This ATX board from MSI is rather expensive but has every feature a keen upgrader or overclocker could want.
LGA1155, ATX, Intel P67 chipset, supports: 2nd gen Core i3, Core i5, Core i7
At around £130, MSI’s P67A-GD55 costs almost twice as much as most of the LGA1155 motherboards we’ve reviewed, but has plenty of headers and expansion slots and a lot of overclocking options in. Its performance in our tests was fair, with an Overall score of 171.
A pair of PCI-E x16 slots can be used for either ATI CrossFireX or Nvidia SLI dual-graphics-card configurations, although the second slot runs at only x8. There are two PCI and two PCI-E x1 slots, too, although one of each would be blocked if you put a large graphics card into both PCI-E x16 slots. If you use only the true x16 slot for your graphics card, you’ll block one PCI-E x1 slot. Four memory slots can take up to 32GB of RAM, running at speeds of up to 2,133MHz. There are six SATA connectors: four SATA2 and three SATA3.
We were impressed by the sheer volume and variety of ports on the back panel. There are ten USB ports, two of which are USB3, a Firewire port, PS/2 port, six 3.5mm stereo audio ports, plus coaxial and optical S/PDIF audio outputs. Although the integrated audio processor is a standard Realtek ALC892, the motherboard comes with Creative’s THX TruStudio PRO audio software, which can process virtual surround sound and environmental gaming audio.
There’s no integrated graphics support, though, so you’ll have to use a dedicated graphics card. Performance is decent with an Overall score of 171 in our benchmarks, but we’ve seen faster boards for less.
If you’re keen on upgrading and overclocking, or if you need to connect a lot of USB devices, this could be the motherboard for you. The three-year warranty is another point in its favour. However, it’s very expensive, making the Asrock H67M-GE microATX board a better choice for most users.
An early release version of the P67A-GD55 had a faulty SATA2 controller, like all Sandy Bridge boards. This has now been withdrawn and replaced with a practically identical fixed version. This fixed board is referred to as the B3 stepping version.
|Processor support||2nd gen Core i3, Core i5, Core i7|
|Processor external bus||100MHz (20Gbit/s DMI)|
|Chipset north bridge||Intel P67|
|Chipset south bridge||Intel P67|
|Supported memory type||DDR3 1066/1333/1600(OC)/2133(OC)|
|Maximum memory speed||PC3-17000|
|Power connectors||1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX|
|PCI-E x16 slots||2|
|Dual graphics architecture||SLI, CrossFireX|
|PCI-E x4 slots||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots||2|
|Serial ATA ports||6|
|RAID chipset (max disks)||Intel P67 (6x SATA2/3, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Sound (ports)||Realtek ALC892 (6x analogue out, 1x S/PDIF out header)|
|USB2 ports / headers||10/2|
|Firewire ports / headers||1/1|
|Legacy ports||1x PS/2, serial header|
|Other ports||2x USB3, 2x SATA3|
|Cables included||4x SATA, 1x Molex to SATA power, 1x SLI|
|Software included||drivers, MSI Control Center, THX Audio Genie|
Setup and Overclocking
|CPU clock max adjustment||N/A|