Articles: Mainboards
 

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The current decline in PC sales can be easily explained by the increasing share of mobile gadgets including notebooks, tablets and smartphones. From an average user’s standpoint, they are not just an acceptable but preferable alternative to a desktop PC. You don’t have to buy a bulky computer case and find a place for it to stand, now that you can just take your notebook or tablet with you to your chair or sofa. Price isn’t a crucial factor anymore. Notebooks used to be more expensive than desktop PCs because they offered the benefits of mobility and portability but now they are comparable or even cheaper. Of course, the smaller dimensions and the higher energy efficiency requirements result in mobile gadgets being inferior to desktop PCs in sheer performance, but that doesn’t matter much for an average user. People don’t need high computing performance or large databases at home whereas mobile gadgets are quite enough for web surfing and document editing.

We guess all of us would have already switched to mobile devices en masse if there were no specific user categories, particularly gamers. The widespread use of tablets and smartphones has provoked a boom in casual gaming, yet you just can’t do without a desktop if you are into serious games, especially hi-tech ones like modern 3D shooters. You need a high-resolution monitor, a fast graphics card and a top-end CPU for that. A high-quality audio system is desired as well if you want more immersion. With a notebook, you are limited in your choice of games and have to always compromise between speed and quality. With a good gaming desktop PC, you can freely choose any game and enjoy it fully.

For all their special features, gaming PCs are usually based on perfectly ordinary mainboards. There are gaming mainboards, yet they are very special products with unique features and enhanced accessories selling at very high prices. MSI tried to change this about a year ago by launching its own series which, unlike gaming products from ASUS and Gigabyte, included midrange or even entry-level models. There are just a few features that make MSI’s GAMING mainboards different from their regular counterparts. They use Qualcomm’s Atheros Killer network adapters with traffic prioritization support and have MSI’s Audio Boost technology for increased sound quality. Moreover, they have a special exterior design with an aggressive and eye-catching black-and-red color scheme.

We already tested MSI’s Z87-GD65 GAMING mainboard in our series of reviews of LGA1150 mainboards and were disappointed to find some power-saving technologies not working on it. This problem must have been caused by firmware flaws, yet it spoiled our impression. That was the top-of-the-line model, although it corresponds to midrange products from other brands. So today we are going to discuss the less advanced MSI Z87-G45 GAMING.

 
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