MSI Z77A-G43 review
At £70, the MSI Z77A-G43 is an altogether more affordable proposition than the excellent, but pricey Asus P8Z77-V Pro. You don't get many high-end features for your cash, with no wireless module or on-board power and reset buttons.
The budget price also means that the specification is a little limited. Of the two PCI Express x16 slots, only one runs at x16 speed, with the second only able to run at 4x speed. That means there isn't enough bandwidth for dual graphics, and in fact MSI hasn't made this feature available.
Elsewhere, there are two PCI Express x1 slots and, unusually, a trio of PCI slots, which makes the MSI a fine board for handling legacy expansion cards. There are only two SATA 6Gbits/sec second sockets - the Asus has four - and they're partnered with four SATA 6Gbits/sec sockets.
The rear panel isn't as extensive as the Asus', either. There are two USB 3 sockets rather than four, six USB 2 ports, and no sign of DisplayPort. Video outputs are limited to HDMI, DVI-D and D-SUB.
In our benchmarks, meanwhile, the MSI wasn't quite as quick. It was only a couple of MB/sec off the pace in the storage tests, but with a result of 1.09 in our application benchmarks (with a 3.5GHz Intel Core i7-3770K installed) it lagged 7% behind the Asus, and its 44fps score in the Low quality Crysis test was six frames off the pace.
Still, the MSI has enough features to put together a reasonably powerful system and, when the price is factored in, it's a tempting bargain. If the Asus is too expensive, this is a capable, and cheaper, alternative.
Author: Mike Jennings
- Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet sales halted over faulty charger
- Microsoft slashes custom XP support price
- Amazon Phone: does anyone want a 3D handset?
- Virgin email fiasco hits thousands of users
- Chrome Remote Desktop now available on Android
- Google posts "average quarter" with slow growth
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- BBC iPlayer lets Android devices download shows
- Google's Project Ara modular phone arrives in January
- Hackers harvest LaCie card data for a full year
- Windows 8.1 Update: an abject surrender
- The insane economics of Sky Now TV
- No such thing as a free app... so pay up if you want quality
- Time to outlaw crapware-laden installers
- Windows Phone 8.1 video: hands-on
- Office for iPad: key information
- Why every PC buyer owes Richard Durkin a debt of gratitude
- HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: 2014's big-hitters compared
- Windows XP end of life: key information
- Cut out the broadband jargon? What jargon?
- The great iPhone ripoff and how it works
- Heartbleed: what you need to know and do
- Data recovery: inside the clean room
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2014
- How much RAM do you really need?
- News of the weird: the strangest ever tech stories
- Five hyped technologies: disruptive or not?
- Piracy's dying: why we're all going straight
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Make the most of your mobile data
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?
- The best Android antivirus apps for 2014
- Headings vs headers: how to use both in Word
- Windows Server 2012 R2: how the Datacenter edition could change SMBs