Excerpt: Micro-Star International, better known as MSI, has been busy little bees in 2011 to fend off fierce competition from ASUS, Gigabyte and other motherboard vendors. This year's launch of the Z68 chipset from Intel combined the capabilities and features from the H67 and P67 chipsets, and MSI capitalized on this when they joined forces with LucidLogix to include their Virtu technology in their latest Z68A-GD80 motherboard.
Conclusion: There are a lot of really nice features that the MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) comes with: support for the next generation PCI-Express Gen 3.0 slot interface, 5 Year Warranty after registration, fast UEFI BIOS that’s both appealing easy to use, OC Genie II, and the Military Class II components all add value to this motherboard. In addition, it will support the next generation Ivy Bridge processors, and next generation graphics hardware.
Pros: 5 Year Warranty, Military Class II Components, PCI-E Gen 3 Support for the Future, Ivy Bridge Ready, Good Performance, OC Genie II, UEFI (GUI) BIOS, No Stability Issues, Good price vs. performance
Cons: SATA III performance on the Z68 chipset suffered for some reason, Front panel connectors might be confusing
Excerpt: To start this review off let’s first take a look at the Intel Z68 Chipset and what it has to offer. This chipset is essentially just a reworking of their previous P67 Chipset and doesn’t really have too many new features to offer. This chipset’s primary improvement over the previous chipset is that it offers support for Intel’s second generation of Core processors.
Conclusion: Although we strive to be as objective as possible, any review will reflect to some extent the perceptions and biases of the reviewer. Also, keep in mind that the computer market is very volatile, and that today's killer super product can easily become yesterday's also-ran as the market competition changes. Don't base a purchase decision solely on this review, but use it as part of your research.
Pros: Can use integrated Sandy Bridge video and a discrete video card, Intel Smart Response technology boosts disk performance, Military spec components and 10-phase power enable high and stable overclocks, Four SATA 6G and four USB 3.0 ports, OC Genie overclocking guarantees extra performance even for novices, Voltage measuring points and extra PCI-E power connector for the hard-core overclockers
Cons: BIOS defaults to IDE mode for SATA ports, Virtu software still has some rough edges, Can't run triple SLI or CrossFireX effectively due to lack of PCI-E lanes, Oddly slow iGPU performance, Only one PWM fan header
Summary: As always with any Z68 review we need to break up this conclusion into two segments, the chipset and the actual motherboard review. Let's start off with the chipset. The Intel Z68 chipset takes the best of both worlds in the series 6 chipset, monitor IO wise the H67 connectivity and IGP support and the power performance and tweaking features of the P67 chipset. Combined they make a strong duo and as such I welcome the Z67 chipset very much.
Summary: Today we are going to talk about a mainboard that was designed very conveniently and correctly, supports all contemporary interfaces such as eSATA, USB 3.0, SATA 6 Gbps and IEEE1394 (FireWire), has all necessary Video outs. It does, however, suffer from a few issues during overclocking, although the produced results are quite exceptional.
Summary: Like our initial Z68 review we need to break up this conclusion into two segments, the chipset and the actual motherboard review. Let's start off with the chipset. The Intel Z68 chipset takes the best of both worlds in the series 6 chipset, monitor IO wise the H67 connectivity and IGP support and the power performance and tweaking features of the P67 chipset. Combined they make a strong duo and as such I welcome the Z67 chipset very much.