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MSI 770-G45 socket AM3 motherboard review

Alan Lu
13 Mar 2010
MSI 770-G45
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
59
inc VAT

MSI's 770-G45 is a good motherboard, but Asus' similarly priced M4A785D-M Pro is better value for most people.

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Specifications

AM3, ATX, AMD 770 chipset, supports: Athlon II, Phenom II

MSI's 770-G45 uses a relatively old AMD 770 chipset, but it supports all the latest AMD Athlon II and Phenom II processors so this isn't a problem. For overclockers, there are controls for boosting the HyperTransport bus, the equivalent of the front side bus on an Intel LGA775 motherboard, by as much as 690MHz. There's plenty of space for adding internal expansion cards thanks to the three PCI slots and one PCI Express x1 slot.

There isn't an integrated graphics chip, but there are two PCI Express x16 graphics card slots. If two ATI graphics cards are fitted, they can be used together in CrossFire mode to increase 3D performance compared to a single card.

We're not convinced the performance gain is worth the configuration hassle or the extra cost over a single, powerful graphics card. Being able to fit a second graphics card is still a useful feature to have though if you want to use more than two monitors with your PC.

Four of the six SATA ports, as well as the IDE port, are oriented parallel to the rest of the board with the remaining two ports pointing upwards. This parallel orientation can make cable runs tidier, but also makes inserting cables more fiddly.

Annoyingly, the two upwards oriented SATA ports can be obstructed if a graphics card is plugged into the second graphics card slot. This could have been easily avoided if they were parallel oriented like the other SATA ports, but admittedly this issue is unlikely to trouble most people.

MSI's 770-G45 is a good motherboard, but Asus' similarly priced M4A785D-M Pro is better value. It doesn't have any of the 770-G45's niggling issues and it has an integrated graphics chip which may save you the expense of a dedicated graphics card.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Processor socketAM3
Form factorATX
Size305x210mm
Processor supportAthlon II, Phenom II
Processor external bus200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridgeAMD 770
Chipset south bridgeAMD SB710
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3 800/1066/1333/1600
Maximum memory speedPC3-12800
Memory slots4
Maximum memory16GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£59
Supplierhttp://www.scan.co.uk
Detailswww.msi.com.tw

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots2
Dual graphics architectureCrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots1
PCI slots3
Fan headers2
Floppy ports1
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports6
RAID chipset (max disks)AMD SB710 (RAID 0, 1, 10)

Features

Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Via VT1828S (6x analogue out, S/PDIF header)
USB2 ports / headers6/3
Firewire ports / headers0/0
Legacy ports2x PS/2, serial
Other portsnone
Cables included1x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x Molex to SATA power
Brackets includednone
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment690MHz

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