Conclusion: Although Virtu worked as intended, it didn't exactly "wow" us like SRT did. We don't believe Virtu will be limited to the Z68, let alone Intel chipsets for that matter. In other words, while we see potential for the software, we don't think it's a key selling point for the Z68. Conversely, SRT is the best example of hybrid storage technology we've seen to date and it should help broaden SSD adoption.
Summary: Final Thoughts
Well let me start with what I do like about this board. I always like to see power and reset buttons on the motherboard itself. These are perfect when you are troubleshooting or when you have the system on a test bench. ASRock also does a good job with cooling on the board with its passive design that is minimal and out of the way of larger CPU coolers. I like that the XFast LAN utility is included, it is really useful, especially for gamers.
Pros: Good cooling, XFast LAN Utility, On board power and reset buttons
Cons: Boring design, UEFI BIOS is a little sluggish, Not that great at overclocking
Summary: One aspect of motherboards we rarely cover is build quality. Partly because it’s subjective to some degree and partly because most of the brands we tend to look at all execute on build quality about the same with some aspects being nicer from one brand to the next. There are on occasion features that stand out on some boards. Ugly solder joints, warped and or thin PCB’s, capacitors that aren’t all straight, etc.
Summary: Several people on our forums wanted to see a little more brand diversity when it comes to motherboard reviews. Ask and you shall receive. We take our first look at one of ASRock’s "finest" motherboards. The Z68 Extreme4 Gen3. Long name, lots of features, and a big steaming bowl of disappointment.
Excerpt: Before we start to look at the specifics of this new board from ASRock, let’s go over some of the features of the Intel Z68 Chipset. This Chipset is the new performance “sweet-spot” for those that are looking for value and performance. This chipset has many of the features that enthusiasts would want.
Excerpt: Well, hasn't this whole "Gen3" PCIe 3.0 thing caused uproar with the smack being clearly laid down by MSI and ASRock letting people know that they are the only companies to offer "true" PCIe 3.0 support for the next generation of LGA 1155 processors.
Summary: The new Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 motherboard from ASRock comes with a rich software bundle, but also very useful features like C.C.O., Intel Smart Response Technology, Lucid VIRTU or PCI-E 3.0 slots (to be used with future Ivy Bridge CPUs). The color scheme has been reworked, so now the motherboard has a more professional look.
Summary: Throughout this review we have been comparing the ASRock Z68 Extreme4 motherboard up against the ASRock H61M/U3S3 motherboard that we recently reviewed ( our full review can be found here ). Comparing these boards against each other is kind of like comparing a Toyota Corolla against a Chevrolet Corvette.
Pros: Good Performance, Overclocks like a Champion!, Features Galore, Good Value
Excerpt: Having already previewed three boards that use the Z68 chipset, we already have a good idea of what's going on with the new chipset launched by Intel today. If you haven't already looked at our previews, I'd recommend checking out the ASRock Z68 Pro3 and Extreme4 Preview along with the MSI Z68A-GD80 Preview to get a better idea of what exactly we're dealing with here today.
Excerpt: 1 Flares 1 Flares × Intel’s Sandybridge has been dominating the headlines in 2011 with a heady combination of performance and competitive pricing. The H67 chipset enabled on-CPU graphics and Intel’s new Quick sync transcoding engine and the P67 chipset delivered great overclocking capabilities with the new K series processors. The Z68 is set to merge the capabilities into a single platform with other enhancements to sweeten the deal.