MSI's 770-G45 is a good motherboard, but Asus' similarly priced M4A785D-M Pro is better value for most people.
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.
|Processor support||Athlon II, Phenom II|
|Processor external bus||200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)|
|Chipset north bridge||AMD 770|
|Chipset south bridge||AMD SB710|
|Passively-cooled north bridge||yes|
|Supported memory type||DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600|
|Maximum memory speed||PC3-12800|
|Power connectors||1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX|
|PCI-E x16 slots||2|
|Dual graphics architecture||CrossFireX|
|PCI-E x4 slots||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots||1|
|Serial ATA ports||6|
|RAID chipset (max disks)||AMD SB710 (RAID 0, 1, 10)|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Sound (ports)||Via VT1828S (6x analogue out, S/PDIF header)|
|USB2 ports / headers||6/3|
|Firewire ports / headers||0/0|
|Legacy ports||2x PS/2, serial|
|Cables included||1x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x Molex to SATA power|
Setup and Overclocking
|CPU clock max adjustment||690MHz|