MSI serves up three X79 motherboards

IDF — Gigabyte and Intel aren’t the only ones showing off X79 motherboards at IDF. MSI has three LGA2011 boards on display, including a pair of models with five PCI Express x16 slots. One of those is the X79A-GD65 (8D), which is pictured below.

Yep, another black-and-blue enthusiast motherboard. This one has eight DIMM slots with support for up to 64GB of DDR3 memory at 2400MHz. The eight Serial ATA ports are split evenly between 6Gbps and 3Gbps connectivity, and MSI has whipped up what it claims is a much improved graphical interface for the board’s UEFI.

The plain X79A-GD65 has only four DIMM slots, but it’ll still take 64GB of RAM according to the placard next to the board. Like the GD80, the GD65 has four 6Gbps Serial ATA ports and another four 3Gbps ports. The number of PCI Express x16 slots is unchanged at five, and there are four USB 3.0 ports like on the GD80.

MSI is deploying its new ClickBIOS II interface across all three of its X79 models, so even the GD45 gets the updated firmware interface. Multi-GPU enthusiasts will have to get by with a mere three PCIe x16 slots, though. The GD45 and other members of MSI’s X79A family also have to make do without old-school PCI slots. You’re crushed, I know.

Although the GD45 matches the four USB 3.0 ports available on its siblings, the number of 6Gbps SATA ports has been cut to just two. Those ports are complemented by four 3Gbps SATA ports, of course, but that’s hardly the formidable storage payload we were expecting from the X79 chipset.

Comments closed
    • Archer
    • 8 years ago

    Military class? As in built by the lowest bidder?

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      No, that would be “built by the vendor with the best political connections”

      • msi-rajiv
      • 8 years ago

      As in components that are able to withstand extreme conditions and certified to a Military standard. 🙂 Better components = less likely to fail.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Curiously, with the new motherboards having 8 dimm slots on them, what’s stopping them from adding 16 on? Is it just limited by space or by specialized controllers?

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      The next stop would be 12 (4*3). Are there many 6 DIMM boards for the normal 2 channel CPUs? I can’t think of any. Maybe it puts too much of a load on the buss? You have to design for worst case, so maybe it limits the single DIMM per channel situation too much to provide much mass market benefit.

    • albundy
    • 8 years ago

    gigabyte owns them with sata ports. why so little MSI?

    • Johnny5
    • 8 years ago

    Needs more heat pipes.

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      Needs more cowbell.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    Since bulldozer feels like it will never come out I’m left to wait for the delay of SB-E to satisfy me.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      Two completely different platforms and completely different price levels. If you’d be happy with BD, you might as well build a Sandy Bridge box and upgrade to Ivy Bridge (which should be a drop-in replacement) if you feel the need for more.

    • hansmuff
    • 8 years ago

    Maybe now that there is much less room around the socket, manufacturers can stop this silly race to more power phases as a marketing tool. There simply won’t be enough space to put this ridiculous amount of phases all around. Good riddance to that “feature”.

      • JMccovery
      • 8 years ago

      I don’t know about that. The Gigabyte X79A-UD7 has 20 power phases, and I bet the Asus Rampage IV Extreme, Gigabyte X79A-UD9 (if there will be one), and EVGA Classified X79 3-way/4-way SLI could pile up to 32 phases. Don’t underestimate the motherboard makers!

    • entropy13
    • 8 years ago

    Talk about confusing labels. The X79A-GD80 is labelled X79A-GD65 (8D). WTF?

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      8D == 8 DIMMs?

        • entropy13
        • 8 years ago

        Except that’s not the only thing differentiating “X79A-GD65 (8D)” from “X79A-GD65”, unless you ignore the placement of the OC genie and power buttons, the angle of a pair of SATA ports, heatsinks and other ports…

      • msi-rajiv
      • 8 years ago

      Hi,
      That is just a mistake in the article. It is the GD65 (the GD80 is not at the show) and the (8D) refers to the 8 DIMMS.

        • Inkling
        • 8 years ago

        Labeling in article text fixed.

    • UberGerbil
    • 8 years ago

    With 40 lanes of PCIe 3.0 coming off the on-die controller, I guess 5 PCI slots isn’t entirely insane. I wonder if it can feed the full spec power to all of them at once?

      • hansmuff
      • 8 years ago

      Not without additional lanes from extra bridge chips. You still need 16 lanes for a full 16x slot, and you need a couple of lanes for onboard hardware.

      But it’s perfectly fine because even for PCI Express 2.0, a 16x slot with 8 lanes is fast enough to feed any high end graphics card.With PCI Express 3.0, a 4x slot is probably enough to feed a 3.0 graphics card without noticing any slowdowns.

        • UberGerbil
        • 8 years ago

        Yes, 8 PCie 3.0 lanes will have the same bandwidth as 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes, and we’ve already seen current GPUs don’t need even that much.

        But you’re incorrect in assuming more lanes = more power. Even an x1 slot has the same power delivery capability as an x16 slot (or an x8 or x4 slot) because [url=http://pinouts.ru/Slots/pci_express_pinout.shtml<]all the power pins are on the first section of the slot[/url<], before the mechanical "key" or divider. When slots differ in length, the additional pins are all data or ground; none of them are power. That's not what I'm asking. I have no doubt every single one of those slots should be able to deliver the full 75W spec power. What I"m asking is whether the board as a whole can deliver enough [i<]aggregate[/i<] power to enable all of the slots to deliver the full spec simultaneously (375W). That's a lot of juice going through the power planes of the motherboard.

          • willmore
          • 8 years ago

          You’d be right. Unless the newest spec changed something, each wire group (or bus) is limited to 240VA (Watts in real power). The EPS connector can supply the CPU, but the MB only gets one 12V rail from the PSU. I *guess* the 5V and 3.3V rails could be tapped for more. Now, on server boards, you’d count on the MB to meet the spec fully loaded, but this is consumer level stuff, so I wouldn’t really expect it.

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      And just think, with an AMD 5870 in each of them, with 6 mini-DisplayPort plugs per card, that’s…., um…. (borrows Arclight’s abacus…) [b<][i<][u<]thirty[/u<] 30" 2560x1600 displays running simultaneously!![/b<][/i<] I'd mount them in a 5hx6v Eyefinity array in my living room and call it 'the Winchester wall' (get it? 30-30? - Winchester?) [actually, you and I are part of the probably-less-than-1% on here now that would know even [i<]one[/i<] of the meanings of '30-30', let alone both of them] EDIT: D'Oh!! Wrong card, fixed.

      • msi-rajiv
      • 8 years ago

      Hey there,
      It supports triple SLI and dual slot cards will cover the other PCI-e if you do that. However, not everyone will do that and so we provide a bit more flexibility to those that don’t.

    • Jigar
    • 8 years ago

    Someone needs to remind MSI, we don’t have 16GB DDR3 sticks.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      Yet.

      • Ushio01
      • 8 years ago

      [url<]http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/partspecs.aspx?imodule=CT2KIT409672BQ1067Q&cpe=uk_googleps[/url<] Here you go 32GB DDR3 sticks.

        • Arclight
        • 8 years ago

        The price looks really affordable.

      • Arclight
      • 8 years ago

      BTW 64Gb/8slots = 8Gb DIMs per slot not 16 Gb.

      *Calculated with my abacus”

        • internetsandman
        • 8 years ago

        Unless he’s referring to the board with 4 DIMM slots that supports 64 GB’s

      • msi-rajiv
      • 8 years ago

      Hi Jigar,
      There’s a reason for 8 DIMM that cannot be discussed at this time due to NDA 🙂 It’s not just about the size.

        • Arclight
        • 8 years ago

        Damn right, it got to be quad channel too. Man i bet they’ll put huge f**king heatsinks on them 🙁

        • Jigar
        • 8 years ago

        hhmm.. thanks for the knowledge sharing.

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