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Do the Z68 mobo support iGPU Video Virtualization?

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a b V Motherboard
May 25, 2011 3:34:15 AM

Whilst researching on the Z68 chipset motherboards, and finding disappointment with lack of RAID support on the additional (non-Intel) SATA 3 ports, I have looked into Gigabyte boards.

However, several models do not have the VGA/DVI-D ports on the back panel, stating that a discrete "VGA Card Required."

Now, the new LGA 1155 CPU, integrated video in part of the processor chip (iGPU). But the P67 boards didn't use it, do these Z68 Gigabyte boards support the Lucidlogix’s Virtu software?

One of the boards I'm refering to is the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3. Because it supports Crossfire, and lesser boards only support SLI?

I want a Z68 motherboard to have the following features:

1.) At least 8 SATA ports (with at least 2 SATA 3), all RAID supported, even if different controllers (I only paired 2 drives together, 3 times. Thus 6 drives (2 SSD, 4HDD, plus 1 optical.)

2.) 2-way Crossfire support, for my XFX HD Radeon 6850 in the future.

3.) Intergrated sound and LAN are great. Never had any problems with them. Keeps PCI ports open, but for what?

4.) Z68 chipset benefits of SSD caching AND iGPU video virtualization. Even if I don't use them, or see much benefit/improvements. Why else wait for Z68?

5.) Ease of overclocking. I like the idea of the new UEFI BIOS, but Gigabyte hasn't gotten there.

Here is my plan, motherboard to support these components:

A.) Intel Core i5 2500K - water cooled

B.) 2x4GB DDR3-1600 memory (will add more in future)

C.) Radeon 6850 (will add another in crossfire in future)

D.) 8 SATA drives:
2xSSD - in RAID 0 for OS/Programs [RAID 0 for size & speed] (Will upgrade to 2xSATA 3 SSD in future)
2xHDD - in RAID 0 for Data/Media [RAID 0 for size, more than speed] (Can drop to 1 if SATA ports run out/short, to do below)
1xSSD - to pair with above for SSD caching
2xHDD - in RAID 0 for Back Up (RAID 0 for size, more than speed)
1 Optical drive - Blu-Ray Burner

E.) Onnboard LAN - one Gigabit port

F.) Onboard Sound - support 2.1 (which my speakers take care of)

G.) 6 USB ports - 2 front, 4 back

H.) As many fan headers as possible - currently have 5 case fans, a RAM fan, and 1x4pin PMR CPU fan (not all plugged into mobo).

Anyways, my main question remains in bold above.
a b V Motherboard
May 25, 2011 7:34:46 AM

Well, after further research, I found that at least one board supports "Virtu," the GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3. $10 cheaper than the GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 I was looking at, and has VGA/DVI-D outputs on the back panel. Is that the answer, if it has Video ports, it'll support "Virtu?"

It also seems that this is the only Gigabyte boards to support Virtu have a "H" in there name (i.e. GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3) and state "Vitru" on the outside of the box.

However, the UD3H uses 1 of it's SATA II ports for eSATA, leaving only 7 total SATA ports. See this thread for why that is important to me, and how I got into this one.

I found some SATA RAID cards, like the SYBA SD-PEX40035 PCI-Express 2.0 SATA III (6.0Gb/s) Controller Card ($34.99), but that adds addition expense. It uses the same Marvell 88SE9128 as some motherboards do. I read that the Marvell RAID controler is not up to par with Intels, but it'll only have my back up, not boot, drives on it. If I go this route.

But the mobo I originally wanted, the Asus P8Z68-V Pro is $209.99, with no Marvell RAID, would need me to buy this card, also.

So, this leaves me 2 options, right now:

1). Asus P8Z68-V Pro @ $209.99 plus PCI-e RAID Card @ $34.99 = $244.98
2). Gigibyte GA-Z68-UD3H @ 169.99 plus PCI-e RAID Card @ $34.99 = $204.98

The Gigabyte board only has 2 PCI-e x16 slots (actually x16 for 1, x8/x8 in Xfire), no PCI-e bridge (?), and no x4 slot (so what) that the Asus board has (and doesn't work), option 2 is $5.01 cheaper than the Asus board alone. That MAY be my answer. Let me sleep on it. ;) 

And THG rated this Gigabyte board here. The ASRock Extreme 4 for $189.99 is out of stock, and no RAID on the Marvell 9120 controller to boot.
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a b V Motherboard
May 25, 2011 6:58:40 PM

I may even go with a GIGABYTE GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3.

It's a MicroATX board, but supports Vitru, and Marvell RAID, with a total of 7 SATA ports. But it has 3 PCIe x16 ports (x16/8/4), only 1 PCI-e x1 port. It kinda doesn't have all the "frills" which I am okay with! If I don't use it, why have it (i.e. Firewire, Serial port, PCI)?

Then again, I may stay with the UD3H, if only because it has more fan headers: The UD3H has 1 CPU, 2 system, andd 1 power fan headers. Whereas the UD2H only has : 1 CPU and 1 system fan header.

Here is a comparision between the 3 Gigabyte boards I have looked at (or ditched).
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a c 107 V Motherboard
May 26, 2011 3:00:54 AM

This topic has been closed by Leaps-from-Shadows
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