MSI Z77-G43 Review – 08/10/12
Alright as promised I’ll be doing a part break down and review for each one, so starting off will be the motherboard (picture posted below)
Starting off, the motherboard holds a LGA1155 socket for Intel core i3/i5/i7 CPUs. Powered by a Z77 southbridge chipset, it entitled the main board to USB 3.0, PCIe 3.0 and native support for SATA3 (6Gbps). There are 2 USB 3.0 ports at the back and has 2 onboard USB 3.0 headers (one physical, 2 potential ports). With 2 SATA3 and 4 SATA2 ports, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 can be configured using multiple hard drives. It comes with 2 PCIe slots, 1 at 16x Gen3 speeds, while the second slot is at 4x Gen2. 3 PCI slots and 2 PCIe slots at 1x speeds. This board certifies for CrossfireX and has THX audio.
Connectivity: in terms of connectivity, the majority of important expansion opportunities is listed above. The motherboard also has a standard 8 Pin CPU, 24 pin Motherboard, 4 RAM slots, 1 CPU 4 pin fan header, and 4 extra chassis fan headers. 6 audio jacks are on the back panel along with DVI, VGA, RJ45, PS2 and 6 USB 2.0 ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports. There are many more features to point out so if you’re interested, here is the link to the product page:
Let’s get started!
Starting with the basics, BIOS is just the beginning. It has the simplicity of UEFI and the complexity of a normal BIOS. With those combined you have the perfect match. There are so many options and it’s do easy to tweak. Fan control, temperature readings, clock/multiplier increases, everything you need basically. The only issue is when I increase the base clock of the CPU to 10019kHz, it has to restart itself a couple times (read the first post about the issue titled “MSI Z77-G43 (SLI)”). When it resets, BIOS configurations can either be reset, or they ask you to change settings… Both of which changes my settings.
The price of which I got this motherboard was really good: $120 for everything you need for a mid ranged gaming computer. It has enough slots for expansion, a 32 GB max RAM capacity; great value for the cost. Along with Fan controlling, M connectors and Winki (Linux based webbrowser), the G43 is packed with goodies. Other pros about this motherboard is the colored heatsinks. Powder paint in aluminum looks amazing on the power chokes and caps. Place this motherboard with blue cold cathodes and you have blue sexy beast.
USB headers are sufficient for an average user. For example I use a Zalman Z9 case, which has 4 USB ports, thus using 2 USB headers on the motherboard. Which means all USB headers are used (except the USB 3.0 one). I added a card reader that used a USB 2.0 header which meant I had to unplug one on the headers; which made my front panel USB ports to become unavailable (the other two were fine).
As for cons, there is the 16x,4x configuration on the PCIe slots, no SLI certification (driver patch is needed) and fan header placement. They should have configured 16x and 4x for single GPU solutions, then 8x, 8x configurations for dual GPUs. The bad thing about the fan header placement is that they placed it BESIDE the PCIe slot, so when you install a GPU, it is blocked, rendering it hard to reach/inaccessible.
Honestly, who uses PCI slots nowadays? Unless it is for REVODRIVES by OCZ or RAID cards, I don’t see any use for gamers. It’s a waste of potential lane bandwidth and it’s sad to not be able to use them. But the black finish helps hide it.
DDR3 timings and speed weren’t default. I installed 1600mHz RAM and it was clocked at 1333, so I had to use XMP.
The Harddrive wasn’t detected right away, the BIOS detected, but windows didn’t (probably windows fault, I’m not sure). If a secondary Harddrive is not detected, pop in your windows 7 CD, partition the drive and then reboot. Upon boot up, new volumes will be detected. Go to disk management and extend the volume all the way. That worked for me!
Great mother board for the price, I highly highly recommend it. It on a budget build, and SLI/CrossfireX is not a potential upgrade, look at the business chipset B75. MSI has a B75 mATX motherboard for 60-70$ on directcanada and newegg, two sites I like to use. MSI has become my top brand for motherboards, right behind is ASUS. In the future I will try an ASROCK motherboard and see how those go.
Originally posted 2012-10-09 02:35:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter