The P67A-GD65 is one of nine new MSI boards supporting Sandy Bridge. Breaking it down further, the GD65 is the flagship board in the "performance" segment alongside the GD55, both of which are ATX form factor. The Performance segment is bested only by the gaming class which features the P67A-GD80 and the insanely ridiculous Big Bang Marshall that features a whopping eight PCIe x16 slots!
The blue and black color scheme on this board is one of the nicest I have seen thus far from a Socket 1155 offering. Starting at the top of the board, we find beefy heatpipe-connected heatsinks covering the MOSFETS and the 8-pin 12v connector. You may also notice that the traditional solid capacitors are missing from around the CPU socket. This is because MSI has upgraded them with Hi-c CAP (Highly-conductive polymerized capacitor) featuring Tantalum Core. MSI claims that Hi-c CAP last 8x longer than traditional capacitors and result in better overall cooling due to their lower profile.
Hi-c CAP is part MSI's Military Class II components that also include Super Ferrite Chokes and Solid Caps with a 10 year lifetime. SFCs feature 30% higher current capacity and 10% power efficiency improvement which should result in better overclocking power stability. The Super Ferrite Chokes were previously only available on flagship models but now MSI has implemented them on every Sandy Bridge offering. Solid Capacitors are used on other areas of the board where such stringent power efficiency isn't necessary.
Moving on, we see the Active Phase Switching LEDs across the top of the board. These blue LEDs indicate the current CPU power phase mode. This feature can be disabled if you aren't into extra LED lighting.
Additionally we find a 4-pin CPU fan header, four memory slots supporting DDR3 1066 / 1333 / 1600 / 2133 MHz at a maximum capacity of 32GB, two 3-pin fan headers, 24-pin ATX power connector and MSI's Voltage Check Point. Using the included VCP cables, you can easily measure the CPU / CPU_VTT / CPU_SA / DDR / PCH voltages in real-time using a multimeter.
More just ahead.