September 11, 2011

This lath from ASUS is a abundant all-round performer, compared to the P67 boards we accept reviewed—space for tri-GPU setups, six fan headers with acceptable OS fan controls, eight SATA ports, six with RAID 0/1/5/10, Intel gigabit Ethernet and it performs able-bodied in our criterion suite. The appurtenances arranged in the box aren’t the best we’ve seen, abnormally for an accepted retail amount of $210. But this is a Z68 board—the acutely analytic progression Intel accept taken to amalgamate the best $.25 of P67 and H67, in agreement of overclocking. It’s acknowledgment to software solutions such as LUCIDLOGIX’s Virtu that we can accouter both the chip GPU and detached GPUs for altered assignment loads—I detail my adventures with Virtu in this review.

ASUS P8Z68-V PRO: Visual Inspection

A quick attending at the P8Z67-V PRO lath and you ability be abutting me in cerebration it looks about identical to the P8P67 PRO motherboard. The blue, atramentous and blah accouter is still here, with those dejected bouncing heatsinks accoutrement up the 12 appearance CPU and 4 appearance iGPU ability delivery—unlike added boards, these aren’t abutting by a heatpipe, and the larger heatsink has a appealing abundant bowl abutting the ends on the aback of the boar.

Around the atrium itself, there is one 4-pin anatomy fan attack abreast the PCIe 1x, one PWR 3-pin abreast the 12V CPU ability connector, and two CPU fan headers (one 4-pin, one 3-pin) to the top right, which should awning any all-in-one cooling band-aid with a bifold fan and baptize pump arrangement. Unlike some added Cougar Point motherboards, ASUS accept amid the PCH to beneath the DIMM slots, beneath a ample collapsed heatsink which gets absolutely balmy to blow beneath accustomed operation.

Alongside the DIMM slots we accept addition 3-pin PWR fan attack in the top right, aloof aloft ASUS’ EPU and TPU switches, which actuate their Energy Processing Unit and TurboV Processing Units respectively, for lower ability acceptance or automated overclocking. Enabling both could advance to arrangement instability, however. Underneath these, above the 24-pin ATX ability adapter is a a 3-pin anatomy fan attack and the USB 3.0 19-pin header. As this is placed here, you would accept ASUS are cerebration anybody will be application this attack to ability a USB 3.0 bracket in the advanced of the case, rather than the rear. But the supplied USB 3.0 bracket is advised for the rear of the lath and doesn’t amplitude that far, abnormally over a bifold aperture GPU should one be in use.

The SATA ports are agnate to that begin on the P8P67 Pro—the four SATA 3 Gbps from the PCH are in blue, the two SATA 6 Gbps from the PCH are in white, and two SATA 6 Gbps from a Marvell controller. Rather than abode the Power/Reset buttons beneath the SATA ports, they are begin amidst the countless of USB and IEEE 1394 headers forth the basal of the board, authoritative them actual annoying if all three full-size PCIe slots are active with bifold aperture cards.

The PCIe aperture adjustment is standard—enough amplitude at the top for a abounding breadth PCIe x1 card, with a PCIe x16 aperture beneath with a amateur aperture gap to the abutting PCIe x16. The three abounding breadth PCIe slots run in x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4 approach for GPU setups. However, the basal PCIe aperture shares bandwidth PCIe x1 slots, a two USB ports in the IO console and the eSATA IO port—all of these are abeyant if the basal PCIe is in x4 mode. By default, the PCIe is in x1 mode, and requires a BIOS ambience change for x4.

The IO console for Z68 boards acknowledging chip cartoon is a accumulated mix of antecedent P67 and H67 iterations, and as such we either lose bequest access or USB ports infavor of video out ports. There’s no PS/2 bequest connector—instead we accept on the far larboard four USB 2.0 ports, again addition two USB 2.0 ports, the eSATA 3 Gbps anchorage powered by a JMicron JMB362 controller, and a Bluetooth module. These red USB 2.0 ports/eSATA anchorage are the ones disabled back the third PCIe is in x4 mode. In agreement of video outputs, we accept a HDMI, DVI and VGA—no affectation anchorage here, instead you get an optical S/PDIF out (which additionally agency no coaxial S/PDIF out). Just a distinct gigabit Ethernet anchorage powered by an Intel 82579, and a brace of USB 3.0 ports powered by ASMedia controller. Standard Realtek ALC892 8-channel audio is additionally present.

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