MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING LGA 1150 Motherboard Review @ [H]

FrgMstr

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MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING LGA 1150 Motherboard Review - MSI’s GAMING series is back with an all new entry. The Z87-GD65 GAMING is certainly a promising contender and is one of the more unique offerings we’ve seen from MSI. We liked the last GAMING board we looked at, and we have liked all previous GD-65 series motherboards, hopefully this followup entry can measure up.
 
Glad to see that MSI is continuing to put out quality motherboards this generation.
At this point, they've won me over. I was an ASUS guy for years, but I'm now going with MSI whenever possible in the future.
 
Nice to see the MSI board do so well. Hopefully some of that same quality can be found in my cheap Z87-G45 Gaming!
 
I own this board and love it. I had an ASRock Extreme6 that had issues and returned it (and the 4770k) for this (and a new 4770k). It was a great decision - although not the "highest end" board I have used, I can't remember one that I have enjoyed more than this... so far.

On a side, why does MSI get so little love? I have 3 rigs running right now and all are running MSI boards. I have used a few ASUS and ASRock (since leaving ASUS) boards, a lot of Gigabyte boards, and a few crap boards like Biostar, but MSI has always overshadowed them. I have an old MSI AM3 board that has been dropped, headers ripped off, put thru torture overclocks, built on around 15 times, and it still is a workhorse.
 
Hmm, i must admit i dont quite understand how Hardocp can give a product which isnt available to the userbase a gold reward.

You (the reviewers) mentioned yourself that you tested with a bios version that isnt available to the public.

Any comment on this ?
 
I have one and it's been great so far. Who wouldn't love a Dragonboard? :D

 
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Hmm, i must admit i dont quite understand how Hardocp can give a product which isnt available to the userbase a gold reward.

You (the reviewers) mentioned yourself that you tested with a bios version that isnt available to the public.

Any comment on this ?

Did you read the review? I think I covered that pretty well. And as you see the BIOS are now up for the public, so point is now moot.
 
This makes me want to upgrade and get off my ASUS (a good board, too, mind you)

... but... no eSata port! Pretty lackluster rear ports, actually. I thought having umpteen USB ports was considered the norm; although, I guess the focus of 'Gaming' isn't usually lots of USB or fancy ports.
 
Glad to see that MSI is continuing to put out quality motherboards this generation.
At this point, they've won me over. I was an ASUS guy for years, but I'm now going with MSI whenever possible in the future.

Same here. I went through several Asus boards until I decided that MSI was a better deal in a case... and wow, they're great. Even the gimmicky OverClickGenie was pretty decent in guessing the best overclocks for my CPU. After hearing from people who have been having issues with Asus, I've been recommending MSI based on my experience and everyone's been happy. I hope they keep it up because Asus seems to have slid a bit in the QC department.

Even though the highlights of the board look rather pink in the pics, it actually looks quite nice. I wouldn't mind having a pink and black board in the future. :D
 
Having a ton of fun with this board! The highest OC I've gotten so far with the 4770K is 4.8 ghz/1.445V/2.0VCCIN/4.0Ring/1.2RingV. Undelided. BIOS version 1.1. I can game on it for an hour before BSOD. 4.7 I can game all day.

But I disagree with you Kyle on MSI being conservative with the OC Genie. These Haswells get HOT! Even with water cooling I've hit 100C using Prime. With an aggressive OC and a stock HSF you're talking about a lot of potential cpu deaths. Too much liability for MSI.

Getting into the UEFI BIOS and using the MSI Extreme Tuner settings, I could push my Core i7-4770K to 4.7GHz/1866MHz with a 1.28v vCore and it be totally stable. Pushing to 4.8GHz was not an easy accomplishment and not one that I would consider fully stable. 4.8/1866 required a 1.35v vCore. .

1.28V for 4.7?! ES chip?
 
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Same here. I went through several Asus boards until I decided that MSI was a better deal in a case... and wow, they're great. Even the gimmicky OverClickGenie was pretty decent in guessing the best overclocks for my CPU. After hearing from people who have been having issues with Asus, I've been recommending MSI based on my experience and everyone's been happy. I hope they keep it up because Asus seems to have slid a bit in the QC department.

Even though the highlights of the board look rather pink in the pics, it actually looks quite nice. I wouldn't mind having a pink and black board in the future. :D

MSI has had quality boards for a long while now - I don't expect that to change anytime soon. Still have a p55-gd65 running that was, and is, much better than the p7p55 Asus I also had. Was the first of many highly recommended MSI boards.
 
It's getting to the point that finding boards that set themselves apart from most appears to be tougher and tougher. Look at how many motherboards lately have been receiving Gold or Silver awards from [H]ard|OCP. 7 out of the last 12 boards.
 
Am I missing something or is the Main Specifications Overview table wrong, as it indicates 10 sata ports however everywhere I look only 8 are listed.
 
It's getting to the point that finding boards that set themselves apart from most appears to be tougher and tougher. Look at how many motherboards lately have been receiving Gold or Silver awards from [H]ard|OCP. 7 out of the last 12 boards.


And this is absolutely a great thing! We are surely seeing overall better enthusiast hardware across the enthusiast motherboard spectrum. :)
 
We did do final testing with a Beta BIOS that MSI had not yet released to the public. Talking to MSI about this, it would not verify when the BIOS would be released. We did go ahead and use the Beta BIOS due to some fixes in it that we thought might impact testing. Trying to check the MSI website as of publication, the downloads section for the Z87-GD65 Gaming was not accessible. MSI tells us at this time that corporate has decided that BIOS version 1.0 is all that is needed in the market. We are talking to MSI now about giving users access to the Beta BIOS that the company pushes out to media. Had we known that MSI was not going to push out the Betas publicly, we would not have tested with those. As for MSI’s UEFI implementation, I have to simply echo what Dan has said. The new UEFI BIOS interface works very well and is extremely usable once you find your way around it. The days of the old, clunky, and tremendously irritating "Click BIOS" are gone. Thank you MSI!

Above is a direct copy paste from the article. (from when i asked the question)

So yes, i did read the article.

Then I would suggest this answers your question. "Had we known that MSI was not going to push out the Betas publicly, we would not have tested with those."
 
How would you all feel if this board was used for Tri 780 SLI?

Would 8x8x4 be too much of a bottle neck?
 
Sli does not work at x4 it requires a minimum of a x8 slot, hence would not work.
 
How would you all feel if this board was used for Tri 780 SLI?

Would 8x8x4 be too much of a bottle neck?

There are very few 1150/55 boards that support tri-sli. It requires a secondary PCI-E chipset. Boards that include one carry quite a premium and at that price point I would recommend going 2011. If you can afford tri sli 780, do the right thing and get a proper board/build.
 
It's getting to the point that finding boards that set themselves apart from most appears to be tougher and tougher. Look at how many motherboards lately have been receiving Gold or Silver awards from [H]ard|OCP. 7 out of the last 12 boards.

I'd say we're doing good. Now you don't have to worry about a bad purchase. :)
 
Yeah thats not something to take lightly. HardOCP hammers on their motherboards much harder than any other site so if more boards are making it thru their gauntlet and getting a gold star at the end, that just means the manufacturers are making much better motherboards these days which is great!

Im really glad MSI is putting out solid motherboards now. I really want to like MSI for some reason but their boards never seem to live up to it. It looks like theyre finally bringing it.
 
There are very few 1150/55 boards that support tri-sli. It requires a secondary PCI-E chipset. Boards that include one carry quite a premium and at that price point I would recommend going 2011. If you can afford tri sli 780, do the right thing and get a proper board/build.

This does not mean one cannot purchase a dual GPU card and Tri-SLI/CFX that way, correct?
 
This does not mean one cannot purchase a dual GPU card and Tri-SLI/CFX that way, correct?

SLI does not work that way... someone please correct me if I am wrong, but you cannot run 690+680 in SLI. Most of the z87 boards support 3 way CFX so it would be possible with AMD cards thru both 2 and 3 card setups - this board included.
 
I ran a 6990 and a 6950 in trifire on my x58 board. Why not get a 7990 and do the same on z87?
 
Random Question directed at Kyle on this one, but what motherboard do you currently use and how do you feel it compares to current offerings?
 
I ran a 6990 and a 6950 in trifire on my x58 board. Why not get a 7990 and do the same on z87?

Because crossfire is riddled with issues. My sli 770 works wonderfully, sometimes too well - had to jack up SSAA in the NVidia control panel to prevent screen tearing in BF3 multi (due to much too high fps and on a 120hz monitor).
 
Random Question directed at Kyle on this one, but what motherboard do you currently use and how do you feel it compares to current offerings?


I am still running a Sandy Bridge at 4.5GHz with 1600MHz RAM. Rig is in my sig. I am still running 3600x1920 resolution and quite simply my gaming does not put me into any situation where I am CPU limited. I don't do any more encoding on my main box so the bumps in IPC with Ivy and Haswell really do not serve me any big benefit. I really thought I would install a Haswell system this last time around, but I sort of lost my excitement about it.
 
There seem to be a lot posts from users on the MSI forums with problems with the Killer NIC 2205. MSI are offering to send out a standalone driver if you contact them but not yet clear if this has solved the problem. The driver can be found in this thread:
http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=164835.msg1215981#msg1215981

I had a rubbish experience with a Killer NIC 2100 on a Gigabyte X58 board; intermittent disconnects when transferring large files across my LAN. Eventually I gave up and disabled it and installed an Intel card. Fantastic boards the G45 & G65 but I need a reliable NIC....
 
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Am I missing something or is the Main Specifications Overview table wrong, as it indicates 10 sata ports however everywhere I look only 8 are listed.

You are correct in that the table is inaccurate. There are only 8 ports on this board.
 
There seem to be a lot posts from users on the MSI forums with problems with the Killer NIC 2205. MSI are offering to send out a standalone driver if you contact them but not yet clear if this has solved the problem. The driver can be found in this thread:
http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=164835.msg1215981#msg1215981

I had a rubbish experience with a Killer NIC 2100 on a Gigabyte X58 board; intermittent disconnects when transferring large files across my LAN. Eventually I gave up and disabled it and installed an Intel card. Fantastic boards the G45 & G65 but I need a reliable NIC....

The Killer NIC is actually great for gaming, the software is top notch and amazing as well, all in all it's a great part and better than most garbage onboard NICs. However... yeah it's always been known to have problems with large file transfers.

You can however use both the killer and an intel NIC if you want, in fact the higher end gigabyte boards now come with both. I'm in a situation where I need a NIC supported by a server OS (hint, most onboards are not, even intel's you need specific ones my case) and run that along with a killer.
 
Nice board, I have the older GD65.

Some of the screenshots I find to be illegible. Like this one. Could use being larger.

1373094496dxTIUFjtd3_2_1_l.gif
 
Nice board, I have the older GD65.

Some of the screenshots I find to be illegible. Like this one. Could use being larger.

1373094496dxTIUFjtd3_2_1_l.gif

Images are formatted to the standard resolutions we always use. Typically though the applications do not have windows that large. This was one of the rare cases where that became an issue.
 
I have this board and I love it. Current release BIOS is 1.3 but you can find the beta BIOS for it on the MSI forums here: http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?board=8.0 (You HAVE to register at the site before you can see the Beta BIOS sub-forum at the top). I am currently running 1.41 Beta and it has been great.

As far as the Killer NIC goes, I am just using the drivers and not the full install. I don't need extra stuff running on my PC. It works fine but I don't notice any difference vs. any other NIC.
 
I would like to build powerful but energy efficient gaming setup for Haswell.
Could somebody comment how this board fares in the power consumption area compared to the previous gen. legendary Z77A-GD65 Gaming?
According to some online reviews Z87-GD65 doesn't look like idle power consumption champion this round, or reviewers haven't enabled the important power saving options in the bios... Anyone to share his your experience?

I'm torn between this and Z87-MPower (mostly because they both provide Lucid MVP 2.0 video switch capability). Could you advice which is better, is it true that idle on GD65 is 1600 MHz and MPower uses 800 MHz? Thanks in advance.
 
I don't really look at power consumption that much. Frankly most people won't find an appreciable difference going from one board to the next when all other factors are equal.
 
I was considering getting this mobo, but I might settle for the slightly cheaper version gd45. they both supposedly Oc about the same. You get more bells and whistles with this gd65 though.
 
The Gaming series of boards are definitely impressive to me for their price points and the feature sets that they offer. I have a GT60 0NE notebook and it has Killer Doubleshot and I actually like the performance of the Killer NIC. Its nice to have a small app too that lets me see some of the trivial things about my network usage lol. Always interesting to see that program you didn't think used much bandwidth sucking it all up.
 
This is my next board. About to pull the trigger on a 4670K, this board and 16GB Gskill 1866. Should make a nice little upgrade over my current 920.
 
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