Z68 Motherboard Roundupgotdamojo06 - September 25, 2011
Price: ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty - $234.99
Price: ASUS P8Z68-V - $179.99
Price: ASUS P8Z68-V Pro - $199.99
Price: ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe - $249.99
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Are you looking to upgrade your current setup? Maybe you have been waiting to see how well the new generation of i7 processors are performing before you made the commitment to grab one of them. Is Intel's new Z68 chipset going to be the chipset for you to finally dive into the new generation of chips? Well you are going to be seeing quite a few new features with the Z68 chipset over the previous P67 chipsets that have been released. I am very interested to see exactly how well these boards are going to compare to each other and see if there is one of these that stands out from the others and is a must have board.
This Z68 roundup is going to have a total of four new motherboards going head to head to see which one of them can out perform the others. The first board in the roundup is the ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty board, which has a whole list of features including next-gen PCI-E 3.0 support, which can maximize the bandwidth for the next-gen PCI Express 3.0 VGA cards and give you the ultimate graphics performance among many other features that we will get into shortly. The ASUS P8Z68-V, P8Z68-V PRO, and P8Z68 Deluxe boards are all also included in this roundup. The ASUS boards have their own list of features, such as GIGI+ VRM, TPU, and EPU, as well as other ASUS-specific features. The Fatal1ty, P8Z68-V and P8Z68-V PRO all have support for Lucidlogix Virtu technology, which we will be testing as well.
What exactly does Intel's Z68 Express chipset offer? First, it offers support for the 2nd generation Intel Core processor family with Intel's Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. The Intel Z68 Express chipset is the first product to enable performance tuning with access to the built-in visual features of 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor family. You are also going to get Intel's Rapid Storage Technology 10.5; this is going to allow you to have a RAID 0, 5, and 10 array as well as have support for RAID arrays that are larger than 2.2TB. With Intel's Rapid Storage Technology 10.5 you will also be able to have support for eSATA devices that can reach up to 3Gb/s. Intel's Smart Response Technology is also included in the Z68 chipset, which is going to implement storage I/O caching to provide faster response times for tasks such as system boot and application start up. Intel Rapid Recover Technology is also included, which is Intel's latest data protection technology that provides a recovery point that can be used to quickly recover a system should one of your hard drives fail or there is data corruption. Finally you are going to have SATA 6Gb/s support with the Z68 chipset. What more could you want?
Now that we know exactly what boards are going to be compared in this roundup, let's take a nice close look at all four of them to see what each board offers.