If you’re looking for lower price alternative for the best Z68 motherboard from ASUS the P8Z68-V is worthy to consider. This board is almost the same as the P8Z68-V PRO version but has a lower price.
Both of them are good looking motherboard. The PCB design, colors including their back panel I/O are identical. But wait, how about their performance and features? Yes, they’re all the same. Some few specs from the ASUS P8Z68-V are removed for simple reasons, to cut their price and became more affordable.
The P8Z68-V PRO has a traditional ASUS looks with the combinations of black, blue and white colors that makes it very appealing to anyone’s eye, with almost identical with the P8P67 Pro motherboard. The 3 PCI-E slots are well spaced for proper air breathing. The 4 DIMM slots are well position to prevent it from touching in case a big long GPU was installed. The 24/8 pin ATX power connectors and the 6 SATA ports are installed in right angle are all well placed for easy access and neat wiring.
All heatsinks are all in great shape to withstand any heat during stress tests and has a very stylish looks which is also one of the ASUS Fanless features that reduce the noise.
The P8Z68-V PRO supports the latest Sandy Bridge processor in socket LGA1155 for Core i7/Core i5/Core i3. It has 4 DIMM’s slot that supports dual channel DDR3 up to 32GB at 2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600(O.C.)/1333/1066MHz memory module. It has three PCI-E slot that runs at single 16X configuration or dual at 8X/8X, the third (black) is at 4X and 1x PCI-E 1X slot.
It also provides 2x PCI and 2x PCI-E 1X slots. It has 2x SATA 6GB/s and 4x SATA 3GB/s connectors that supports SATA RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and 1 eSATA 3GB/s.
It can accommodate up to 12x USB 2.0 and 4x USB 3.0 ports to make sure you never runs out of USB ports. It also has 2x Realtek LAN port and 8-chanel High Definition audio port. A Bluetooth is also provided for this motherboard.
For integrated Graphics Processor an HDMI output with max resolution of 1920×1200, DVI output with max resolution of 1920×1200 and RGB output with max resolution of 2048×1536@75Hz a max shared memory of 1748 MB.
Testing The ASUS P8Z68-V
The ASUS P8Z68-V PRO was tested using the Core i7 2600K processor. The 2600K has a stock frequency of 3.4GHz with 100MHz BCLK and a multiplier of 34. The good thing about the unlock version of Sandy Bridge processor is that you can easily do your overclocking by simply increasing its multiplier. But the bad thing is, not much in its Base CLK you’ll be lucky if you go further than 105MHz. Because, that’s what the Sandy Bridge processors are made of.
Setting the multiplier at 47 and a BaseCLK at 100MHz we get a stable 4.7GHz and crashed at x48 therefore not possible at 4.8GHz. We want to push it further by increasing the BCLK with the best possible at 103.5 and lowering the multiplier at 46 we get a stable 4.761GHz. An increased of 1.31GHz or 40% on top of 3.4GHz stock speed. These increased can relatively observe on its overall benchmark performance especially in any 3D games.
Overclocking the IGP at 1800MHz which surpasses the 1350MHz, an increase that can be made at 50MHz per steps. After doing some overclocking at the IGP, the results doesn’t show much improvement in its performance. Even it doesn’t show much improvement at overclocked speed its Quick Sync feature on the Sandy Bridge processor is still unbeatable when it comes to transcoding applications.
The P8Z68-V shows a solid performance especially with lots of overclocking possibilities. If the lacks of firewire with this board doesn’t have any usage to your applications, this would definitely your best choice. The inclusion of the video output such as the DVI and HDMI is a big plus for both motherboards. In this case you can save more money from buying a discrete GPU card and maximize the usage of the QuickSync features for transcoding applications as well as its overclocking capabilities for both the IGP and CPU. This is the main advantage of this board over the GA-Z68X-UD4-B3.
With a cheaper price than the P8Z68-V PRO, this one is really worthy of being your top choice, considering all the advantages it has. If you really want to enjoy both worlds of QuickSync and the Overclocking features of the Unlock Sandy Bridge processor, the ASUS P8Z68-V is definitely the best buy.
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