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PCIe 3.0 on Z68 boards versus Z77 . . .

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April 1, 2012 5:50:06 PM

Greetings, all!

I'm planning on putting a system together in late April when Ivy Bridge comes out. I'm not a hardcore overclocker, and don't plan on doing SLI or Crossfire. I'm just looking to do a nice clean system that's quiet, decent for games, reasonably future-proofed (although I know that's not easy) and also within my budget.

My parts list from a few weeks ago had the ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe Gen 3 as my motherboard. But since the new Z77 boards will be coming out in the next few weeks, I'm wondering if I should hold off for one of those. Here's my uncertainty:

The P8Z68 Deluxe Gen 3 has PCIe 3.0 support, but it seems like it was "tacked on" as a design afterthought. I don't know if this will affect the quality or compatibility of the PCIe 3.0 implementation. However, this board has also been out for a while, so I know it's well road-tested and has had any kinks worked out.

The P8Z77 Deluxe will, I assume, be designed from the ground up with PCIe 3.0 in mind. However, I'll be looking to buy just as the board comes out, and I'm a bit wary of getting 1.0 products, even from a company that I've come to trust like ASUS. But I think I'd be willing to try it if I thought that the PCIe 3.0 support on this new board would be a more solid version than what's on the Z68 board.

I know that - in theory - any board that supports Ivy Bridge *should* support PCIe 3.0. But I got the following from a moderator on ASUS's forums:

"Some mainboard manufactirers claim a BIOS revision is all that is necesary while other clain a bit of redesign is nevessary....."

I'm afraid I'm none the wiser and am not sure what to do.

I suppose I could put off my system build for a few weeks and see if the Z77 boards from ASUS have a successful bug-free launch . . .

Any thoughts?
a c 265 V Motherboard
April 1, 2012 7:31:13 PM

I see this as a non issue. No high end graphics card sold today pushes the limits of pcie 2.0, let alone 3.0.
Differences are detectable by a synthetic benchmark, but not really by the gamer.

Regardless if pcie 3.0 is implemented in the chipset or by a discrete chip, you should assume that it works and conforms to specs.

Ivy bridge is due to launch late April. If your cpu chip budget is in the $200 range, like for a 2500K or 3570K, then it would pay to see what is offered. I think you will get 10% more for your money with ivy bridge.

If your cpu budget is in the $150 range or less, then current sandy bridge duo's will still be very adequate for most games.
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April 1, 2012 8:14:50 PM

geofelt said:
Regardless if pcie 3.0 is implemented in the chipset or by a discrete chip, you should assume that it works and conforms to specs.

Thanks - that was really my biggest question.

I'm already sold on Ivy Bridge (I'm actually budgeting for an i7), it was more a question of whether it would be better to wait for the Z77 boards or just plan on getting the Z68 when/if the price drops, since I know it's a proven, time-tested board.

Anybody else have an opinion?
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a c 265 V Motherboard
April 1, 2012 9:28:37 PM

Hubble128 said:
Thanks - that was really my biggest question.

I'm already sold on Ivy Bridge (I'm actually budgeting for an i7), it was more a question of whether it would be better to wait for the Z77 boards or just plan on getting the Z68 when/if the price drops, since I know it's a proven, time-tested board.

Anybody else have an opinion?


I heard someplace that Z77 motherboards would be reasonably priced. At the moment, I do not see a great amount of functionality difference.

That said, the Z68 motherboards will not go up in price when z77 is launched so you might as well wait so you can make a more informed decision.

I think ASUS and Gigabyte have had their preview motherboards out in the public long enough to feel good about any major problems not cropping up.

Also, with ivy bridge, the 3570K vs 3770K question will be resolved along the lines of the 2500K vs 2600K. If your purpose is gaming, save $100 with the 3750K. If you will run many multithreaded apps, then the 3770K will be better.
If the $100 difference is not that important to you then buy the 3770K.
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April 2, 2012 12:07:05 AM

Thanks, geofelt - that's definitely made me feel more confident about purchasing a Z77 without waiting an extra month to see if there are any problems.

I'll definitely take your advice on both the motherboard and re-evaluating the CPU choice. Thanks very much for your answers!
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a c 329 V Motherboard
July 30, 2012 3:27:11 PM

Best answer selected by Nikorr.
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a c 329 V Motherboard
July 30, 2012 3:27:20 PM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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