MSI Z77A-G45 Gaming Review

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Gigabyte Z77A-G45 Gaming Review

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Straight away you can tell that the Gaming has been deliberately designed to be something different, rather than a standard model with a fancy appellation. The box, as well as being replete with the MSI Dragon logo, is matte black. The whole texture is different to the endless parade of glossy boxes we have through the OC3D offices.

Gigabyte Z77A-G45 Gaming Review      Gigabyte Z77A-G45 Gaming Review  

As you would expect from the base model, the accessories are minimal with just a IO shield, manual, driver disc and some SATA cables. It's nice not to see a plain IO shield though. In such a crowded marketplace those little touches that make the difference.

Gigabyte Z77A-G45 Gaming Review     Gigabyte Z77A-G45 Gaming Review 

We're going to come right out and say it, we love the looks of the G45 Gaming. So often a base model is plain blue, or if the company have given you a black PCB you're lumbered with odd plastic parts or the barest minimal heatsinks. The MSI offering looks fantastic, and the gorgeous heatsinks demonstrate what a lot of care has gone into the design. 

Gigabyte Z77A-G45 Gaming Review     Gigabyte Z77A-G45 Gaming Review  

A slight design niggle from the placement of the CMOS battery, requiring the removal of the GPU just to reset the CMOS, but otherwise the G45 Gaming is excellent. There are a few fan headers spread nicely on the edges of the board, and the 8pin CPU power input, so often placed somewhere that ensures our fingers are permanently scarred, is perfectly positioned.

We can't help but love the dragon heatsink. It lends an air of class to proceedings and, let's not deny it, looks cool. The big difference between the base G45 and the other models in the Gaming range is the inclusion (or in this case lack) of the OC Genie switch on the PCB. Indeed the G45 lacks any buttons at all. 

Gigabyte Z77A-G45 Gaming Review     Gigabyte Z77A-G45 Gaming Review  

Connectivity is fairly standard. It's worth pointing out that MSI have increased the amount of gold plating on the leftmost USB ports, so that your mouse and keyboard remain with an optimum connection regardless of how often you unplug your peripherals. 

Gigabyte Z77A-G45 Gaming Review     Gigabyte Z77A-G45 Gaming Review  

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Most Recent Comments

22-04-2013, 07:25:39

SieB
Killer Ethernet and a Creative sound chip on a £120 mobo? Why do people pay £300+ for the Gigabyte G1 Killer boards again? Quote

22-04-2013, 07:39:11

WillSK
Looks like a really nice price/performance board!Quote

22-04-2013, 09:53:43

equk
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post
Killer Ethernet and a Creative sound chip on a £120 mobo? Why do people pay £300+ for the Gigabyte G1 Killer boards again?
Audio : Realtek® ALC892
Ethernet: Killer E2205

Quote:
Equally the SoundBlaster Cinema sound is good, but it's still a Realtek ALC892 beneath the hood. The merits of the Killer Networking solution have been long debated, and whilst there isn't any particular advantage in ping or speed in standard situations, if your PC unexpectedly starts updating something or you forgot to kill a torrent, then the traffic shaping keeps your gaming smooth.
^^^

Really nice review, like how the mention of the audio and network were kept to the facts

Re: Killer NIC:
Not sure I'd want traffic shaping forced via integrated hardware (most routers will provide this if required anyway)
(from a security pov wouldn't want an integrated embedded device with layer0 access)Quote

22-04-2013, 10:05:51

SieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by equk View Post
Audio : Realtek® ALC892
Ethernet: Killer E2205


^^^

Really nice review, like how the mention of the audio and network were kept to the facts

Re: Killer NIC:
Not sure I'd want traffic shaping forced via integrated hardware (most routers will provide this if required anyway)
(from a security pov wouldn't want an integrated embedded device with layer0 access)
I know dude, but they are the main features of the G1 killer boards and apparently why the are so expensive. Seeing the same sort of specs on a £120 mobo makes you wonder how Gigabyte get away with charging so much.

I did think the audio was creative though, got it mixed up with the software :\

http://www.creative.com/oem/products...are/cinema.aspQuote

22-04-2013, 10:37:43

alienware
Oh hell yeah wasn't expecting to see this reviewed !!

Thanks guys, will read now Quote
Reply
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