So with the testing complete and having had a good look at the MSI Z87 G43 Gaming motherboard, what are my final impressions? Have MSI have pushed the limits again or is it a disappointed attempt to compete with the other manufacturers with another budget board?
Well starting with the performance, the MSI G43 Gaming very similar to the GD65 gaming in my opinion which given the price difference between the 2 boards, is an impressive achievement in my opinion. In terms of benchmark performance it even managed to beat my favourite motherboard of 2013 (the ASUS Maximus VI Hero) in some benchmarks and even the much higher end MSI MPOWER MAX which in my opinion is a real credit to MSI’s R+D. I managed a very nice overclock of 4.9GHz which is decent and will surely appeal to those wanting to push their Haswell CPU’s without breaking the bank on a top end Z87 motherboard.
Other than the performance, there are plenty of features that will make anyone buying this board feel that they are buying a mid to top end board. With the famed Killer NIC (E2000) which is meant to optimise how network traffic is prioritised etc. which some gamers swear by and Sound Blaster Cinema/Audio Boost which effectively gives you the best on-board sound experience you are going to get for the money really does add to what is an already fantastic budget board.
One thing I will mention is that although the motherboard does support Crossfire, it doesn’t support SLI with NVIDIA cards. This is due to the lack of PLX which is clearly a cost cutting measure. However if you do plan to use 2 way Crossfire then this board will do you just fine, albeit with a slight bandwidth restriction (x16 x4) which is likely to make less than 1% difference to performance.
Moving onto the aesthetics of the G43 Gaming, from the announcement of the MSI Gaming series I was excited to see another ROG style board. When I say ROG style what I mean to say is the similarities in aesthetics to the ASUS gaming range in which they share the same colour scheme. Only noticeable difference between the 2 though is the aforementioned Killer NIC and the beautiful MSI Gaming Dragon which I feel makes the Southbridge heat sink have a bigger purpose than just cooling. The big issue for me though is the brownish tinge to the PCB which I find ghastly (a bit like green PCB on memory) but when inside a case it is really hard to tell anyway; that doesn’t stop people with an OCD about these things.
Price wise, this board retails for around £89.99 which by my estimations, is over £40 cheaper than the GD65 which is nothing short of staggering in my opinion. This board screams bang for buck and if you don’t believe me, have another look at the benchmark results! Aside from the lack of SLI capability, the MSI Z87 G43 Gaming is probably the best budget board I have not only tested, but ever used. Everything you need is here –
RAID Support – Check
Plenty of PCI EX x16/x1 lanes – Check
PCI lanes – Check
Full SATA3 ports – Check
Killer NIC – Check
Great look – Check
Bargain Price – Check
It is really hard to argue with the testing, the 4.9GHz overclock that was achieved and more importantly the price, so it is with great pleasure that the MSI G43 Gaming more than deserves our Value award (If there was a super platinum awesome award, this board would have won 2 of them!)
Big thanks to MSI for sending in the Z87 G43 Gaming motherboard in for review and I look forward to seeing more in the future!
The MSI Z87 G43 Gaming motherboard is an absolute steal for £89.99 and for the price, I think anyone would struggle to find a motherboard with features like a Killer NIC, top quality onboard sound and performance of a £145+ motherboard for sub £100. MSI have hit the nail on the head with the G43 Gaming, which gives gamers on a budget a stylish and well performing motherboard that’s almost certainly worth owning
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