MSI P67A-GD53 review

Price when reviewed

Motherboards bearing Intel’s P67 chipset and LGA 1155 processor socket have put their recall woes behind them and are beginning to flow out. The MSI P67A-GD53 bears the all-important B3 stepping that signifies an up-to-date, working board.

At £108 inc VAT, it’s one of the cheapest P67 boards we’ve seen, but you wouldn’t know it to look at the enthusiast-level features. There are handy power and reset switches in the bottom-right corner, alongside a switch that activates MSI’s OC Genie software to automatically overclock your processor. There’s also a selection of LEDs that can diagnose problems with your CPU, memory or chipset.

Two PCI Express x16 slots run at 8x speed when two graphics cards are installed, and the four DIMM sockets can take up to 32GB of DDR3 RAM. Storage is handled by the now-usual pair of SATA 6Gbits/sec and four SATA 3Gbits/sec ports.

Alongside two internal USB 2 connectors sit headers for a chassis intrusion detector, TPM module, and a quintet of case fans. The MSI has no internal USB 3 connectors for hooking up a case’s front-panel ports, but there are two ports on the backplate, along with eight USB 2, a clear CMOS button and both optical and electrical S/PDIF outputs.


We’re increasingly seeing the archaic BIOS replaced by UEFI software, and MSI has done a fine job incorporating its new mouse-controlled front-end. It isn’t the best if you’re a tweaker – we’ve seen Asus and ASRock UEFI software that instantly serves up a wealth of monitoring information – but it’s accommodating for beginners: options are divided into sensible categories, and there are tools to test memory and back up your hard disk.

We ran a variety of tests on both the MSI and a selection of brand-new motherboards in the Labs. Our hard disk file-transfer benchmark evaluates SATA and USB 3 performance, and the P67A-GD53 wasn’t the quickest but performed well: a large file write speed of 369.2MB/sec over SATA 6Gbits/sec was faster than all but one rival, and USB 3 speed was on a par too.

We also tested memory performance with SiSoft Sandra and, again, the MSI didn’t disgrace itself. A bandwidth figure of 14GB/sec when tested with 8GB of RAM proved middling, and a latency of 78.3ns was marginally faster than rival Asus and ASRock boards could manage.

While it may lack the pizzazz of gaming boards and features such as eSATA or FireWire, it has the basics covered, and it supports faster processors than X58 boards can handle. The MSI P67A-GD53 is an affordable, well-rounded motherboard that does enough to win a recommendation – and break Gigabyte’s monopoly on the A List.


Motherboard form factorATX
Motherboard integrated graphicsno


Processor/platform brand (manufacturer)Intel
Processor socketLGA 1155
Motherboard form factorATX
Memory typeDDR3
Multi-GPU supportyes


Motherboard chipsetIntel P67
Number of Ethernet adapters1
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type8-pin
Main power connectorATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total4
Internal SATA connectors4
Internal PATA connectors0
Internal floppy connectors0
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots total2
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots total3

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors1
USB ports (downstream)8
FireWire ports0
eSATA ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports1
3.5mm audio jacks6
Parallel ports0
9-pin serial ports0
Extra port backplane bracket portsnone

Diagnostics and tweaking

Motherboard onboard power switch?yes
Motherboard onboard reset switch?yes
Software overclocking?yes


SATA cables supplied2
Molex to SATA adaters supplied0
IDE cables supplied0
Floppy cables supplied0

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