on 22 November 2013
MSI Z87 GD65 motherboard was the center piece of this gaming build, fitted perfectly accommodated eight SATA inputs, USB2 and USB3, soundblaster tech as standard, my WIFI speeds have doubled using MSI network tech, complemented with the MSI GTX760 3GB DDR5 TF and press the automated OC settings and head into seamless effortless overdrive. Highly reccomended
on 5 April 2014
Opening the box, this gives a quality feeling all the way. I'm new to MSI, and have been pleasantly surprised by how nice this is, and it's now at the heart of my gaming/HTPC rig with no issues other than me wondering what was going on when my year old Sandisk SSD had died while it waited for the new components to arrive. I like the plethora of fan headers, SATA sockets and the possibility of having a little mSATA SSD in the middle of my mobo, although I'd already got a Samsung EVO lined up once I'd given the Sandisk unit a good send off. Little covers for the built in graphics outputs are a nice touch to keep the dust out, as is the bag of easy-on-easy-off front panel connectors and the Over Clock, on/off and reset buttons on the top of the board. What the hell the point of the voltage testing block and little baggie of testing leads is for, I have no idea, but then electronics was never my strong point - I suspect it's for testing voltages during over-clocking, but as I can barely find my way around my voltage meter, I'll leave the cables in the bag thanks. The USB3 front panel connector was a bit badly sited for my case, but a PCI-e USB3 card I am using had the same connector on the back, so it become a non-issue in the end.
There's space for a couple of GPUs, which is so tempting, but I'll pass for now while my bank account recovers. There's also plenty of scope for adding USB ports, although the internal headers are all USB2, so of limited use long term as USB2 starts to look horribly slow when used for HDDs and memory card readers etc. 4 slots for memory is also a temptation to spend more money, but I settled for 2 x 8gb sticks in slots 1 and 4 to utilise double data rate and get the most out of the RAM. The optical out on the back is going to get well used, and it's good that it has a push-through cover, rather than a removable one that always gets lost.
The software that comes with the board is a bit of a mish-mash, and I've already uninstalled some of it. The Killer Networking app won't check my speeds because it claims I don't have Flash installed, so as I have the plugin for Firefox, I'm guessing it's going to be using Internet Exploder, which I don't use for obvious reasons. So much for that "handy" utility. The BIOS screens are helpful however, and with a choice of two switchable BIOS images, it's easy to test a new BIOS without worrying about bricking your board. It's a shame you have to crack the case to flip the switch, but it's not going to be that often that you do it anyway.
As a die-hard ASUS mobo user, I'm quite pleased with this MSI board, and would recommend it to anyone making their first venture into PC gaming and away from their consoles if "next gen" 720p doesn't appeal anymore.
UPDATE: Having used it for quite a while now, I'm not too impressed with its ability to perform functions like turning off and on. Yes, you heard right. Turning the PC off is really not very good, and was almost impossible until I updated the BIOS. It would leave fans running in the background even when allegedly powered off, and even after the BIOS update, there's still something humming away in the background, but at least it doesn't switch itself back on whenever it feels like it anymore, despite Intel's stupid Smart Connect "technology" that wakes up your PC to update your email, Facebook and other social media. Really? How long does that take anyway? Stupid.
Start-up is a PITA too, as somehow it seems to have a problem with my system and states that it can't access a disk. press return though, and it boots perfectly normally. May be my fault, or at least fixable, but it's the first time in many years that I've had such a weird thing happen. It also seems to regularly want to revisit the BIOS settings, after which it mumbles something about the OverClocking routine having problems. Maybe I should send it back as faulty?
As I write this, there's yet another new BIOS version for download, so maybe that will help with booting?
Final decision? I wish the Asus board I was considering had been in stock when I ordered.
on 24 January 2014
The board itself in its entirety is an amazing piece of kit for the money. In all areas of overclocking and benchmarks it matches and sometimes excels the higher end boards. I tried an R9 290 and an GTX 670 and both ran faster in this board than other previously tested boards(i.e z77 Asus gen3 pro, X79 Extreme, z87 ASROCK Extreme 6, ASUS PRO etc. )
See review also: [...]
High End Audio chip
KILLER NIC (improves on line gaming, broadband even in general)
High end gaming port
Looks are sharp
up to 3000Mhz O.C RAM (not that you can even get this - suggest 2133/2400)
Japaneses Solid Caps (these are one of the best)
No Wife or Bluetooth however this is no
If you want something with amazing Overclocking features, and all the bits except thunderbolt (I believe this technology wont be used by many/like firewire) I think the MSI MPOWER MAX has it all. Its baby brother also MSI MPOWER ATX is almost as good....
If you are not an MSI fan and want a great board for small cash I will point you towards :
ASUS Pro z87 (this for the lesser experienced person)
ASROCK EXTREME 6 AC (this one for the more experience person, much more technical the BIOS and more tweak-able)
For the all bells and whistles board go for:
ASUS MAXIMUS VI FORMULA
MSI MPOWER MAX ATX
ASROCK Extreme 9 (not just in z87 but in x79 platform as well - only beware the gaming card can be a problem if you intend to run more than 2x GPU's)
GIGABYTE... There all good boards, stable.... but not very exciting unless you are talking about there Sniper board or there High End OC board - both over £300 mark and not worth it consider you get more of a board in the MSI MPOWER MAX for over £120 less.
Hope this helps. I am in IT and my first PC was a commodore 64 and been into them since, so not just blowing smoke.
on 4 June 2014
I got this as the price was good and has good reviews for overclocking (not done it yet). I love the look of it and it just looks great inside my case with the black and red finish. More USB slots than I probably will ever use at the back, more SATA cables than I probably use too. Easy to fit and worked just fine. I was so happy when my system all worked fine out the box considering it was my first build. Shall have this board for a while.
I would recomend not to use the drivers on the disk expect the LAN one to get wireless. Just go to the MSI website and get the Live update software from MSI, scan and total installer and walah all drivers and everything compeletly updated to new.
I didn't have a CD drive so this worked out well for me and saved time in install outdated drivers.
MSI need to make an extra case badge smaller than the one they provide, would be nice to have that and a smaller one.
on 19 September 2014
Love this motherboard. Got all the features a gamer could ever want. Plenty of fan headers too which i loved has i had a Corsair H105 and 5 system fans. It's a good looking board too with its dashing red theme.
Can also say that's its durable and well built since the power supply i bought ended up breaking and failing on me and this board survived along with the rest of my rig (thankfully).
Overall if you're a gamer looking to build a gaming rig for yourself no need to go for a super expensive board this one is ideal.
This is the hardware im running on this board:
- Intel Core i7 4770k @ 4.2Ghz
- 16GB Corsair Vengeance @1600Mhz
- Corsair H105 Water Cooling
- Asus GeForce GTX 780
- Corsair AX 860W power supply (New power supply, the one that broke was the CX750W)
on 24 January 2014
Got this this as part of my gaming build, and it doesn't dissappoint. Only thing I would say , is don't install all the utility applications it comes with, as their not windows friendly. Glad I looked into MSI,
on 28 July 2014
Very good looking motherboard, great for over clocking and came in the post with no damage what so ever. The sound blaster feature is surprisingly effective and the one button press over clocking feature works pretty well also. I would definitely recommend this motherboard for any one who is putting it in a case with a large window as mine does (NZXT H440 Red + Black)...It looks very, very cool. The BIOS is really good as well. Just an all round great motherboard for a mid-high end build.
on 21 July 2014
This motherboard is very kool, the red and black theme is amazing, the board doesn't get hot and support high overclocks with ease. Would easily support a 5Ghz overclock in my opionon, I've got my 4770k at only 4.3Ghz on this board and use it for gaming. So many options on this board and the Killer LAN and Audio is a treat. The onboard graphics isn't that bad awell. This is well worth the money and would hight recommend one! Feels very solidly made.