MSI P67A-GD55 – Design
The MSI P67A-GD55 is a fairly modest looking motherboard. We like the blue and black color scheme, but given its limited feature set, the board looks pretty barren compared to the others in our roundup.
Although the board's cooling setup looks puny, it's actually probably more realistic in terms of what is actually required by the VRM and P67 chip. You'd expect this to provide extra elbow room than the competition, but MSI's entry still feels a bit cramped.
The CPU socket is very close to the DIMM slots which are offset about 4cm from the edge of the board. That said, this has likely been done to follow Intel's design specifications for the motherboard. All in all, we don't have any major gripes about the layout.
There are several buttons in the bottom right corner of the board to power up or reset the system and use the OC Genie II feature. Next to them is the only onboard USB 2.0 header which supports the MSI Super Charger feature. As seen on other P67 motherboards in our roundup, Super Charger provides extra power to quickly charge devices such as smart phones. MSI does not specific how much more power these ports supply, just that it provides more power than a standard USB 2.0 connector.
Another interesting feature is the Multimeter points located in the top right corner of the board. This feature lets you keep track of motherboard voltages using a Multimeter and would undoubtedly be handy for hardcore overclockers.
The I/O panel has a reasonable amount of connectivity, including a PS/2 port, two USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, LAN port, FireWire port, optical S/PDIF, coaxial S/PDIF and six audio jacks. While it may be less I/O than the other boards in our review, it does provide the essentials with eSATA perhaps being the only exception.