MSI Z77A-G43 review

24 Aug 2012

MSI's board doesn't have high-end features, but the low price makes this a tempting budget board

MSI Z77A-G43
Price when reviewed: 
70(£70 inc VAT)
Buy it now for 
5

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.

MSI Z77A-G43

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £58
Price inc VAT £70
Overall rating 5
Performance 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 6
Motherboard form factor ATX

Compatability

Processor/platform brand (manufacturer) Intel
Processor socket LGA 1155
Motherboard form factor ATX
Memory type DDR3
Multi-GPU support no

Controllers

Motherboard chipset Intel Z77
Number of Ethernet adapters 1
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type 4-pin
Main power connector ATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total 4
Internal SATA connectors 4
Conventional PCI slots total 3
PCI-E x16 slots total 2
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots total 2

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors 1
USB ports (downstream) 6
FireWire ports 0
eSATA ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 6
Parallel ports 0
9-pin serial ports 0
Extra port backplane bracket ports none

Diagnostics and tweaking

Motherboard onboard power switch? no
Motherboard onboard reset switch? no
Software overclocking? yes

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£111