The MSI X79A-GD45 Plus is compatible with Intel processors with the LGA 2011/Socket R socket.
It has 128 GB DDR3 maximum RAM and conforms to the ATX form factor standard.
|CPU Socket||LGA 2011/Socket R||Graphics Card Interface||PCIe v3.0|
|CPU Compatible Make||Intel||SLI Support||2 graphics cards|
|CPU Chipset||X79||Crossfire Support||2 graphics cards|
|Form Factor||ATX||Onboard GPU||no|
|Max RAM||128 GB DDR3||PCI Slots|
|RAM Slots||8 x DDR3||SATA 1.0||0|
|Memory Channels||4||SATA 2.0||4|
|Compatible RAM Speeds||SATA 3.0||0|
|USB 2.0 Internal Slots||2||RAID Support||yes|
|USB 2.0 Rear||6||Internal I/O|
|USB 3.0 Internal||1||Back Panel I/O|
|USB 3.0 Rear||2|
The MSI X79A-GD45 Plus uses the Intel LGA 2011/Socket R CPU socket. Any compatible Intel CPU will have the same socket entry. It uses the DDR3 memory type, with maximum speeds of up to 2400 MHz, and 8 DDR3 slots allowing for a maximum total of 128 GB RAM. There is enough room for memory expansion to last any build with this motherboard an extremely long time.
Conforming to the ATX standard, the MSI X79A-GD45 Plus should fit into the majority of cases. ATX is the most common form factor, and as such has a high degree of compatibility with other components while providing a decent number of slots to widen your expansion options.
The MSI X79A-GD45 Plus has 3 SATA 3.0 hard drive slots. These allow for theoretical data transfer speeds of up to 6GB/s, as opposed to the 3GB/s of SATA 2.0. Generally speaking, only high performance hard drives, specifically solid-state drives, will be able to take advantage of the bandwidth potential of SATA 3.0 ports, though it is backwards compatible, so you do not have to take advantage. This motherboard also has 4 SATA 2.0 slots, so numerous SATA hard drives can be connected if desired.
The MSI X79A-GD45 Plus does not support onboard graphics. Any system build that uses this motherboard therefore requires a separate graphics card, or a processor that has a GPU on the same die, such as AMD APU processors. There are 5 PCIe x16 slots on this motherboard. This means it is perfectly capable of accommodating the latest graphics cards, although it is important to try and use a graphics card with the same graphics card interface of PCIe v3.0, as anything below will not reach the motherboard's potential, and anything above will have its performance slashed to the bandwidth maximum of the MSI X79A-GD45 Plus's PCIe v3.0. The MSI X79A-GD45 Plus supports up to 2 Nvidia SLI connected graphics cards or up to 2 AMD Crossfire connected graphics cards for improved overall graphical performance at the cost of multiplied graphics-based power consumption as well as the price of the cards themselves.
The MSI X79A-GD45 Plus has 8 USB 2.0 slots and 3 USB 3.0 slots. USB 3.0 slots are theoretically capable of data transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbit/s, which is over 10 times faster than the USB 2.0 top speed of 480 Mbit/s. Although USB 2.0 slots alone currently serve as well as ever, an upgrade would better future-proof your system as more USB 3.0 compatible peripherals emerge. USB 3.0 is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0, which means you do not even have to use the newer slot functionality if you do not wish to.