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.
As with most current-gen boards, MSI’s Z77A-GD55 features an EFI in lieu of an old-school BIOS. And I must admit – compared to the first EFI the company ever put out, this one is impressive right from the get-go.
We won’t exhaust ourselves explaining all of what the EFI offers, as these screenshots speak for themselves. MSI took the interesting route of not having a top-menu that’s navigated, but rather centers all of the options in the middle with a static GUI surrounding it. Depending on your preferences, this is either a great thing or a nuisance. For my camera, it was appreciated, as each shot had just the right amount of light on the screen to help it take decent photos.
As nice as it looks, though, I admit I didn’t find this EFI that simple to use. I understand that an EFI encourages the use of a mouse, but I don’t think it should compel those who don’t want to use one, to use one. For this reason I prefer the static menus up top, like the old BIOSes, because navigation is simple. Here, you’re never quite sure which selection you’re currently on, and getting to a specific section quick won’t happen without a mouse.
Aside from that annoyance, which might not even annoy a bulk of the people who use this board, the EFI is nicely laid out and easy-to-use.
Overall, not the best EFI I’ve used, but it’s hard to find things to complain about. There are a billion options as we’d hope, and in quick tests, the board and EFI handled a 4.5GHz overclock quite well without much effort.