MSI teases Z87-GD65 Gaming mobo with onboard Killer NIC

We’ve already gotten a sneak preview of MSI’s Z87 MPower mobos, but those aren’t the only Haswell-ready boards up MSI’s sleeve. The company has just dropped a press release saying its Z87-GD65 Gaming board has won the Computex Golden Award. The announcement happens to include some details about the board, and we were able to get hold of some pictures, too.

This bad boy includes a Killer E2205 network controller, which is supposed to reduce latencies in multiplayer games. Other perks include Audio Boost technology and MSI’s OC Genie 4 overclocking mojo. Going by the pictures, it looks like there are plenty of other goodies on the menu: triple PCI Express x16 slots with CrossFire and SLI support, eight Serial ATA ports, four USB 3.0 ports, a CMOS reset switch on the rear I/O panel, and… what looks like a VGA output, for some reason.

MSI’s announcement also says the Z87-GD65 Gaming "literally sparkles in every way." Given the red-and-black color scheme, I hope this isn’t some kind of sappy vampire motherboard. I guess we’ll find out when Haswell launches early next month.

See the gallery below for high-res pictures.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    Forget about those 256-color motherboards from Gigabyte and Asoos — this thing looks devilishly awesome!!

    • brute
    • 6 years ago

    gaming motherboard? with ultra pwnage capacitors and a L33t PCB? are the power connectors counter strike certified? did fatilty extreme gamming on it to make sure it is pwn?

    • LoneWolf15
    • 6 years ago

    Skip the Killer NIC and give me a mainboard with Intel Gigabit that supports jumbo frames any day. Pro builders don’t want bull. Don’t pee on their shoes and tell them it’s raining.

    Aside from that, the board’s cool looking, and at first glance, the layout looks good too.

      • Deanjo
      • 6 years ago

      I agree with the intel NIC but jumbo frames doesn’t make a lot of difference any more it seems. The current crop of intel NIC’s come extremely close to maxing out the theoretical transfer speed without having to use jumbo frames.

      I should also point out that going jumbo frames is also the last thing a online gamer would want as latency increases with jumbo frames and the Killer NICS aim for low latency for the gaming market.

        • stdRaichu
        • 6 years ago

        True to a degree – LSO (and to a lesser extent LRO) drastically reduces overhead and is of course another thing that Intel NICs seem to get right IME.

        /token bitching about doing anything remotely non-standard using realtek, marvell or broadcom NICs

        That said, LSO is still susceptible to buffer bloat so for low-latency networks 9k jumbos can still be advantageous, and using segmentation offload isn’t always available – there are lots of network appliances, especially in the security arena, (not mentioning your name Cisco!) that can’t deal with it nicely, leaving you stuck with using jumbos if you don’t want to be chowing down on your CPUs.

    • Bensam123
    • 6 years ago

    It’s impressed me how over the years, regardless of the high quality components they manage to slap on their boards they always seem to have issues with reliability. That’s really the number one reason I don’t buy MSI.

      • forumics
      • 6 years ago

      how about yet even more dragons to convince you to get MSI?

        • Bensam123
        • 6 years ago

        Dragons are awesome… no doubt. I don’t know if it can persuade me to ignore reliability though.

    • sjl
    • 6 years ago

    It [i<]literally[/i<] sparkles? So, what, they embedded glitter in the plastic used to make the PCIe and memory slots? Carefully hand-crafted shavings of silver, surrounded by shiny slivers of seductive scandium? A quote from Inigo Montoya seems apt here.

      • indeego
      • 6 years ago

      Or Twilight.

      • cynan
      • 6 years ago

      “You killed my [i<]mother[/i<][board], prepare to die"?

        • sjl
        • 6 years ago

        “‘Twas drink that killed my father. He was hit by a Guinness truck.”

      • LoneWolf15
      • 6 years ago

      Oh noes! There’ll be a Mariah Carey edition!

    • Sargent Duck
    • 6 years ago

    Ahahahahahahahah.

    Cyril, please stop with the jokes. My side is splitting. The killer NIC? Too funny. +1 to you.

    • DancinJack
    • 6 years ago

    I really like dragons.

    has anyone ever used the killer NIC and had a good experience? I know next to nothing about the whole deal.

      • SecretMaster
      • 6 years ago

      I’m surprised it still is relevant to be honest. TR did a review way back in 2007. Not exactly up to date, but here it is:

      [url<]https://techreport.com/review/13010/bigfoot-networks-killer-nic[/url<]

      • Pholostan
      • 6 years ago

      PCPer have a review of a Z77 board with the killer NIC. Seems the CPU load is significant.

      [url<]http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Motherboards/MSI-Z77A-GD65-Gaming-Motherboard-Review/System-Port-Device-Testing[/url<] [quote<]The average upload and download speeds of the Killer NIC were impressive with the large file tranfers coming in at over 90 MB/s for upload and an impressive 105 MB/s for download. However, its CPU utilization averaged higher than expected at 15-20%.[/quote<]

        • Krogoth
        • 6 years ago

        WTF

        I thought the whole point of a hardware NIC is that CPU doesn’t have take up the load. There’s no way a simple, CPU-driving gigabit controller should take up 15-20% utilization on single of a modern CPU.

        I blame shoddy drivers and software at work.

      • Starfalcon
      • 6 years ago

      I have one on my current gigabyte board, performance was okay, although you need to run their software with it or it does not work. I was having terrible lag with mumble using the killer nic port, so after many attempts to figure out why I kept DCing from mumble a switch to the intel gigabit port solved all my issues. I ended up having to deactivate the killer NIC port as it would always use that and not let me use the intel one while it was active. Not very impressed by their technology or software, 2 big thumbs down for the “killer” NIC.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 6 years ago

        My understanding is that they have two lines now – a branded version of someone else’s bog standard ethernet controller with proprietary (or at least branded) software and one with the hardware controller (mips based).

        At least that’s what I remember from reading on it about a year ago. I could be completely mistaken at this point.

        So because I was mildly curious I looked it up – Killer is now Qualcomm Atheros not the former Bigfoot Networks. This looks to be a branding job and nothing else. No forums, links to FNApps, and a barebones knowledgebase.

        tl;dr: no further development on old product or drivers, just a branding for Qualcomm.

      • Chrispy_
      • 6 years ago

      Difference a killer NIC makes to your gaming ping: 2%
      Difference your choice of router and ISP makes to your gaming ping 20000%

      You can’t polish a turd – if you are unhappy with your ping times talk to, or change your ISP.

        • Farting Bob
        • 6 years ago

        Or move house. My internet is terrible because of where i live right now, not because of anything an ISP is doing. I live too far from the nearest exchange point so unless they invest in fiber all the way to feed a area of no more than 100 houses not many options.

    • Deanjo
    • 6 years ago

    A dragon board for a non-dragon based platform.

    • rogue426
    • 6 years ago

    I feel like I need a flashlight to see the physical slots on this all black board. Maybe making the slots red like the dragon decal would help.

      • Grigory
      • 6 years ago

      What slots?

      • cynan
      • 6 years ago

      Actually, the black on black slots/board is one of the aesthetic aspects I like about this board. Gives it a nice understated stealth look (and the rest would have looked great too if it wasn’t for the garrish dragon decal). How many boards have we been forced to suffer in the past where the slots were some ugly, clashing colors nobody with any aesthetic inclination would ever think of combining?

        • Waco
        • 6 years ago

        Black on black on black is why I love my Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4.

        Nobody seems to make monochrome boards these days and it sucks.

      • Bensam123
      • 6 years ago

      It honestly would’ve looked better if they put dragons across the slots… You know a combination of red and black. Oriental dragons are the right size for that too…

      • LoneWolf15
      • 6 years ago

      They put Braille next to the slots just for you.

      • Chrispy_
      • 6 years ago

      I would actually like this board even more if the dragon was black, the red part of the VRM heatsinks was another colour, say – black, and the red “AUDIO BOOST” text on the headphone amp was another colour, like, uh…. black?

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    cool dragon, loved this quote ; “and… what looks like a VGA output, for some reason”

      • cynan
      • 6 years ago

      Pshhh. Silly noob. Leet gamers only use CRT (and of course, integrated grphx). Zero lag for the win, yo!

        • Bensam123
        • 6 years ago

        Putting aside the argument of zero response times of CRTs, you can get that pin out with a DVI connector!

          • cynan
          • 6 years ago

          Pshhh! Silly Bensam123-noob. Adding a DVI to VGA adapter will add thousands of [femto]seconds of lag between that [integrated] beast of a GPU and my awesome CRT! You may as well not even play…

            • forumics
            • 6 years ago

            yeah nothing like gaming on a low resolution 4:3 19 inch CRT from the 90s that costs over 5k a piece!

            kids nowadays with their whopping 27 inch high tech IPS widescreen LCD displays just don’t know the fun we used to have on our CRTs

            • fl3cht
            • 6 years ago

            How about gaming on a 24 inch 16×10 1920×1200 (and it can go higher) @96hz Sony GDM-FW900? For about 100 bucks (you have to keep an eye on Craigslist, but you can get lucky like I’ve done twice)? CRT gaming lives.

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