The MSI X79A-GD45 is the entry level X79 board from MSI. In terms of features, it is definitely a no match for the X79 Big Bang or GD65. Although it has the lowest price among the three, the performance of this board can be truly seen with the benchmarks done. There is practically no performance difference compared to the more expensive boards out there in the market.
In terms of features, it supports 3 full length Gen 3 PCIe x 16 slots with PCI_E1 & PCI_E4 support up to PCIE x16 speed and PCI_E6 supports up to PCIE x8 speed. It supports both CrossFire X and SLI. USB 3.0. Other features include SuperCharger, M-Flash, APS (active phase switching), Winki 3, Liveupdate 5, USB Safeguard, Instant OC, 3TB+ Infinity. The package also comes with a Overclocking Guide which is very useful even for long time overclockers.
Installation is pretty straightforward with this board. One thing to note is that you must get hold of a heatsink that is narrower as there is a possibility of it blocking the graphics card slot.
Overclocking features are plenty. You can fine tune the parameters as seen in the video on page 4 using the UEFI BIOS. Alternatively, you can also access most of it within Windows. Using air cool, we are able to get it stable running the Core i7-3960X at 100 x 47. Dimm is at 1.65v profile 2 (DDR3-1866). CPU Vcore is set to 1.50v and System agent voltage (SA) at 1.40v.
I particularly like the Overclocking Guide. This is something that is quite unique as I have never seen such documentation in other boards. In fact, this sort of guide is usually found on non retailer reviewers board. This is a PLUS for MSI. You can view our scanned copy in our forum.
As for cost/performance, the MSI X79A-GD45 is definitely more affordable than others. It limits itself to the necessary features and does not burden extra costs on unused feature.
In Conclusion, I give this board our Gold Award for it’s cost performance and feature set.
Click BIOS II
Overclocking Guide Manual
No OC easy button to change multiplier on the fly
Chipset no native USB 3 support
Here are my ratings out of 10.
|Performance||9 / 10|
|Features||8 / 10|
|Ease Of Installation||10 / 10|
|Overclocking Features||9 / 10|
|Documentation||10 / 10|
|Packaging||10 / 10|
|Cost / Performance||8 / 10|
|Overall Rating :||9.1 / 10|