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Z68 Motherboard Roundup Part 2

Price: Sapphire Pure Platinum Z68 - TBA
Price: Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4 - $194.99
Price: Gigabyte G1 Sniper 2 - $339.99


Have you been looking at getting a new motherboard for your current setup? Maybe you are interested in getting into a new setup but have not quite made up your mind. With the holiday season right around the corner, there is always the possibility of a few new components being gifted to you or purchased with some spare gift cash. Well if you are looking into the Socket 1155 arena, OCC has three new boards for you to take a look at in the second part of the Z68 Motherboard Roundup. We all know that there are many new features that Z68 brings to the table over the previous P67 Chipset. No other component is more important than choosing the proper motherboard for your setup. This component is going to determine exactly what types of graphics cards you can grab or the memory type, speeds, and capacities. The HDD choices that you make should be based on what HDD features your motherboard can offer such as Gigabyte's XHDD feature or the allowance for up to a 3TB HDD as a bootable storage device with the Z68 chipset. Heck, you may pass up on a motherboard based on the overclockability or features that it may carry with it. With that said, I am interested to see exactly how these boards do compare to some of the other boards that are out on the market.



Closer Look:

A few months ago we look at four other Z68 boards which you can see here. This Z68 roundup is going to have a total of three new motherboards going head to head to see which one of them can out perform the others. In this roundup, the three motherboards we will be looking at, include the Sapphire Pure Platinum Z68, the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4, and the Gigabyte G1 Sniper 2. Each one of these boards have unique features that separate them from each other and the rest of the pack. What we are going to do here is take a close look at all three of the boards to see exactly how each one of them perform. Looking at the Sapphire Pure Platinum Z68, you are going to be getting quite a nice feature list, such as the Diamond Chokes, onboard Intel HD Graphics, USB 3.0, onboard Diagnostics/CPU Temperature LED, Bluetooth, as well as high quality and durable film solid capacitors that provide low ESR and high heat resistance. The two Gigabyte boards are going to offer you the signature Gigabyte Ultra Durable 3 lineup, which include Japanese Solid Capacitors, Lower RDS(on) MOSFET, Ferrite Core Chokes, Dual CPU Power, DualBIOS that supports 3TB HDDs, a double thick Copper PCB for increased durability, and USB/SATA 3.0 support.







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, which 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 their 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 three of them to see what each board offers.

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: Sapphire Pure Platinum Z68
  3. Closer Look: Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4
  4. Closer Look: Gigabyte G1 Sniper 2
  5. Closer Look: BIOS Sapphire Pure Platinum
  6. Closer Look: BIOS Gigabyte
  7. Closer Look: Programs & Utilities
  8. Specifications
  9. Testing: Setup and Overclocking
  10. Testing: Apophysis, WinRar, Geekbench, Bibble 5
  11. Testing: Office 2007, POV Ray
  12. Testing: SiSoft Sandra 2011
  13. Testing: Sciencemark, Cinebench, HDTune
  14. Testing: PCMark7
  15. Testing: Aliens vs. Predator
  16. Testing: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  17. Testing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
  18. Testing: 3DMark 11
  19. Conclusion
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