MSI mainboard are known to have attractive looks, user-friendly design and high-quality components. They are energy-efficient, fast and stable with nominal settings. But their BIOS has quite a few issues and doesn't allow to overclock without turning off power-saving technologies. All of this is true for the MSI FM2-A85XA-G65, which is a very typical MSI mainboard, both in its highs and lows. It runs well in nominal mode but you face numerous challenges as soon as you try to overclock it. The memory frequency and the CPU frequency multiplier may refuse to change without any reason. The mainboard’s power consumption rises upon your enabling power-saving technologies, which is quite a paradox. The good news is that we could update the firmware with the integrated utility without any problems. The unstable and imperfect BIOS is a real downside of MSI products which unfortunately ruins the great impression from any of their technical advantages.
The MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 is simpler than the other three Socket FM2 mainboards we’ve tested recently, so it is also the least expensive of them. The ASRock board costs a little more, next comes Gigabyte, and ASUS is the most expensive one. We guess that we could also split them into two groups: there are good and there are not so good products and the former are substantially more expensive. This categorization isn’t general because ASUS may be criticized for its high power consumption whereas MSI, for example, is good in this respect. But in general, if you need a high-quality problem-free Socket FM2 mainboard then you best bet would most likely be the product from ASUS or, even better, from Gigabyte. The mainboards from ASRock and MSI may be a good alternative only if you are ready to put up with the challenges they pose for the sake of their lower price.