MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) review

Four slots bad, eight slots good?

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Our Verdict

Sturdy build, excellent overclocking tools and dual BIOSes. Not the prettiest board, however.


  • Built to last
  • Strong feature set
  • Idiot-proof overclocking


  • Not exactly cheap

Is there such as thing as too much system memory? In the context of the new MSI X79A-GD65 8D, that's the first question that leaps to mind.

As an X79 motherboard compatible with the latest Intel Core i7 processors for the LGA2011 socket, it forms part of the highest performing PC platform on planet Earth. But you still have to wonder whether support for 128GB of DDR3 memory split over eight DIMM slots is really rational.

Sure, for server PCs running multiple virtualised operating system and a whole hill of applications, that much memory is a boon.

MSI X79A GD65 8D

But for desktop PCs, even those running heavy duty content creations apps, eight to sixteen gig is usually plenty.

In its fisticuffs with the Gigabyte X79-UD3 and Asus's P9X79 Pro, therefore, the MSI X79A-GD65 8D will need a few more tricks up its sleeve.

Maybe that old MSI favourite, the OC Genie button, can make the difference.


Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelX79 Express
Multi GPU SupportedSLI, CrossFireX
Onboard VideoNo
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots5
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket R LGA-2011
Brand NameMSI
Form FactorATX
Processor SupportedCore i7
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory128 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots8
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of SATA Interfaces8
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots6
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports1
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports10
Number of USB 3.0 Ports2
Total Number of FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports3
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports2
Total Number of Onboard FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 3.0, PCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots6
Memory Form FactorDIMM
Processor TechnologyEnhanced SpeedStep Technology, Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Width305 mm
Depth244 mm
ManufacturerMicro-Star International Co., Ltd
Product ModelX79A-GD65 (8D)
Product NameX79A-GD65 (8D) Desktop Motherboard
Controller TypeSerial ATA/600, Serial ATA/300
Manufacturer Part NumberX79A-GD65-8D
Manufacturer Website Address
Package Contents
  • X79A-GD65 (8D) Desktop Motherboard
  • User Guide
  • Back IO Shield
  • SATA Cable
  • Driver / Utility DVD
Limited Warranty3 Year