MSI Z77A-G45 & Lightning GTX680 Review

Review Score:
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We like the MSI motherboard box artwork, its big and bold and colourful. The box focuses on their high grade ‘military class III’ components.

The bundle includes a back plate I/O panel, a user quick installation guide, full manual, software/driver disc, motherboard headers and two SATA cables.

The motherboard is built around a dark brown PCB with blue and black sockets and several heatsinks around the CPU socket. The board complies with the ATX form factor measuring 30.5 cm x 24.5 cm.

The Z77 platform is a dual channel memory architecture and there are four slots on this board which support up to 32GB.  The company list support as 2667*(OC)/ 2400*(OC)/ 2133*(OC)/ 1866*(OC)/1600/ 1333/ 1066 DRAM.

Internal I/O Connectors

- ATX 24-Pin power connector
- 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
- CPU x 1 / System x 4 FAN connectors
- 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
- 2 x Serial ATAII connectors
- 4 x Serial ATAIII connectors
- 3 x USB 2.0 connectors
- 1 x USB 3.0 connector
- 1 x Serial port connector
- 1 x TPM Module connector
- 1 x Front Panel Audio connector
- 1 x Front Panel connector
- 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
- 1 x Voice Genie connector (optional)
- 1 x MultiConnect Panel connector (optional)
- 1 x V-Check Points Set (optional)

The CPU socket has a two tone blue/black heatsink surrounding it, which helps to cool the VRM’s when overclocking. MSI use SFC and Solid Caps which have passed MIL-STD-810G certification.

There is a single 8 pin power socket for the CPU to ensure stability.

The PCB has a row of V-Check points which will appeal to the overclockers out there who like to push things to the limits.

• SATAII controller integrated in Intel Z77 chipset
- Up to 3Gb/s transfer speed.
- Supports four SATAII ports (SATA3~6) by Z77

• SATAIII controller integrated in Intel Z77 chipset
- Up to 6Gb/s transfer speed.
- Supports two SATAIII ports (SATA1~2) by  Z77

• RAID
- SATA1~6 support Intel Rapid Storage Technology enterprise (AHCI/ RAID 0/ 1/ 5/ 10) by Intel Z77

The expansion slots are split into the following:

• 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots
• 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 slot
-  PCI_E7 supports up to PCIe 2.0 x4 speed
• 4 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots

Back Panel I/O Ports

- 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse port
- 1 x Clear CMOS button
- 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF-out port
- 1 x Optical S/PDIF-out port
- 4 x USB 2.0 ports
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 1 x RJ45 LAN Jack
- 1 x 6 in 1 audio jack
- 1 x HDMI® port with max. resolution up to 1920×1200 @60Hz
- 1 x DVI-D port with max. resolution up to 1920×1200 @60Hz
- 1 x VGA port with max. resolution up to 2048×1536 @75Hz

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
MSI Z77A-G45 & Lightning GTX680 Review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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4 Comments
  • Xtreme
    December 19, 2012
    #1
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    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Thats a very good value for money mobo. I didnt have a good experience with my last MSI board however so went back to ASUS.

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    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • EsOne
    December 19, 2012
    #2
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    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    id love a GTX680 for my system, reckon they might drop to £199 in January? :p

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  • Mannucuna
    December 19, 2012
    #3
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    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    I need to upgrade my motherboard, its a Z68 and its flaky. one of the first out and my SATA ports are becoming tempremental :(

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  • meceil
    December 21, 2012
    #4
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    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Great post. I have read this article. This article is really informative. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing.

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