MSI P67A-GD65 Sandy Bridge Motherboard Preview

Author: Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig
Date: December 28, 2010
Product Name: MSI P67A-GD65
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MSI’s P67 Lineup in Detail

To say that the GD65 is the tip of MSI’s product stack would be a serious understatement since there are plenty of other products to choose from.

At the very top of MSI’s lineup will be the massively well endowed Big Bang Marshall which will sport a Lucid Hydra chip in order to multiply the onboard PCI-E lanes. With eight PCI-E x16 slots (not all of them will work at full x16 bandwidth), it requires more space than the standard ATX design can handle. As such, it requires what MSI calls an ALT-ATX size which should be roughly compatible with XL-ATX supporting cases.

Directly below the Marshall will be the GD80 and the mainstream GD65 and GD55. The GD80 is geared towards overclockers in particular since it incorporates several design features that aren’t available on the slightly lower-end boards. It uses a cutting-edge power distribution layout which MSI dubs Power4 and includes a multi-phase DrMOS setup as well as Proadlizer “super” capacitors. The GD80 will also have a few more USB 3.0 ports than other less expensive options.

The GD65 and GD55 are nearly identical to one another with only a few differentiating factors between the two other than their respective prices. The GD65 incorporates a dual BIOS function which the GD55 does without and also has two more SATA 3 ports. There is an addition P67S-GD53 which also omits the USB 3.0 ports altogether.

Moving further down the lineup we come to the C-series boards that are tagged with the “multimedia” moniker and tend to do without dual GPU support, dual BIOS chips and certain USB charging options. The BIOS on these boards are also quite basic as they don’t have the overclocking options of their enthusiast-oriented brethren.

MSI’s H-series of motherboards typically target the HTPC or small form factor markets and in this case the H67MA-ED55 leads the way with dual GPU support and a bevy of other higher-end features. It also makes use of a two-phase GPU power design which is dedicated to the integrated graphics.

Meanwhile, the E45 and E43 are toned down versions of the ED55 which trade in some higher end features for lower price points. As usual the “S” branded board is carbon copy of the “A” series but does without the USB 3.0 support.

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