ASUS P8Z68-V PRO Z68 Sandy Bridge Motherboard Review
Be sure to also read our full Z68 chipset review where SSD Caching and Lucid's Virtu are both tested.
You’ve been waiting for it and we’ve got it: the first look at Intel’s new Z68 chipset. This is the next evolutionary step for the Sandy Bridge platform and is being used as a testing ground for several new technologies.
Some may wonder why we’re already seeing a PCH with only a few additional features that will augment the P67 but this precedent was already set years ago. However, unlike the “refreshed” P35/P45 and X38/X48 chipsets from the early days of the Core 2 family, both the Z68 and its sibling will live side by side for the time being. Due in part to its similarity with the new PCH, some manufacturers may choose to discontinue motherboards based around P67 while others (like ASUS) will continue offering both yet at slightly different price points.
Unlike some of their competitors, ASUS will be running a tight ship in the Z68 market. Initially three boards –the standard, Pro and Deluxe- will be offered at three distinct price points but this lineup will likely expand slightly as demand grows. As you can see above, we expect to see RoG-branded Z68 motherboards as well. For the time being though, we have the mid-tier $209 P8Z68-V Pro on our test bench.
With features like Intel’s Smart Response Technology for SSD caching, onboard HDMI 1.4 compatibility and Lucid’s Virtu switchable graphics solution, ASUS’ Z68 Pro seems to have an edge over their P67 offerings. But in this case the differences are merely skin deep since features like a UEFI BIOS, USB 3.0, SATA6G and SLI / Crossfire compatibility are carried over piecemeal from the $179 P8P67 Pro.
The recall of the P67 motherboards pushed broad availability of those products back; so much so that many users put off purchasing P67 in order to see what Z68 products had in store. Well, this eagerly anticipated is now here but should its limited number of differentiating factors really make this new PCH more expensive than its sibling? Let’s find out.
|Latest Reviews in Motherboards|