Author: Bob Buskirk
The MSI P67A-GD55 is the first P67 motherboard we have tested, but we have seen many in person at CES. That being said the build quality and all of the features on the GD55 make it one of the favorites that I have seen even if I didn’t get down and dirty and test it.
MSI does a great job with the styling on this board. The blackish-brown PCB with the black and blue accents on the components make it a very attractive board. The logo’s on the heatsinks look good, but are not overwhelming. The only thing that really sticks out on this board is the red USB header, but we really cannot complain about that.
The overall design of this board is good. Everything is nicely organized and nothing really seems cramped. The SATA ports are color-coded and faced towards the side of the board which makes installation and cable management easy. All of the heatsinks on the board are just the right size and are not overly large. This makes installing your CPU cooler and other components easy. The only real issue I found was that the DDR slots were pretty close to the CPU socket so if you want to install memory with large heatspreaders you might have some clearance issues with your CPU cooler.
I think one of the main things that sets MSI motherboards apart from others is the Military Class II components. This includes a 6-phase SFC (Super Ferrite Choke) choke setup. MSI says this design provides 30% better efficiency than standard chokes. Hi-c CAP’s (Highly-conductive polymerized capacitor) which provide an 8x longer lifetime than traditional Solid CAP. Finally the Solid CAP design which has a claimed lifetime of 10 years. MSI offers these same features on their motherboards. Another great feature on this motherboard is the power and reset button being on the board itself. This is great for people who are testing and just makes things easier.
The ClickBIOS on this motherboard one of my favorite things. Even if you are used to going through the old style BIOS’s the ClickBIOS is so much easier to navigate. Everything is easy to find and it even provides some great utilities. It is also nice to be able to use your mouse in the BIOS. This is makes it easier for people who maybe need to adjust something in the BIOS, but have never even seen a BIOS before.
Overclocking with the GD55 was extremely easy. All of the overclocking settings are in one place and easy to find in the BIOS. You can even save overclocking profiles, which is added bonus. If you don’t know anything about overclocking the OC Genie II feature is perfect. All you do is press in the OC Genie button on the motherboard and restart your computer and it will be instantly overclocked. It overclocked our Core i5-2500K to 4.2GHz!
With the release of Sandy Bridge processors early this month you have been flooded with P67 motherboards, but I would definitely recommend the MSI P67A-GD55. It is the first MSI motherboard that I have reviewed and I am very impressed! The P67A-GD55 sells for $149 at my favorite online retailer, which is a great price. Overall ThinkComputers gives the MSI P67A-GD55 Intel P67 Motherboard a 10 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award!
- Great board layout and styling
- Military Class II Components
- OC Genie II Feature
- SATA 6GB/s and USB 3.0
- DDR slots are close the CPU socket (same on many P67 motherboards)