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
- Why the iPhone 6 won't have NFC
- City of London slams BT for "unacceptable" broadband
- Shopping gets personal: Amazon 3D printing lets you customise your order
- Next Windows Phone 8.1 update: smart covers, sensors and 7in displays
- 5G to arrive in London by 2020
- Will right to be forgotten extend to Google.com?
- Samsung Gear VR uses smartphone for virtual reality
- Google X gathering medical data to build picture of health
- Amazon posts another loss - its biggest since 2012
- Google ditches OpenSSL in Chrome
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- 13 computers that changed the world
- How to download YouTube videos to a PC or laptop: is it legal to download YouTube videos?
- Dropbox vs OneDrive vs Google Drive: what's the best cloud storage service of 2014?
- Hacking the Internet of Things: from smart cars to toilets
- BlackBerry Passport release date, specs, features, and rumours: when is the new BlackBerry coming out?
- What's changing in the computing curriculum
- Teaching kids to code
- Best free translation apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone
- Five worst SMB security threats... and how to solve them
- Apple iOS vs Android vs Windows 8 – what's the best compact tablet OS?
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- 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?