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MSI Z68A-GD80-G3 (Intel Z68) Motherboard Review

As we had hoped, the MSI Z68A-GD80-G3 is a solid, stable, well equipped board which offers one of the most intuitive bios configurations we have seen this year. We doubt many enthusiast users will want to use a touch screen to navigate the panels, but the option is there.

With so many Z68 boards currently on the market, the choices can be somewhat bewildering for a customer. The MSI board delivers a fully featured, well thought out layout, offering both USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbps connectivity. The back panel is populated with a wide range of ports including HDMI, DVI, eSATA and multiple gigabit lan ports. The inclusion of an external reset CMOS button is an enthusiast favourite.

Overclocking the motherboard proved painfree and we found over the course of a week that memory compatibility is very good. While we hit 5ghz with some tweaking, we know that a wide audience of inexperienced users will really benefit from the physical ‘OC Genie button’ on the motherboard. By simply pressing this button into an ‘on’ position and rebooting, the MSI Z68A-GD80-G3 takes all the effort out of overclocking. It gave the Core i5 2500k a healthy boost of 900mhz, achieving stable speeds of 4.2ghz.

While the MSI Z68A-GD80-G3 is designed for the high end enthusiast user, we appreciate the methodology with the design. Keep it simple for inexperienced users who still want some benefit from enhanced clock speeds, but offer a comprehensive bios configuration for those who want to push the hardware to breaking point.

While PCIE Gen 3.0 isn’t being utilised right now, the product is futureproofed for the next generation of graphics cards.

You can buy from Scan for £188 inc vat although they are out of stock at time of publication. OCUK are selling for £200.

Pros:

  • Fantastic bios.
  • OC Genie button is a nice touch.
  • good memory compatibility.
  • connectivity is first class.

Cons:

  • Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 is less than half the price.

Kitguru says: Fully loaded and ready to rock.


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Rating: 8.5.

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