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Round-Up: Four Z68 Motherboards From $220 To $280

Z68A-GD80 Firmware

MSI delivered its Z68A-GD80 with a beta firmware employing its Click BIOS II interface, which unfortunately wouldn't work with our Logitech G5 gaming mouse. Rather than use a different mouse or push forward with an unreleased update, we stuck with our standard practice of using a published firmware instead. That took us back to the firm’s earlier Click BIOS (I) interface, though. So, readers who would like to know more about Click BIOS II can fast-forward to 2:24 of this MSI promotional video.

There's nothing wrong with the original Click BIOS. We found all of the required ratio, clock, and voltage controls within the first page of its overclocking menu.

Scrolling down that menu, we found additional voltage controls for the integrated graphics processor and DRAM reference levels.

Primary and secondary memory timings are found in the Advanced DRAM Configuration submenu. Shown are the X.M.P. profile timings we used in our overclocking tests.

An additional submenu reveals tertiary timings.

  • crisan_tiberiu
    I own an AsRock Z68 Pro 3 MB, and i am vere pleased with it.
    Reply
  • RazorBurn
    Only Asus and AsRock for me.. Tried severals boards thru the years yet only this two has never failed me..

    My AsRock AliveNF6G-VSTA in my warehouse full of dust, mites, cobweb still works.. Recently upgraded to 4GB RAM and GTS 450 1GB video card..
    Reply
  • iam2thecrowe
    i would like to see a more budget oriented roundup, not everyone wants to spend that much on a motherboard for 0.5 of an FPS increase, or overclock 100mhz more out of their cpu.....
    Reply
  • beenthere
    Intel mobos are way over-priced IMO. In my many years of building PCs the only two mobos that I ever had fail were Asus. As far as performance and reliability I'd rank these mobo brands as follows:

    Gigabyte
    MSI
    Asus
    Asrock
    Reply
  • flong
    I own the AsRock Extreme 4 Gen 3 board and it seems to be a very good board. I had the Asus Pro V before and had problems. I can say from experience that Asus's customer service is VERY poor to say the least. While their boards seem to be high quality according to most reviews, if you do have a problem don't count on Asus being around to help you out. I sent my board back to NewEgg and I had to argue with Newegg to get them to warranty it which was disappointing. Amazon does not have this problem and for my next motherboard purchase I will probably go through Amazon.

    The answer to my first email question to Asus came a three full weeks later AFTER I had decided to return the board. AND the answer was an absolutely stupid response that did not address the real problem. Still wanting an answer to my question, I clarified the question and sent it back to Asus again. TWO weeks later I got ANOTHER asinine response from them. At that point I realized I was wasting my time.

    I don't know how good AsRock's customer service is since I have not had a problem with the board.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    iam2thecrowei would like to see a more budget oriented roundup, not everyone wants to spend that much on a motherboard for 0.5 of an FPS increase, or overclock 100mhz more out of their cpu.....I believe you missed this:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z68xp-ud3-dz68db,2980.html
    Reply
  • Mark Heath
    9519804 said:
    I believe you missed this:
    ?rel=ugc]http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z68xp-ud3-dz68db,2980.html
    Crashman to the rescue again :)
    Reply
  • Novuake
    Intel boards are not that bad, yes their Enthusiast boards are, but for a good while after LGA1155 came out they had the cheapest USB3/SATA 3 LGA1155 boards available, I think they still do... I would have to check.
    Reply
  • Luay
    The Asrock Extreme7 belongs in another NF200 equipped Tri-fire/Tri-SLI round-up with the UD7, ROG and FTW boards, and I think it would still win based on value.
    Real enthusiasts, on the other hand don't use integrated graphics and already have a dedicated SSD. Enter P67 in the round-up and the winner would still be for almost 18 months running, the $255 Asus P67 WS Revolution.
    Reply
  • ojas
    Hey Tom's. Make Wolfgang read articles like these too. He needs them.
    Reply