MSI’s other high-end P67 board detailed

Should launch at CES

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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