WE HAVE TO start by apologizing for the poor picture that we snapped of this board, as unlike the Big Bang Marshal board, MSI didn’t have the P67A-GD80 on display in the same fashion. Well, that’s not quite true, as there was a system with a board in it, but thanks to a large shiny heatsink and a large graphics card combined with poor lighting, we didn’t manage to get a good shot of the board.
What we did get a somewhat grainy picture of though was a slide that was part of yesterday’s presentation. Still, this gives us a pretty good idea of what MSI’s “regular” high-end P67 board will offer in terms of features and it appears to be only a small step up in most cases over the P67A-GD65. The most obvious change is the inclusion of three x16 PCI Express slots, although there doesn’t seem to be any kind of bridge chip on the board – but something might be hiding under the large chipset heatsink – so we’d presume the bottom most slot is only a x4 slot electrically.
The board also has two x1 PCI Express slots and two PCI slots. Oddly enough the P67A-GD80 only has six SATA ports, two SATA 6Gbps and four SATA 3Gbps, unlike the P67A-GD65 which has two additional SATA 6Gbps via a Marvell controller. The board has what appear to be two pin-headers for four front USB 3.0 ports, three pin headers for six USB 2.0 ports – of which two features some kind of mobile device charging option – a FireWire header, a header for reading Voltage with a multimeter and of course a power, reset, and OC Genie buttons.
We didn’t get a good glimpse of what’s around the back, but if the P67A-GD65 is anything to go by we’d expect a PS/2 port, four to six USB 2.0 ports, up to six or maybe even eight USB 3.0 ports, a pair of eSATA ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, a FireWire port and 7.1-channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out. The board also appears to have a 12-phase PWM design, an extra 6-pin 12V connector for the PCI Express slots and it also sports a pair of BIOS chips, just in case. As with MSI’s other Sandy Bridge boards, this model also features MSI’s ClickBIOS and we’re expecting it to launch at CES next week.S|A
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