see if it is worth that price.
Here we have our first official unboxing. This is one of those things that can have a dual purpose. On the one hand they let everyone know what we have, and what is going on our test bench in short order. These also allow us to take the time to talk in depth about the bundle, packaging, and features of the products we get in the lab. Our first official unboxing comes in the form of the GIGABYTE H55H-USB3.