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Intel Z68 - The True Sandy Bridge Chipset

Intel Z68 - The True Sandy Bridge Chipset



Some information on this page were first published in our earlier preview article.

The ASUS P8Z68-V PRO is fairly typical by ASUS' standards. Given its upmarket slant, it comes packed with more features than other models, with FireWire, eSATA and extra SATA 6Gbps ports the icing on the storage cake. Don't expect surprises for multi-GPU support however, since the Z68 chipset is identical to the P67 in this respect - just a pair of discrete graphics cards are supported in the x8/x8 configuration. Quad-GPU support is technically possible, but only if you are installing a graphics card which packs two GPUs on a single PCB, like the Radeon HD 6990.

You can make use of the third PCIe x16 slot (in black) but it has a maximum of 4 lanes of PCIe bandwidth and shares this with the neighboring PCIe x1 slots, USB 3.0 header and eSATA, so using this slot will affect the throughput for all these features.

Board layout is typically ASUS and one can probably superimpose a comparable ASUS P67 motherboard over this Z68 board and find the onboard components all located within the same ballpark. We didn't find any layout issues (and we don't expect to find any given the market segment this board is targeting).

As seen earlier, Virtu is supported on this ASUS board, so you can have the best of both worlds after enabling the appropriate BIOS setting. The BIOS meanwhile is identical to what we have seen on other ASUS 6-series boards and it is arguably one of the better EFI BIOS implementation at the moment.