Below the PCI slots we find one of the standout features of MSI’s top-end boards. There’s a selection of buttons here, of which the first and probably most significant is OC Genie, activated by a large, round, dark-blue button that’s almost impossible to press accidentally thanks to a blue shroud, the lip of which extends above the button’s surface. You’ll be able to tell at a glance if it’s active because the button remains depressed and becomes backlit in blue
According to MSI, thanks to its proprietary hardware overclocking chip, OC Genie can optimally overclock your CPU (even adjusting voltages and memory speeds on the fly). Just press the button, turn your PC on and within one second the OC Genie system will have figured out your optimal settings.
We’ll get onto how well it works later on, but for now it’s also worth mentioning the round, black plus and minus buttons backlit in red. Called DirectOC, these two ingenious buttons allow you to manually adjust the CPU Base Clock (BLCK) in 1Mhz increments. All this should make overclocking a snap without even entering the BIOS or using any software.
Here you’ll also find a silver, green-backlit power button. However, while this is all well and good, there’s no sign of a reset button, nor is there a clear CMOS button – instead, you’re limited to the aforementioned jumper switch. Admittedly features like a reset and clear-CMOS button are hardly essential, but their exclusion is a bit jarring considering the other high-end touches on the P55-GD65 – especially when they are included on the next step up P55-GD80 model.
DrMos refers to MSI’s Driver MOSFET power regulation solution, consisting of two MOSFETs combined with an dedicated Driver IC. According to MSI this configuration should lead to lower power consumption and cooler temperatures, all of which should make for great overclocking.
As part of the P55-GD65’s advanced power management features, there’s a bank of six blue LEDs above the RAM slots which indicate how many of the power circuits (phases) are being used. It makes for a pretty light show but we’re not sure when and where this would actually be useful. However, if you don’t like them or have a windowless case, you can turn them off via a setting in the BIOS.
Also worth mentioning is MSI’s SuperPipe technology. Those finned heatsinks on the P55-GD65 are connected by what the company claims is the thickest heatpipe used on any motherboard in the world, measuring 8mm thick and providing up to 90 per cent better cooling. While this is doubtless beneficial, the cooling solutions on other P55 boards (which don’t seem to suffer much from heat problems to begin with) do the job just fine, so this is clever marketing more than anything.
Another slightly exotic feature consists of a header for an optional trusted platform module (TPM), though we can’t see too many of this board’s target customers appreciating the option.