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Intel ich10 z68 motherboard

Last response: in Motherboards
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September 8, 2011 1:05:35 AM

Hello lads and lasses.

I got excited and I bought a Corsair Force GT 120 gb SSD. I had previously recommended 3 Corsair Force Series 3 SSD's to go with 3 Dell XPS 8300s at the office. After updating the firmware on the Force Series 3's, the XPS 8300s were blazing fast. The GT is even faster. However, I don't have a Dell XPS 8300 at home. My old machine (built and rebuilt by me), currently uses an EVGA X58 SLI 3 motherboard with an i7 950 cpu. The graphics card is an ATI Radeon HD 5670 (I am not a gamer) and the memory is 6gb triple channel OCZ Reaper DDR3 PC3-15000, (which I can only run at 1600 mhz or I get stability issues).

My problem is that the sata III controller is by Marvell and does not give me the full speed of the SSD. Also it stutters somewhat, (even after the firmware update).

Is there a z68 motherboard with an Intel ich10 SATA III controller that can better complement my SSD?

Most of the boards I've looked at have marvell controllers. I also want esata III functionality as well as USB 3.0. I ordered the ASRock Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3, but would return it for a more suitable motherboard.

I have an AZZA hurrican case with fron USB 3.0 and esata ports.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
Ray O.
a b V Motherboard
September 8, 2011 1:34:34 AM

I think most if not all Z68 boards have native SATA III and the Marvell controller, but I think the chipset itself provides at most 2 SATA III ports so if you want 1 native eSATA then you are left with only one for your SSD. Are you planning to use an external SSD for that eSATA III because it's pretty much the only thing that would saturate it.

If you are looking for alternatives to your selected MB, I would suggest you look at Gigabyte, they have good boards too; I have a Z68-UD3H and just love it. The only thing it doesn't have from your list is eSATA III.

Note that getting a Z68 board will force you to change CPU as well and perhaps buy another memory module (Z68 is dual channel, not triple channel). Moreover, if your Windows license is OEM, you will have to ask Microsoft very nicely to send you another activation key because "your old MB died"; technically an OEM license is tied to the MB and cannot be transferred.
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September 8, 2011 2:25:00 AM

Hello Zenthar and thanks for your prompt reply.

The eSATA requirement is just a future proofing thing. I do have a spare 60gb Kingston SDNow SSD which I may use for eSATA purposes, to transfers movies, etc. Its only SATA II.

My main issue is the Marvell SATA III controller, which limits the SSD performance. I was hoping that there is a z68 motherboard with an Intel rather than a Marvell SATA III controller. Apparently the Intel controller unleashes the full speed capabilities of the SSD. An article here http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/291984-30-marvell-88s..., seems to confirm what I am experiencing.

Perhaps the solution is not so much a z68 board as a p67 board.

I purchased 8gb of dual channel Kingston Hyper X DDR3 1600 ram as well as the i7 2600k cpu. I am almost ready to go, just this controller issue which may be a non-issue. (Marvell may come out with an update to address this issue). In fact, it may turn out that the problem is with my Corsair SSD. I also got an OCZ Vertex 3 SSD for the wife's MacBook Pro. Perhaps I can swap them and avoid this issue entirely. I just want my SSD to run at max speed. Am I being unreasonable?

As for the windows license, I'll follow your advice and make that call to microsoft. But before that, I will just transfer my O/S disk to the new rig and see if that works. I've had some luck in the past doing that. Also, Acronis swears up and down that the Plus Pack enables restoring of windows images onto different hardware. I guess I'll have to find out how true that is.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 8, 2011 2:57:28 AM

Most LGA 1366 with SATA3 have Marvell 912X which and ditto the P67/Z68 with Marvell are shared x1 lane on the PCIe so typically they max-out at 370MB/s~380MB/s. There are newer X58 MOBO's with Marvell 918X which are x2 lanes Gigabyte/ASUS. However the simplest and cheapest fix is to get and x4 or x8 PCIe SATA3 card and that will fix the issue.

The native (2) Intel SATA3 ports, Marvell 918X or PCIe x4/x8 SATA3 add-on cards are the only options.

Replacing a i7 950 for an LGA 1155 P67 or Z68 MOBO and CPU is CrAzY -- it's a side grade. In a matter of weeks the LGA 2011/SB-E are coming out and the 6-core i7-3930K is 45%+ faster than the i7-2600K and ~$200 more and PCIe 3.0 CPU/Chipset/MOBO.


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a b V Motherboard
September 8, 2011 10:54:06 AM

As I said, most if not all of the Z68 (and P67) boards have both the Intel and Marvell controller. Moreover, only the latest gen SSD max that speed. I would suggest you don't bother with eSATA III for now and just get some back-plate if you ever need to (if not already part of your computer case). As for Marvell coming-out with a fix, it won't happen as the problem is hardware limitation; the Marvell controller uses a PCIe-x1 lane and that is the limitation; there is another controller using a PCIe-x2 lane, but that is a totally different chip (from jaquith post).
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September 9, 2011 9:27:56 PM

Thanks for the info Jaquith.

As I'd mentioned, I'd already ordered the ASRock Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3. It arrived and I swapped out the old EVGA X58. I was able to attach my ssd and boot into windows, with some minor difficulty. I didn't have to call up Microsoft. My Norton Internet Security is telling me that I have run out of activations. So I'll have to call up Symantec. Everything else works perfectly now. Acronis True Image Home and MS Office needed to be reactivated online, but that worked. The Corsair firmware upgrade software even detects my SSD now, (not the case with the X58 mobo).

I don't know if this is paranoia, but I don't think the new components are as fast as the old system - a side grade as you said, maybe even a downgrade. I have to experiment, but minor things such as booting up seem to take a few seconds longer. I think the setting that shows the BIOS options during boot up may be to blame. (note to self to review).

I realize that the upgrade from x58 to z68 is not the most efficient given the bang for the buck criterion, however, patience not being one of my strong suits, it is not the most disasterous event. Particularly as I plan to donate the old system to a good friend whose Dell Dimension 8200 just died. (It was a wonderful funeral)! So at least, she'll be happy. Also, the last $1,000 CPU I bought was the $750 (on eBay), Core 2 Extreme QX9770. That was 2 kids ago. Even if the Sandy Bridge-E 3960k ran at 5Ghz, I doubt I would plunk down the asking. So except if you have a "connect" with a truck with a dodgy tailgate from which things keep falling, (a la "fell off the back of a truck"), I am somewhat pleased with my purchase. To be honest I felt stupid when you brought up the Sandy Bridge-Es, because they had completely slipped my mind what with all the issues intel was having. Never fear, I will be delving into that arena when Windows 8 comes out.

Talking about which, is there such a thing as a stand-alone touchscreen?

Again thanks for the heads up. In retrospect, the last couple of weeks were not shinning examples of my judgement. However, its an ill wind that blows no one no good. Someone will benefit from this.

Thanks again.
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a b V Motherboard
September 10, 2011 12:30:55 AM

Not doing a clean install could be partially responsible for the speed as there could be some driver clutter. In term of speed, the only place where your old might have had an edge was for the triple-channel RAM and I don't this this would account for much in perceivable performance.
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