facebook rss twitter

Review: MSI Z77A-GD55 Intel Ivy Bridge motherboard

by Tarinder Sandhu on 23 May 2012, 12:34 3.5

Tags: MSI, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabgzz

Add to My Vault: x

Testing methodology and overclocking

Comparison systems

Motherboard MSI Z77A-GD55 Gigabyte Z77-D3H
Motherboard BIOS V1.30 F10
Chipset driver Intel Inf and IMEI 8.0.1399
Processor Intel Core i7-3770K
Memory G.Skill 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3
Memory timings 9-9-9-24-2T @ 1,600MHz
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB and Intel HD 4000 Graphics
Graphics driver ForceWare 301.10 and Intel
Disk drive Corsair V128 SSD
Optical drive Sony AD-7263S
Chassis Corsair Graphite 600T
Power supply Corsair AX750
Operating system Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

CPU and memory benchmarks

AIDA64 v2.30.1900
Benchmark that analyses memory bandwidth and latency
MediaEspresso 6.5
Encodes 720p episode (55m) into BlackBerry Bold-friendly 480x360 version in mp4
PCMark 7
An all-encompassing test to evaluate system performance
Our number-crunching benchmark stresses a single core by calculating Pi to 10m places
wPrime 2.0.8 Another number-crunching benchmark that stresses all available CPU cores/threads
CINEBENCH 11.5 Using Cinebench's multi-CPU render, this cross-platform benchmark stresses all cores

GPU benchmarks

3DMark 11 b1.1 DX11, run with the performance preset
3DMark Vantage b1.2 DX10, run at the default performance preset
Just Cause 2 DX10, 1,280x720 low/medium and 1,920x1,080 high settings
Batman: Arkham City DX11, 1,920x1,080 with very high quality settings

General benchmarks

Storage performance USB 3.0 read and write speed, SSD average read and write speed
Power consumption While idling and when running wPrime and 3DMark Vantage


We're comparing the MSI's performance against the recently-reviewed Gigabyte Z77-D3H - a budget board that's pretty hot on performance. The best Ivy Bridge chip is in the socket and the best single-GPU graphics card will put the focus on the chipset implementation in our gaming benchmarks.


We've used exactly the same methodology to overclock the Core i7-3770K chip in this reviewed board. The toasty nature of an over-volted Ivy Bridge processor puts the onus more on the cooling than the smooth-as-silk power-delivery system of a motherboard. As such, with the same cooling in place, we managed to hit the same overclocked speed by manually overclocking the chip through the BIOS - 4.8GHz. Benchmark performance, too, was within two per cent of these figures.