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Z68 Motherboard Roundup Part 2

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Testing this group of Z68 based motherboards will include running them through the OCC test suite of benchmarks, that include both synthetic benchmarks and real world applications to see how each of these boards perform. The gaming tests will also include a couple of synthetic benchmarks and actual gameplay to see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. Each board received a fully updated fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition and used the latest drivers for each board and the latest AMD Catayst drivers for the HD 6970.

Testing Setup: Intel Core i5/i7 Socket 1155


Comparison Boards:

  • ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty
  • ASUS P8Z68-V
  • ASUS P8Z68-V PRO
  • ASUS P8X68 Deluxe
  • Sapphire Pure Platinum Z68
  • Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4
  • Gigabyte G1 Sniper 2



Overclocked Settings:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K at 100.2 x 47
  • Motherboard: Sapphire Pure Platinum Z68

During the overclocking on the Sapphire Pure Platinum Z68, I was able to reach a final overclock of only 4709MHz, which is a pretty decent overclock when you look at where you start from. 4709MHz is 1309MHz higher than the baseline stock speeds that the i7 2600K starts out at or a 38.5% increase on the CPU Core speeds. I was a little disappointed that I was unable to achieve a higher overclock with this board, however I am pretty happy with the end result. The temperatures were a little on the high side, however it seems like my chip tends to run a little warmer than others out there and requires a little bit more CPU vCore to get it to these speeds.

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K at 100.3 x 48
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4

On the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4, I was able to achieve a maximum overclock of 4813MHz, which is the highest that I have been able to get my chip up to. The only other time that I had been able to get my 2600K to run at a 48x multiplier was when I had the base clock down around 98MHz, which still gave me around 3700MHz. I didn't have to raise the voltages going to the vCore on this board much higher than I did on the Sapphire board or any of the other boards I have tested, which just means that the power being given to the chip on the Gigabyte board is a little more clean and constant.



  • Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K at 101.1 x 48
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte G1 Sniper 2

To say I was under whelmed is a pretty strong sentence to put it mildly, as I was expecting more from my little beat up 2600K on this board. It has all the features and a strong VRM that should have allowed it to play nice with my chip. Now 4852MHz is nothing to sneeze at, but the chip is stable 100MHz higher on several other boards. Getting to the edge is fairly uneventful, but once you get there the ability to boot into the OS or even into the BIOS goes away quickly. Boot recovery is a little involved and required a power down and disconnect to get the board to boot when I got close to the edge. This was kind of random it seemed. One time the board would boot fine then next would take a series of reboots or a power cycle to get back to booting. Even so once it was sorted out and voltages were tweaked it would operate fine. On previous boards I was not able to get into a 48 multiplier but was able to reach a higher bclock, so there are some tradeoffs to take away from this exercise. Memory overclocking was pretty much deja vu, with the multipliers and bclock limiting the overclocking headroom available. When you get down to it though, the work pays off with increased performance and system response. The maximum clock speed I was able to reach was 4852MHz, a 1.45GHz boost in clock speed above the baseline speed, which is a significant jump in any book. That's on the order of a 42+% increase in clock speed over the baseline 3.4GHz, with just some time and effort.

Maximum Clock Speed:

The Maximum Clock speeds attainable that were stable enough to run the entire benchmarking suite and play through hours of intense gaming are shown below. Each CPU has been tested for stability at the overclocked speeds listed. These clock speeds will represent the overclocked scores in the testing.




  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. Geekbench
  4. Bibble 5
  5. Office 2007
  6. POV Ray 3.7
  7. Sandra XII
  8. ScienceMark 2.02
  9. Cinebench 10
  10. Cinebench 11.5
  11. HDTune 4.60
  12. PCMark 7
  • Video:
  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  2. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  3. Civilization V
  4. 3DMark 11

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