As a reply to recently presented ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty Gen3 motherboard, MSI, the world-renowned mainboard and graphics card manufacturer, has launched not one bu two CI Express Gen 3 products: Z68A-GD80 (G3) and Z68A-GD65 (G3).
The naming for the first motherboard suggests it is a top solution based on Intel Z68 chipset. The novelty includes three PCI-Express expansion slots with two of them of 3rd generation (PCI-E 3:1×16 +1×8 and PCI-E 2.x: 1×16) delivering throughput up-to 32GB/s. Moreover, SLI and Crossfire support allows multi-card configuration, while on board Lucid Logix Virtu technology provide fast dynamic switching between discrete card and integrated graphics processor depending on load. Other expansion slots number two PCI-E x1 and two PCI.
Motherboard power subsystem features Military Class II components including Hi-c CAP and Solid CAP capacitors as well as Super Ferrite Choke, all of them improve overall lifespan of the product. Other than that, there are four DIMM slots for DDR3 memory of up-to 2133(OC)MHZ specification, seven SATA ports (three of them are of SATAIII standard) and two USB 3.0 ports located on I/O panel with one more implemented in a front panel for use with external USB 3.0 devices.
While OC Genie II is well known for performance boost with just one click of a button, MSI has added ClickBIOS II technology that provides a consistent user interface both in the UEFI BIOS and in Windows as a more convenient way to control system settings.
In the end, the I/O panel comes with dual Gigabit Ethernet adapters, FireWire and eSATA ports, USB2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, audio inputs/outputs for integrated 7.1-channel codec as well as DVI and HDMI ports, and ClearCMOS button.
MSI Z68A-GD65 (G3) is very similar to its “elder” model, although it only has two PCI Express slots (both of 3rd Gen) operating in 1×16+1×8 mode. Besides that, there are three PCI-E x1 and two PCI slots available for peripheral device connection. Same four DDR3 memory slots supporting max capacity of 32GB. Storage driver connectivity is brought by 8 SATA ports, four of which are of 6GB/s speed specs.
The I/O panel of MSI Z68A-GD65 (G3) differs by having one Gigabit Ethernet adapters, no FireWire or eSATA ports and additionally a VGA ports for IGP signal output.
Both models are already available in several Europe e-stores for around 187 Euro and 257 Euro for Z68A-GD65 (G3) and Z68A-GD85 (G3) respectively.