Test Setup

Processor Intel Core i5-2500K
4 Cores, 4 Threads, 3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo)
Motherboards Zotac Z68ITX-A-E
Cooling Corsair H50-1
Power Supply Silverstone 1000W 80 PLUS Silver
Memory G.Skill RipjawsX DDR3-1866 9-10-9 28 4x4GB Kit 1.5V
Patriot Viper Xtreme DDR3-2133 9-11-9 27 2x4 GB Kit 1.65V
Memory Settings Auto
Video Cards XFX HD 5850 1GB
ECS GTX 580 1536MB
Video Drivers Catalyst 10.12
NVIDIA Drivers 268.58
Hard Drive Micron RealSSD C300 256GB
Optical Drive LG GH22NS50
Case Open Test Bed - CoolerMaster Lab V1.0
Operating System Windows 7 64-bit
SATA Testing Micron RealSSD C300 256GB
USB 2/3 Testing Patriot 64GB SuperSonic USB 3.0

Comparison to Other Reviews

Where applicable, the results in this review are directly compared to the following chipsets and boards which we have reviewed previously:

P67 H67 Z68 A75 A50M
ASRock
Extreme4
ECS
H67H2-M
ASUS
P8Z68-V Pro
ASRock
Extreme6
ASUS
E35M1-I Deluxe
ASUS
P8P67 Pro
Gigabyte
H67MA-UD2H
Gigabyte
Z68X-UD3H-B3
ECS
HDC-I
Gigabyte
P67A-UD4
ASRock
H67M-GE/HT
Zotac
FUSION350-A-E
ECS
P67H2-A2
ASRock
Extreme6
MSI
P67A-GD65
ECS
P67H2-A

Power Consumption

Power Consumption - iGPU Mode

The Zotac board does very well in low power scenarios, such as idling and in HD video playback mode, compared to the other Z68 boards we've tested. However some of that may stem from the fact that those boards were of a larger size.

CPU Temperatures

CPU Temperatures

In comparison, the Zotac board is hotter than almost all the other boards we've tested. This was confirmation of my own experiences, whereby placing my hand near the cooler, I would feel the heat being generated.

Board Features, In The Box, Software Conforming to Intel Specifications
POST A COMMENT

29 Comments

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  • GeorgeH - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    This review mirrors my experiences with Zotac motherboards - awesome hardware on paper that's completely let down by abysmal BIOS and tweaking support. Reply
  • dlang1234 - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    Heat and noise...

    More interested in those, looks like an awesome HTPC. mini itx usually isn't targeted at a gamer, but Home Theaters or specific in car or other unique installations.

    I'm more interested in how well it would work playing Blu-Rays, streaming media all at 1080p. Audio over HDMI? etc..
    Reply
  • Anosh - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    There's a new version of the bios which seems to fix some of the issues mentioned (XMP, undervolting etc) and it would be great if you could take a look at what they tried to fix and what they actually managed to fix.

    I've had this board under consideration for a long time now since it's one of the few 1155 itx with both displayport and hdmi (and wifi) but I'm glad I didn't go for it since there are so many issues floating around (buzzing, faulty memory slots, doa, lacking bios, stops booting after x months etc) that I would've had to replace it not long after getting.

    I've read retailers are dumping zotac inventory based on the horrible experiences customers have had with this product. Also there seems to be new revision under way.

    I'm typing this on an iPoop so trying to find all the reference links to backup my claims would take forever but search a bit and you'll discover they're easy to find.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    all the other boards are tested with c300 and this board is tested with vertex3, gibing higher numbers?? Reply
  • IanCutress - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    We tested the board with both, and both results are given in the graphs.

    OCZ were kind enough to provide Vertex3s for Brendan and I to use in future reviews (Brendan does not have access to a C300), but we currently do not have enough Vertex3 results to warrant a graph using purely Vertex3 results So for the time being we're showing C300 results with an example of what happens with the Vertex3.

    All the best,
    Ian
    Reply
  • Breathless - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    Why would you not have updated the bios prior to doing the review? The bios has been out for quite some time now... Reply
  • IanCutress - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    Simply put, a lot of people never update their BIOSes from the shipping version, so we have to test that. With the Intel spec issues, when the testing for this board was done, Zotac sent me the BIOS while it was still in beta phase, and I've been in contact with Zotac regarding the issues I was having with that beta release (the DIMM slot not working being a big issue). It seems to have been pushed into a full release since then (as of 9/9), despite my issues. As a result, I have updated the review to notify it is now a full BIOS release.

    Ian
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    Do you have any information on what caused the DIMM slot to fail? There is one guy on HardForums who, after having that problem on his own machine, then went on to test every board he had in stock at his shop. I'm not sure if it's something he was doing, or a fault with the design, but every one he tried had that issue. Reply
  • FATCamaro - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    You barely talked about stability. Reviews are useless without it to me. I'd rather look at the star rating on newegg to figure out whether i want the board or not. It's the single most important aspect, yet it doesn't even get lip service. Reply
  • Iketh - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    how could he comment on stability? if he didnt experience any and thus didn't comment on it, it's quite obvious that it ran fine... newegg's ratings are a bunch of boards from daily users, this is one board that was ran through benchmarks... so how the hell can you ask him to, at the minimum, reproduce newegg's results??? Reply

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