If you’re looking for a good Z77 motherboard to pair up with that shiny Ivy Bridge CPU but don’t want to break the bank, MSI’s Z77A-GD55 is well worth a look. Despite its modest $165 price-tag, the GD55 offers a rich feature-set, looks good, has a robust EFI and even makes overclocking easy for those who don’t care for the manual route.
With its Z77A-GD55, MSI offers a well-rounded package for a price-tag of about $165. There’s nothing missing here that the board needs, and though there are “only” 6x internal SATA ports and 6x USB ports at the back, it’s not atypical of boards in this price-range.
Despite being online for over seven years, we’ve only taken a look at one other MSI motherboard in the past, the P67A-GD65. It could have been poltergeists in the lab, but time and time again we’d receive models from the company and experience issues, from boards that wouldn’t remain stable at stock to others that blew capacitors. These incidents never left great impressions on us.
But it seems a lot has changed inside MSI the past couple of years. I’ve discussed these issues with folks from the company in private, and no one there was ignorant that there was work to be done. Judging by what we saw here with the Z77A-GD55, I’d say the company has changed how things are handled internally and as a result, has begun producing some seriously competitive offerings.
The Z77A-GD55 offers a great value for its price. It looks good (which holds limited importance of course), includes five fan headers placed at convenient locations, performs well, has a colorful, welcoming EFI (if not a bit clunky though) and for those who don’t want to fuss with overclocking, it has a simple button that can be pushed to take care of it for you.
Given the issues I’ve had with MSI in the past, this GD55 board has been like a breath of fresh air. I punished it with all my might, and it stood up defiant, asking for more. If you’re in the market for an affordable yet feature-rich Z77 board, add this to your list of considerations.
MSI Z77A-GD55 Z77 Motherboard
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