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MSI Z77A-G45 & Lightning GTX680 Review

Rating: 9.0.

Many people will be heading into 2013 with plans of upgrading their system. MSI sent us their capable, but competitively priced Z77A-G45 Z77 motherboard and we are pairing it up with the monster Lightning GTX680 graphics card. We test a system using these components with the latest games and try our hand at some overclocking. Are these products worthy of your money?

MSI have released a wide range of products this year, from gaming laptops to high end motherboards and graphics cards. The Lightning graphics cards have always scored well in the Kitguru labs due to their pimped out cooling systems and generous ‘out of the box' overclocked speeds. There is no shortage of competition today however from companies like ASUS, Club3D, Sapphire and VTX3D.

Nvidia's GTX680 is a killer discrete solution so we have high hopes that the MSI GTX680 Lightning Edition is right up there with the best of them. At a whopping £439.99 inc vat there is no doubt that it will need to deliver the goods.

The MSI Z77A-G45 is not one of the high end boards in the current MSI range but the company have been confident that it will overclock well. At only £104.99 inc vat, it won't break the bank either. We know most of our readers like to overclock so we find out if the lowish price means a compromise has to be made in regards to hitting high clock speeds. To thoroughly test the overclocking capabilities we will be using the Intel Core i7 3770k today.

We had planned to use Windows 8 for the operating system choice today, but our recent polls on both the main site and our Facebook page have shown a very low interest/adoption rate for the new Microsoft operating system. We may redress this in 2013, but for the time being we are sticking to Windows 7 64 bit for these reviews.

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