Excerpt: I doubt anyone would be using the 3rd slot, I still dislike PCI-E x16 slots that are far at the bottom, any graphic card on that slot will hinder access to the buttons and connectors. In most cases, you can’t connect anything once there’s a huge heatsink blocking the path. CrossfireX + Physx card setup perhaps?
Summary: Asus offers three variants of the Z68, all packing very similar design features except for slight differences in the bundle. The Asus P8Z68-V Pro retails for Rs.14,248, excluding taxes, which is a bit on the expensive side. It certainly offers better value when compared to the Gigabyte and ECS boards we tested based on the P67 chipset.
Excerpt: When is a chipset truly a new chipset? That’s a question that many PC enthusiasts will ponder when they see the specs for Intel’s Z68 chipset, which is at the heart of the Asus P8Z68-V Pro board. For one thing, there’s no native USB 3.0, no additional PCI-E lanes (which are tied to the CPU anyway), and still the paltry two SATA 6Gb/s ports that Intel included with the original P67 chipset’s PCH chip.
Pros: Beautiful UEFI interface; Intel SRT and Virtu support.
Cons: Documentation on SRT and Virtu support lacking; no dual-link DVI support on integrated graphics.
Conclusion: Only those building extreme systems with three graphics cards, or power users who aren’t satisfied with running SLI/CrossFireX graphics cards in PCIe x8 mode, are likely to find anything wanting here. For most system builders, this midprice, full-featured motherboard is the one to beat if you’re building a cutting-edge system with a Socket 1155 processor.
Pros: Supports using integrated and dedicated graphics together with Lucid's Virtu tech, Excellent utilities, Built-in Bluetooth, Q-Connector simplifies installation
Cons: Dual graphics cards must run in x8 mode due to chipset limitations
Conclusion: Although we strive to be as objective as possible, any review will reflect to some extent the perceptions and biases of the reviewer. Also, keep in mind that the computer market is very volatile, and that today's killer super product can easily become yesterday's also-ran as the market competition changes. Don't base a purchase decision solely on this review, but use it as part of your research.
Pros: Can use integrated Sandy Bridge video and a discrete video card, Intel Smart Response technology boosts disk performance, EPU, TPU, and 12-phase power enable high and stable overclocks, Four SATA 6G and four USB 3.0 ports, Excellent UEFI BIOS implementation.
Cons: Single-latch DIMM sockets. I hate those., Virtu software still has some rough edges, NVIDIA Synergy not available yet, Paucity of PCI-E lanes
Summary: Today we put the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro up against a $300+ Intel P67 motherboard. The ASUS P8Z68-V Pro brought everything to the table, held nothing back and was able to outperform a board that retails for nearly 50% more!
Conclusion: The Intel Z68 Express chipset is really what Intel should have brought to the market when the Sandy Bridge was launched. While the P67 is by no means a bad chip, its inability to access the integrated graphics Quick Sync feature frustrated many people. Now, if Quick Sync wasn’t as efficient in transcoding or the visual quality was not good, then it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but Quick Sync is damn good, if not the best hardware assisted transcoding tool out there.
Summary: My experiences with the P8Z68-V Pro were long, arduous, and downright stressful at times. To be fair that wasn’t really the P8Z68-V’s fault. The board has two new features. Features that are worthy of a lot of discussion on their own. These are also two features I think many people will care about; the Smart Response Technology and the switchable graphics support through the Lucid Virtu software. Both of these were very time consuming to test.
Excerpt: Intel flexed its technology muscles last week by formally unveiling some nifty next-generation transistor technology , 3D Tri-Gate, which is designed to increase processor performance while reducing power - a rather neat party trick that ensures the chip giant can explore and harvest the benefits of moving down to 22nm and 14nm process nodes.