Final Words

Looking back on the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO, I can come up with a variety of conclusions. It's a great little board in terms of performance, features and add-ons, even for the $210 asking price. Though at this price, we'd perhaps ask for a little more to be in the boxed product—a few more SATA cables perhaps, or a full USB 3.0 3.5" bay. As much as this was a review about the ASUS board, it's also a first impression of the Z68 chipset through the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO.

The ultimate combination of P67 and H67 was inevitable—if Intel were going to market a series of processors with integrated graphics, it would seem odd not to include connectors on every chipset for those graphics. That's what happened with P67, when Intel decided that enough people wanted discrete GPU performance that the integrated GPU wouldn't get a look-in. Though with the virtues of Quick Sync, there had to be a way of providing one chipset that tried to do everything—overclocking the CPU, overclocking the integrated GPU, multiple discrete GPU setups, the works.

There was a sigh of relief when Lucid developed a software solution to allow them all to work together—the integrated GPU for low throughput graphics, a discrete GPU for gaming, and any situation to be able to use the integrated GPU for highly specialized applications. Virtu is a nice bit of kit, but in terms of power saving, if you're not using Quick Sync, there isn't much to be saved as graphics card manufacturers are pretty good on low power states.

The ultimate question is—should I upgrade to Z68? You may have realized I haven't talked about SSD caching yet—I've left that up to Anand to discuss and report on, but it's a feature worth considering. From my perspective, if you want an all-round computer that plays games and uses Quick Sync and the other specialties that the iGPU can provide, then Z68 is a logical upgrade. However, if you already have a discrete GPU and P67, unless you're really big on video transcoding there's no point in replacing your current board.

I know that prices for Z68 boards will be as low as $120 from some manufacturers, and as high as $350. The price difference in all these boards is similar to that of the P67—stability at high overclocks, features such as more and more SATA ports, increased support for better cooling, etc. Does that mean that the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO is a good buy? At $210, our only comparison so far in the P67 space that we've reviewed is the ASRock P67 Extreme6, which has 10 SATA ports, but minimal RAID, a lot more IO panel USB connectors, more in the box to come with the motherboard, arguably a worse BIOS, better USB performance, and a shorter warranty. It's a tough decision—people will like the ASUS board, of that I have no doubt. It's just a case of if it's got the right features for you as a consumer.

We can't come to any final conclusion with only one Z68 board, of course. I expect to have more Z68 boards to review in the near future, so watch this space. Right now, the ASUS board is a good Z68 offering, but if you're in no rush, wait a few weeks to see if another board can rise to the top—and let's be honest, if you've been waiting for Z68 you can probably wait a bit longer.

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  • L. - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    IGP Intel = Ouch.
    I believe that if you need multiple displays you'll be far better off waiting for amd llano or the next gen of intel fail-gpu.
    Reply
  • sylar365 - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Right now I am using an Asrock P67 Extreme 4, i5-2500k, OCZ Vertex 2 64GB with Windows and a couple frequently used apps and a WD 640GB Black SATA 2 for bulk storage. I only use one graphics card in the form of a GTX 560 ti and I appreciate it's performance but am in love with it's power usage. As far as I can tell it seems like upgrading to the Z68 platform would not provide much gain in gaming FPS, SSD longevity or overclocking ability. Those issues aside would I see ANY decrease in my monthly electric bill after partially using my CPU's on chip GPU? Even while assuming that I have some disposable income it still seems that jumping from P67 to Z68 would be like throwing money into the wind unless I plan on ... nope, nevermind ... even adding a second 560 ti would be faster on my current board. As far as investments go (for me anyway) making it rain at the local strip club is looking to be a more responsible path than upgrading to Z68. Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Or if you are like me who hold out onto my B2 P67 until it died 2 weeks ago and get a refund and buy Z68 :P Reply
  • Sunsmasher - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Upgrade doesn't make sense for you because you apparently don't do much transcoding.... Reply
  • L. - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Like most people ;)

    Otherwise, this motherboard looks like a piece of trash for 210 bucks, very limited pciE, etc.. who would want it.

    There is a fair chance you will see Z68 boards that are much more convincing.
    Reply
  • Tylanner - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Man would I be upset if I held out for Z68 all these months.

    I was expecting an improvement in Multi-GPU Scaling(2-way Sli)
    Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    No. Z68 is still limited by number of PCI-E. The main reason is CPU really. You'd have to go for Z79 and Sandybridge-E for higher PCI-e lanes count. Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Actually disregard me, bandwidth should be sufficient for 2-way SLI Reply
  • rbusch - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    On page two if the review it says....

    "here are a couple of negative points however - the iGPU frequency requires a reboot after every selection, and the changes you do make to the CPU frequency aren't written to BIOS (and thus aren't permanent) nor are they initialised on reboot, requiring a manual adjust on every boot."

    Does this (the CPU bit) differ from the P8P67 PRO board? Am I understanding correctly that any CPU overclock done in windows (as opposed to UEFI) disappears every single time the machine is rebooted?
    Reply
  • rbusch - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    And forgive me if this is a obvious and stupid question but at (nearly) the same price point, would there be any advantages of choosing the P8P67 Pro over the P8Z68-V PRO?

    Thanks
    Reply

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