Z68 Express Roundup: Three Motherboards Do Battle Around $200

Z68X-UD3H BIOS

Gigabyte’s MIT overclocking menu contains several submenus to address the majority of overclocking needs.

The Advanced Frequency submenu is fairly basic, as truly advanced settings have been moved to other submenus. From here, we can select a single Intel Turbo Boost multiplier that will apply no matter how many cores are loaded, along with base clock, memory frequency, and integrated graphics clock.

One level further into the menu structure, Gigabyte’s Advanced CPU page provides current controls, multi-step Intel Turbo Boost, and power management settings. Remember that all overclocking uses Turbo Boost, so that disabling Turbo Boost really only disables its advanced frequency management features. With certain other settings enabled, it acts like a switch (jumping from 16x at idle to 45x active) rather than an accelerator pedal.

An Advanced Memory submenu repeats the memory multiplier. Changing DRAM Timing Selectable from Auto to Quick enables synchronous Timings submenus.

Available memory timings exceed the needs of most tuners, even if they’re a little less diverse than some competing products.

The Z68X-UD3H voltage menu is also moderately diverse, adding DRAM reference and termination voltage to the selection used by the majority of tuners.

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  • ASrock comes with 4 eSATA cables?
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  • The first UEFI screenshots for ASRock and Asus are switched.
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  • user 18ASrock comes with 4 eSATA cables?
    KisakukuThe first UEFI screenshots for ASRock and Asus are switched.
    Fixed, thanks!
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  • mayankleoboy1a little something from MSI would have made this more interesting.


    +1
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  • ->Thomas

    "Gigabyte’s Quick Boost application sets our processor at 200, 400, or 700 MHz beyond its rated frequency."

    Just so you know. Anyways, keep up the good work!

    Cheers
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  • so, basicaly there is no difference in performance between theese boards as i can see.
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  • hmm .. was thinking of getting an Asus P8Z68-V Pro .. not so sure now knowing that the other boards offer the same performance and are both cheaper.
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  • One additional feature of the ASRock card that isn't mentioned is its set of holes matching a socket 775 cooler. That feature was the main reason I ordered one of these cards three days ago, since I won't have to spend money on a new CPU cooler.
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  • So a P67 is superior... interesting.
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  • Olle POne additional feature of the ASRock card that isn't mentioned is its set of holes matching a socket 775 cooler. That feature was the main reason I ordered one of these cards three days ago, since I won't have to spend money on a new CPU cooler.


    ermm thats pro, since i have a socket 775 core 2 duo atm. Any other motherboards out there that suport this?? i would love to know
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  • mayankleoboy1a USB 3.0 speed comparison between them would be more informative

    Agree. A USB 2.0 speed comparison would have been nice as well. Otherwise, nice review.
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  • crisan_tiberiu... socket 775 core 2 duo atm. Any other motherboards out there that suport this?
    The other two (cheaper) ASRock Z68 mobos do support it as well, but I haven't seen it with any other manufacturer.
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  • It would be interesting to experiment with having multiple graphics cards, adding hard drives, using controllers, basically testing how performance between all motherboards is affected by eating up bandwidth by using the pci-e slots and controllers.
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  • Thanks for the excellent review. How appropriate for me, since I was just in the market for a Z68.

    Also, thanks (to the commentor) for the info about the LGA 775 compatibility with coolers - I was wondering if I was going to have to replace mine...not it looks like I might be able to use it still.
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  • I'm itching for June to get here so I can finally decide, BD or SB, but in either case, the mobo will likely be ASRock.
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  • 16/0/4 pcie is a joke. that really doesnt leave you room for much of anything. video card, i cant even use my raid card properly (x8) at that point. i hope x68 hurries up and gets here fast.
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  • I sure do love motherboard roundups. Incidentally, when I ordered my 2500k, the only motherboard in stock at the time was a H67 uATX board. So I bought it, and figured that the Z68 chipset would certainly be worth the wait. I think that it is for the most part. I'm using a pretty stripped down H67 board to boot. Even running at stock speeds, the 2500k and 2600k are pretty damn fast, so I really haven't regretted the decision. It sure feels like an upgrade from an aging Phenom II/Athlon II. The Z chipset might be icing on the cake.
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  • In previous reviews of various chipsets, I've noticed that ASrock consistently has boards with slower than normal bus speeds. Perhaps this is why they are slightly off the performance of other boards (especially the ones with faster bus speeds ie over 100Mhz)
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  • huronThanks for the excellent review. How appropriate for me, since I was just in the market for a Z68.Also, thanks (to the commentor) for the info about the LGA 775 compatibility with coolers - I was wondering if I was going to have to replace mine...now it looks like I might be able to use it still.
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  • Ooops...sorry...clicked the wrong button - was hoping to edit the post, not re-post
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