MSI Z87-G43 Motherboard Review

On First Page2. Test System and Methodology

MSI Z87-G43 Motherboard Review

The MSI Z87-G43 Motherboard Review

Over the last month or so we have covered Intel’s latest generation of CPUs in a number of ways from the initial CPU article, through system reviews and motherboard comparisons. In that last category we looked at MSI’s Z77-G45 Gaming board and it scored well against a slightly cheaper offering from another manufacturer. Having seen that MSI felt they could compete really well with their G43 board so today we have that very product on our test bench to see how it compares.

Packaging and Bundle

MSI Z87-G45 Gaming box MSI Z87-G45 Gaming bundle

MSI use some nice clear branding on their box for this product and it lets us know about some of the key features, including the use of high spec components despite this being a more value orientated board. Inside we get a basic bundle which includes product documentation, SATA cable, software disc and IO shield.

The Board

MSI Z87-G45 Gaming full board MSI Z87-G45 Gaming CPU socket

The Z87-G43 uses an ATX PCB (30.5×22.4cm) and as with most recent boards the focus here is very much on dark PCB with the addition of blue components which looks rather nice. In two locations we have passive coolers and powering the board we have one 8pin connector and a 24-pin connector. As is common on lower end boards no additional power is required from Molex or SATA port.

So what do MSI offer that helps them stand out from the competition? Well the key feature is Military Class 4. To us that means Super Ferrite Core chokes, solid capacitors, humidity protection, ESD protection, EMI protection and high temperature protection. MSI also build in OC Genie 4 which assists us in setting MSI approved overclocks to boost performance while maintaining stability.

MSI Z87-G45 Gaming slots MSI Z87-G45 Gaming SATA ports

MSI start their PCIe slots with a 1x connector before running through PCIe 16x, 1x, PCI, 8x and then ending with dual PCI slots. Over at the right edge of the board we find six SATA ports and interestingly two are at alternate angles to the other four. These ports are running off the Intel chipset (SATA3) with RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 supported along with AHCI.

MSI Z87-G45 Gaming memory slots MSI Z87-G45 Gaming input/output

Moving up the right edge of the board we find the 24-pin connector and beside it our front panel USB connector. Behind these are our four memory slots and those are split into a dual channel configuration allowing speeds well in excess of 2000MHz with XMP also included.

Turning round to the back panel we have a PS/2 connector and it sits above 2x USB 2.0. MSI then go with dual USB 2.0, HDMI, GB-LAN, 2x USB 2.0, VGA, DVI, 2x USB 3.0 and finally we have our 3.5mm audio connectors.


Into the bios it becomes immediately clear that MSI have brought the same excellent code from their higher end boards onto this version… with the main change being the theme used. Down the sides of the screen are large buttons which allow us to move into different areas of the BIOS including overclocking and the ability to flash from USB as well as view more detailed information on our system.

Extreme Tuning Software

Then with the main software in Windows MSI offer two altertatives for management and tweaking of software, their own Command Centre and a rebrand of Intels Extreme Tweaking Utility. Audio is then handled by Creatives Sound Blaster Cinema technology and control panel.

Leave a Reply

Related posts

BIOSTAR HI-FI Z97WE Motherboard Review

BIOSTAR HI-FI Z97WE Motherboard Review

On our test bench today is the Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE which looks to deliver many of the features of the competition such as enhanced audio and M.2. support but at a more aggressive price point.

Intel Core i7-4790K (Devil’s Canyon) CPU Review featuring Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 5

Intel Core i7-4790K (Devil's Canyon) CPU Review featuring Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 5

Last month Intel launched their Z97 chipset, essentially an evolution of Z87, which in many cases brought new features such as SATA Express and M.2 compatibility to the mainstream desktop market. There was of course no new CPU at that time with the existing socket 1150 processors working without issue in the new boards. Since then though Intel launched (along with some lower spec models) the Core i7-4790K, a model which sits at the top of their mainstream platform. Today we see how it compares to various other models when installed on Gigabytes Z97X Gaming 5 and paired with PowerColors new dual core 290X Devil 13.

Intel Z97 Chipset Launch Review featuring Gigabyte, MSI and ASUS

Intel Z97 Chipset Launch Review featuring Gigabyte, MSI and ASUS

Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming G1 WiFi-BK vs. MSI Z97 Gaming 5 vs Asus Maximus VII Hero It is probably fair to say that Intel don't stealth launch their products... sure they have NDAs but by the time those expire we know pretty much everything about a new product. Part of this is of their own...