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MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboard Review

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MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboard Detailed Features

In this section we take a closer look at the notable features of the MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboard.

MSI_Z77A-G45_Gaming_Motherboard_CPU_Phase_LED.jpg

Above the RAM slots there are four CPU phase LED’s. The phase LED’s light up blue in real time according to the load on the CPU. This feature is on by default and can be turned off in the MSI Command Center software if you don’t find it useful.

MSI_Z77A-G45_Gaming_Motherboard_Front_IO.jpg

The internal I/O connectors on the Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboard are in a slightly different layout than I am used to. The main difference being the front panel headers are in the middle rather than their ‘standard’ placement on the far right. There are a number of proprietary headers (JTPM1, JDLED3 and JCI1) available that support optional extra hardware from MSI, and are covered in more detail in the user guide.

MSI_Z77A-G45_Gaming_Motherboard_Vcheck_Points.jpg

Although it is more of a bench testers feature, the Z77A-G45 GAMING motherboard sports V-Check points for the more avid enthusiast that likes to tinker with their hardware.

MSI_Z77A-G45_Gaming_Motherboard_Dragon_Heatsinks.jpg

I didn’t spot it right away but a closer inspection of the VRM/phase heatsinks reveals that they are shaped like the head of a dragon. This is a nice touch but it will be inevitably lost in an enclosed system with a large CPU cooler much like my own. Even with a large side panel window I can’t see either of these heatsinks behind the gigantic Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler.

MSI_Z77A-G45_Gaming_Motherboard_Special_ICs.jpg

The image above shows the more noteworthy IC’s featured on the Z77A-G45 GAMING motherboard from MSI. Firstly we see the KILLER E2205-B NIC from Qualcomm Atheros. specially designed with gamers in mind the KILLER E2200 NIC accelerates gaming and streaming media (UDP traffic) for a more responsive feeling network connection.

The Fintek F71889AD Super I/O IC monitors hardware values such as voltages, fan speeds and component temperatures etc. Voltage adjustment (overclocking) comes courtesy of the uPI Semiconductor uP1618A IC. HDMI and DVI outputs are controlled by two Parade PS8101 HDMI/DVI Level Shifter IC’s allowing for simultaneous use. Four asmedia ASM1480 IC’s provide the PCIe 3.0 lanes.


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