Features and LayoutLast month we did a video preview of the MSI P55-GD65 motherboard before the Lynnfield release in order to give our readers that wanted to do a day-one purchase of Lynnfield CPU and motherboard a base of information on a few P55 motherboards we had in house. I still feel that this video is a great summation of the motherboard’s features and layout and is definitely worth viewing before we get into the overclocking performance of the motherboard.
The layout is clean and basic as this lower-cost board will be missing some of the frills found on higher end motherboards. You still get enough space for most any kind of CPU cooling, two x16 PCIe graphics card slots, a pair of x1 PCIe slots, 1 x4 PCIe slot and two legacy PCI slots.
MSI’s motherboards are using DrMOS-based MOSFETs that will provide the power switching capabilities comparable to four standard MOSFETs. The GD65 model uses a 6+1 design so you should effectively see a 24-phase design here.
There are four DIMM slots for the dual-channel DDR3 memory that Intel’s Lynnfield CPUs support as well as a unique voltage monitoring connection seen here as the odd blue connections. Here you can use a multimeter to gauge the voltages of the CPU, memory, chipset and more without having to find specific traces. This is really an extreme overclocker’s feature only.
Above you can see the heatpipe MSI uses (called the SuperPipe) to share heatsink duties between the two areas of power components as well as the 8-pin ATX power connection.
As I mentioned above, the expansion configuration is pretty robust and offers support for up to two graphics cards in SLI or CrossFire. You can see the OC Genie and power buttons at the bottom of the image as well – full descriptions and uses are in the video above.
Though nearly standard by today’s levels, MSI does provide enough SATA for most anyone on the P55-GD65 including 6 channels courtesy of the P55 chipset and a pair of channels (one internal, one eSATA) via JMicron chip.
The external connections show a good range of options from the legacy PS2 ports to the USB-powered eSATA and more.