The MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING lives up to its name and maintains the reputation that MSI has built for its products. The board offers very solid overclocking coupled with a great UEFI experience making it a very approachable product that even occasional DIY’ers will have no problem setting up. The theme also lends itself well with the red and black scheme being a famous theme amongst modders and builders. Anyways,Â Â let’s break down our scores.
Performance.Â MSI’sÂ Z87-GD65 GAMING has an array of features that make it a gaming board. That said, we won’t gauge it for just the computing performance but the entire experience. For the most part though, the board manages to bring-out some great numbers from our processor, snagging a few chart toppers along the way. Moving on to other things, the audio performance was alright but mediocre attempt at an amped-up Realtek ALC1150 isn’t really doing it for us. For LAN, we’ve never been convinced of any benefits that LAN traffic management offers especially for online games so we’ll just ignore it. If you’re playing in an actual LAN game though, the KillerLAN E2200 might help but in this day and age of online DRM, there’s just little application for it.
The board looks great save for the brown canvas MSI calls a PCB loitering about ruining the perfect portrait of a motherboard.
Build Quality.Â You know its coming and here it is: THE BOARD’S PCB IS BROWN. I don’t know if its varnish that MSI uses to mask their PCB, but varnish only looks good on wood furniture not high-end consumer electronics and PC components. In a more professional tone, we understand MSI’s need to reduce production cost but when we’ve seen them capable of providing pure black PCB’s on their previous generation GD65 motherboard so we just can’t see enough justification of leaving out the PCB in exchange for an audio amp and 3rd-party LAN solution. Just no. On a more positive light, the MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING still retains the company’s choice of quality components and solid feel. The board is well laid-out and looks great save for the brown canvas MSI calls a PCB loitering about ruining the perfect portrait of a motherboard.
Functionality.Â The board offers a wide-range of features making it a great base for a gaming rig. Multi-card configuration is available dual- to triple- card setups and the board is capable of some good overclock. We’ll talk about this more later in the closing paragraphs.
Bundle.Â MSI includes a door sign and a thick Dragon sticker with their GAMING series which is worth a couple of brownie points. Other than that, the included software is solid but average.
Value.Â The board is readily available forÂ â‚±10,350 making it one of the more affordable “gaming” Z87 motherboards out right now. It competes with the GIGABYTE G1, Sniper M5, ASRock Fatal1ty Killer and ASUS Maximus VI HERO, all of which are touted as gaming motherboards. All those boards have their own feature set but we feel the MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING separates itself from the group by offering a full set of premium features without limiting the consumer. In the case GIGABYTE’s option, they out-spec the MSI offer but the ATX Sniper 5 is way above with a 17k PHP asking price. The MSI GAMING board offers a good balance of features and performance of Z87 board.
The Haswell generation of processors has brought with it much integrated solutions that its getting very hard for board manufacturers to really offer anything else beyond what consumers need.Â MSI Z87-GD65 GAMINGÂ is a great example of a balanced motherboard that is capable of providing top-of-the-line performance without having too much baggage that most high-end board seem to be obsessed about having. Packing 1000 or 1 million phases will not make a great board nor does having a world famous gamer’s face on your UEFI.
We will, until the day we die, haunt MSI about their brown PCB.
The MSI Z87-GD65 GAMINGÂ is backed by a 2-year warranty (PH only, varies by territory.)
We give the MSI Z87-GD65 GAMINGÂ with ourÂ B2GÂ Recommendation AwardÂ andÂ B2G Editor’s Choice.