Just months ago Intel debuts its new Z68 chipset and we begin to see the first models based on this chipset. Today we will analyze the MSI Z68MA-ED55. This is a Micro ATX format version, with “Military Class” components, APS (Active Phase Switching), 10 phase power, DrMOS (Driver Mosfets) and incorporates the Intel Smart Response technology, Lucid Virtu, 6Gbps Sata, USB 3.0, Click Genie BIOS and OC II.
MSI’s Sandy Bridge offerings have tended to offer a great mix of features, performance and price. For the most part, this microATX Z68 board is no different. Regardless, there’s still a lot here to like, with the MSI Z68MA-ED55 offering ample high-end features.
Storage consists of six SATA ports (four SATA 3Gbps and two 6Gbps), USB 3.0, FireWire and optical S/PDIF out. Multi-GPU support is also present, albeit only in as a stunted x16/x4 CrossFireX option, and MSI throws in its OC Genie overclocking hardware/software.
Having said that, given how easy it is to overclock K-series Intel CPUs, that’s becoming somewhat redundant. (On that note, we squeezed a little bit more performance out of it, so full points there.) It’s solid on the whole. If you’re after a small, flexible Z68 board, here it is.