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MSI H55-GD65 review

MSI's H55-GD65 brings support for Intel's fusion processors to the full-ATX form factor

Our Verdict

A plausible enough full-ATX mobo with a solid feature set, but not a great overclocker

For

  • Fully supports all LGA1156 chips
  • Competitively priced

Against

  • Mediocre overclocking headroom
  • Limited I/O bandwidth

Simple souls that we are, when it comes to overclocking, we prefer instant gratification. With that in mind, the MSI H55-GD65 ought to be right up our alley.

The relevant feature here is the OC Genie auto-overclocking button. According to MSI it's a fully automatic, smart overclocking feature that detects the best possible settings. Simply flick the button and enjoy optimal overclocked performance. It even works with the system running, so there's no need to reboot it.

Some smarts

But that's just the beginning of the GD65's talents. It's a full-featured ATX board at a reasonable price and comes complete with a pair of x16 PCI-e ports for multi-graphics mayhem, though currently support is limited to AMD's CrossFire; SLI hasn't been licensed.

Sticking with the graphics theme, this board packs Intel's H55 chipset and that means it's ready to tango with the new Clarkdale fusion CPU and its on-chip graphics core. Thus, you'll find a trio of video-out options among the main bank of ports: namely VGA, DVI and HDMI.

Put it altogether with reasonable pricing and the work MSI says it's done to ensure clean power to the CPU and you have what looks like a pretty solid package. The reality, however, is a little underwhelming.

For starters, OC Genie thinks that all Core i5-750 chips should run at 3.2GHz. We say "appears", because we can't be sure that result is typical. But it's what's widely reported by users and it's exactly what we found. Not terrible, then, but not exactly 'smart'.

However, it's when you get your hands dirty with some manual base clock massaging that more serious shortcomings emerge.

Allowing the GD65 to set voltages, timings and the memory clock automatically, a base clock of 185MHz is the best you can expect. That's significantly down on the 200MHz achieved by the best on test.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelH55 Express
Multi GPU SupportedCrossFireX
Onboard VideoNo
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots2
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket 1156
Brand NameMSI
Form FactorATX
Processor SupportedCore i5, Core i7, Core i3, Pentium
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory16 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots2
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of IDE Interfaces1
Number of SATA Interfaces7
QuickPath Interconnect6.40 GT/s
Number of Total Expansion Slots6
eSATAYes
HDMIYes
DVIYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports6
Total Number of FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports3
Total Number of Onboard FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
Total Number of PCI Express Slots4
Width305 mm
Depth225 mm
ManufacturerMicro-Star International Co., Ltd
Product ModelH55-GD65
Product NameH55-GD65 Desktop Board
Controller TypeSerial ATA/300, Ultra ATA/133 (ATA-7)
Manufacturer Part NumberH55-GD65
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.msicomputer.com
Marketing Information

The H55-GD65 Series mainboards are based on Intel H55 chipsets for optimal system efficiency. Designed to fit the advanced Intel LGA1156 processor, the H55-GD65 Series deliver a high performance and professional desktop platform solution.

Limited Warranty3 Year