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
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Schools warm up to BYOD for tablets
- HTC staff should "just quit"
- Xbox One: what it means for Windows PCs
- IBM's Watson answers customers' questions
- Vodafone waiting for new iPhone to launch 4G
- Tim Cook unapologetic over Apple's taxes
- New CEO reorganises Intel to target "new devices"
- Flexible tablets closer to reality with graphene ink
- Now Apple is targeted over tax avoidance
- Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast
- Google Now draining iPhone battery
- Dropbox: everything you need to know
- Best smartphones for 2013
- The best broadband speed tests
- iPhone apps for business travel
- How to get a job as a mobile games developer
- 25 best Windows 8 apps
- Introducing Arduino - a simple Raspberry Pi alternative
- The tweeting spaceman
- Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One
- 30 best web apps
- The ICO's shame-faced u-turn on cookies
- Start8 and ModernMix: making Windows 8 work on a desktop
- How to boost your mobile reception
- How to fix Facebook: Social Fixer
- Taking the stress out of WordPress updates
- Where to download free web fonts
- Turn your tablet into a Sky+ remote control
- How to measure the success of a new IT system
- Three years on: the state of the tablet market
- Windows 8: what works and what doesn't
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW