Power Consumption and Conclusions
During power consumption testing, the P67A-GD80 recorded the lowest power usage of all three of our P67 offerings. The "military-grade" power components (especially the Super Ferrite Chokes) claimed to provide a substantial improvement in power efficiency and our results here have confirmed these statements by MSI in their advertising and marketing campaigns. While we didn’t noticed a huge decrease in power consumption when compared to the P67A-GD65, we did notice a 5-watt difference during load testing between this board and the Fatal1ty Professional. That’s a significant decrease in power usage that should give energey efficient users something to smile about.
After running benchmark after benchmark on the P67A-GD80, we recorded many positive findings as well as some disappointing ones. First, let’s start with the positive aspects of this motherboard. Throughout SiSandra 2011 and PCMark Vantage testing, we consistently posted numbers on-par on better than the Fatal1ty P67 Professional and P67A-GD65. It didn’t matter if we were running multimedia benchmarks or evaluating memory bandwidths, the P67A-GD80 was always within 1-3 percentage points of its competition.
The consistency in our gaming and overclocking performance results were exceptional during testing, and we were highly encouraged by the board’s flexibility for novice overclockers who choose to boost their system’s performance via the OC Genie II technology. We recorded CPU speeds up to 4.2GHz under load using OC Genie II, which is a significant increase over the stock speeds as well as Intel turbo boost speeds. MSI’s Control Center application was also very helpful in monitoring our CPU speeds and voltages as well as our memory timings.
The feature sets of the P67A-GD80 are very comparible to the P67A-GD65. In fact, I believe they are identical other than the fact that the GD80 has one extra PCIe x16 slot. However, this additional PCIe slot allows users to add an additional graphics card to create a triple CrossfireX or SLI configuration that can be used for multi-monitor, high definition gaming. The second generation OC Genie II technology has also been refined to help novice users get a quick performance boost from their systems. Extreme overclockers aren’t left in the cold either with the addition of custom checkpoints to monitor CPU and memory voltages. The new UEFI "Click BIOS" also has plenty of overclocking features to monitor and tweak every portion of the CPU, memory, and GPU.
Pricing and Availability
As of May 22, the MSI P67A-GD80 (B3 version) was available at Newegg for $229.99 with free shipping (before $20 mail-in rebate. We also found this board at other online hardware stores like Amazon for $229.99 and Buy.com for $219.96.
We’d like to thank our friends at MSI for providing the P67A-GD80 motherboard for our review today. MSI continues to impress us with the amount of custom features and applications they bundle with their products. The P67A-GD80 proved to be a supreme overclocker with almost unlimited possibilities for enthusiasts who like to tweak with voltages and test the stability of their entire system. The addition of "military-grade" components is a great feature to build a marketing campaign around, and the fact that it also improves the stability and efficiency of the P67A-GD80 just gives MSI and this motherboard more street credit than ever before.
Overall, PC Perspective awards the P67A-GD80 its Gold Award for its exceptional overclocking prowess and solid results performing a plethora of PC operations and tasks.
- Superb overclocker
- Great DX10, DX11 gamer
- Three PCIe x16 slots with SLI/CrossfireX support
- Excellent bundle of accessories
- No major weaknesses were identified during our review