Introduction and Technical Specifications

Today we put MSI’s low cost Thunderbolt-based solution through the paces…


Courtesy of MSI

With the Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt, MSI took an award winning design and tweaked it to bring an affordable Thunderbolt-based solution to the masses without sacrificing on quality or performance. We put this board through our grueling battery of tests to validate the board's performance promises. The MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt can be found at your favorite retailer for the reasonable price of $169.99.

Courtesy of MSI

The Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt sports a simple design and layout with some of the bells and whistles found on the higher priced boards omitted to keep the feature set intact and the price to a minimum. MSI includes the following features in the Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt's design: SATA 2 and SATA 3 ports; a Realtek GigE NIC; three PCI-Express x16 slots for up to tri-card support; USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports; and a single Thunderbolt port in the rear panel. For an in-depth overview on Thunderbolt technology and its advantages over other interconnect technologies, please see our review here.

Courtesy of MSI

Technical Specifications (taken from the MSI website)


• Supports 3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i7 / Core™ i5 / Core™ i3 / Pentium® / Celeron® processors for LGA 1155 socket
Please refer to CPU Support for compatible CPU; the above description is for reference only.


• Intel® Z77 Chipset


• Support four DDR3 DIMMs 1066/1333/1600/1866*/2000*/2133*/2200*/2400*/2600*/2667*/2800*(OC) DRAM (32GB Max)
– Supports Dual-Channel mode
* To support DDR3 2200*/2400*/2600*/2667*/2800*(OC), you must install an Intel 22nm CPU


• 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots
• 4 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots
– when PCI_E4 slot is installed, PCI_E3 slot will be no function.

On-Board SATA

• SATAII controller integrated in Intel® Z77 chipset
– Up to 3Gb/s transfer speed.
– Supports four SATAII ports (SATA3~6) by Z77

• SATAIII controller integrated in Intel® Z77 chipset
– Up to 6Gb/s transfer speed.
– Supports two SATAIII ports (SATA1~2) by Z77

– SATA1~6 support Intel® Rapid Storage Technology enterprise (AHCI/ RAID 0/ 1/ 5/ 10) by Intel® Z77

USB 3.0

• 2 x USB 3.0 rear IO ports by Intel® Z77
• 1 x USB 3.0 onboard connector by Intel® Z77


• Chipset integrated by Realtek® ALC892
– Flexible 8-channel audio with jack sensing
– Compliant with Azalia 1.0 Spec


• Supports one PCI Express LAN 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet by Realtek® 8111E

Internal I/O Connectors

– 3 x USB 2.0 connectors
– 1 x USB 3.0 connector
– 1 x Serial port connector
– 1 x TPM Module connector
– 1 x Front Panel Audio connector
– 1 x Front Panel connector
– 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
– 1 x Voice Genie connector (optional)
– 1 x MultiConnect Panel connector (optional)
– 1 x V-Check Points Set (optional)

Back Panel I/O Ports

– 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse port
– 1 x Clear CMOS button
– 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF-out port
– 1 x Optical S/PDIF-out port
– 4 x USB 2.0 ports
– 2 x USB 3.0 ports
– 1 x LAN ports
– 1 x 6 in 1 audio ports
– 1 x HDMI® port with max. resolution up to 1920×1200 @60Hz
– 1 x Thunderbolt port (Mini DisplayPort) with max. resolution up to 2560×1600 @60Hz
– 1 x VGA port with max. resolution up to 2048×1536 @75Hz
MSI Reminds You…
• HDMI, Thunderbolt & Graphics Card ports support dual-display function by any two output ports.


• The motherboard BIOS provides "Plug & Play" BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically.
• The motherboard provides a Desktop Management Interface(DMI) function which records your motherboard specifications.


• 30.5cm(L) x 24.5cm(W) ATX Form Factor


• 9 mounting holes.


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