MSI A88X-G45 Gaming Motherboard Review

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Rencently, AMD released the Kaveri APU to the masses. The Kaveri APU requires a new socket, the FM2+ and along with a new socket comes a new chipset the AMD A88X (Bolton-D4). Alongside the release of the Kaveri line of APU, motherboard manufactures have released their latest and greatest as well. In MSI’s gaming series, the current top of the line Kaveri board is the MSI A88X-G45 Gaming Motherboard. The MSI A88X-G45 Gaming Motherboard sports a decent set of features, a free game and promises good performance.

 

 

Review Sample Provided by: MSI
Product Name: MSI A88X-G45 Gaming motherboard
Price at time of review: $ $ 119 USD USD
Product was given in exchange for work done to produce this review.

Specifications


 

CPU  

• AMD Socket FM2+/ FM2 A-Series/Athlon™ Processors*
 

Chipset 
 
• AMD A88X Chipset

Main Memory

• Support four DDR3 1333/1600/1866/2133/2400 (OC) MHz. up to 32GB Max

- Supports Dual-Channel mode
– Supports non-ECC, un-buffered memory
– Supports AMD Memory Profile (AMP)
– Supports Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

Slots
• 3 x PCIe x16 slots
– PCI_E2 supports PCIe 3.0 x16 speed*
– PCI_E5 supports PCIe 2.0 x8 speed
• 3 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots**
• 1 x PCI slots

* Only FM2+ processors can support PCIe 3.0
** Only PCI_E3 is available, if PCI_E3 and PCI_E4 had been installed.

 

Graphics
• 1 x VGA port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920×1200 @ 60Hz, 24bpp
• 1 x DVI-D port, supporting the maximum resolutions of 2560×1600@60Hz, 24bpp/ 1920×1200 @ 60Hz, 24bpp
• 1 x HDMI port, supporting the maximum resolutions of 4096×2160@24Hz, 36bpp*/ 3840×2160@30Hz, 36bpp*/1920×1200@120Hz, 36bpp and 1920×1200@60Hz, 36bpp
• 1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096×2160@24HZ, 24bpp**
* Only FM2+ processors can support PCIe 3.0
** Only PCI_E3 is available, if PCI_E3 and PCI_E4 had been installed.

On-Board SATA SATAIII controller integrated in AMD A88X chipset
– Up to 6Gb/s transfer speed.
– Supports eight SATAIII ports (SATA1~8) by A88X• RAID
– Support AMD Rapid Storage Technology enterprise (RAID 0/ 1/ 5/ 10) by AMDA88X
USB

• AMD A88X Chipset
– 4 x USB 3.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB connectors)
– 8 x USB 2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 6 ports available through the internal USB connectors)

• VIA VL805 Chipset
– 4 x USB 3.0 ports on the back panel*
* These USB 3.0 ports do not support M-Flash recovery function.

Audio• Realtek® ALC1150 Codec
– 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio
– Supports S/PDIF output
LAN • Killer E2205 Gigabit LAN controller*
– 1 x LAN port on the backpanel

* The Killer Network Manager is only available for Windows 7 and Windows 8 currently. The supported drivers for other operating systems would be available on the website if provided by vendor.

 

Internal I/O Connectors
– 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
– 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
– 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
– 3 x USB 2.0 connectors (supports additional 6 USB 2.0 ports)
– 1 x USB 3.0 connector
– 1 x 4-pin CPU fan connector
– 2 x 4-pin system fan connectors
– 2 x 3-pin system fan connectors
– 1 x Front panel audio connector
– 2 x System panel connectors
– 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
– 1 x TPM module connector
– 1 x Serial port connector
– 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
– 1 x OC Genie button
– 1 x Power button
– 1 x Reset button
– 1 x OC Genie mode switch
– 1 x Slow mode booting switch
– 1 x 2-Digit Debug Code LEDs
Back Panel I/O Ports
– 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse combo port
– 2 x USB 2.0 ports
– 6 x USB 3.0 ports
– 1 x VGA port
– 1 x DVI-D port
– 1 x HDMI port
– 1 x DisplayPor
– 1 x Optical S/PDIF-Out connector
– 1 x LAN (RJ45) port
– 6 x audio jacksThis platform supports dual-display and triple-display function

VGA + DVI-D /
VGA + HDMI /
DVI-D + HDMI /
DVI-D + DisplayPort /
HDMI + DisplayPort
VGA + DVI-D + HDMI /
DVI-D + HDMI + DisplayPort
Extend mode
(Extend the desktop to the second
and third monitor)
Clone mode
(Monitors have the same screen)
Multi-GPU Support
•  Supports 3-Way AMD® CrossFireTM Technology*
* Supports Windows 7 and Windows 8.
BIOS
• The motherboard BIOS provides “Plug & Play” BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically.
• The motherboard provides a Desktop Management Interface(DMI) function which records your motherboard specifications.
Dimension
• 12 in. x 9.6 in. (30.5 cm x 24.4 cm) ATX Form Factor
Mounting
• 9 mounting holes

 


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About Tom Brokaw

Tom is a network analyst by day. He currently holds the CCNA & CCNP certifications. He has been reviewing hardware products around for various sites around the net since 1999. He has modded a few cases back in the day, such as cutting a side window or two.