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[AnandTech] - Our First Z68 Motherboard + SSD caching review

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
So 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 QuickSync and the other specialties that the iGPU can provide, then Z68 is a logical upgrade.
Main review - ASUS P8Z68-V PRO Review: Source.



Quote:
Intel's Z68 should have been the one and only high end launch chipset offered with Sandy Bridge. It enables all of the configurations we could possibly want with Sandy Bridge and does so without making any sacrifices. Users should be able to overclock their CPU and use integrated graphics if they'd like. While Z68 gives us pretty much exactly what we asked for, it is troubling that we even had to ask for it in the first place. With Intel holding onto a considerable performance advantage and an growing manufacturing advantage, I am worried that this may be a sign of things to come. It was strong competition from AMD that pushed Intel into executing so flawlessly time and time again, but it also put Intel in a position where it can enforce limits on things like overclocking. Let's hope that Z68 corrected a mistake that we won't see repeated.
Quote:
If you're building a system for someone who isn't going to want to manage multiple drive letters, SRT may be a good alternative. Similarly, if you're building a budget box that won't allow for a large expensive SSD, the $110 adder for an Intel SSD 311 can easily double the performance of even the fastest hard drive you could put in there. The most obvious win here is the lighter user that only runs a handful of applications on a regular basis. As our tests have shown, for light workloads you can easily get the performance of an X25-M G2 out of a fast hard drive + an SSD cache. Even gamers may find use in SSD caching as they could dedicate a portion of their SSD to acting as a cache for a dedicated games HDD, thereby speeding up launch and level load times for the games that reside on that drive. The fact that you can use any SSD as a cache is nice since it gives you something to do with your old SSDs when you upgrade.

SSD caching: Source


There we go, the 1155 platform is complete. Now let's see when they release the Core i7 2650k, 2700k and 2800k to celebrate this new release. (They're probably waiting for Bulldozer)
Edited by tpi2007 - 5/11/11 at 2:45am
 
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post #2 of 13
All I can say is: meh. Don't understand what all the hype was about. SSD caching and Quick Sync are the only things worth mentioning here. I don't see how that justifies a $40-50 higher price tag.
Edited by LOL_Wut_Axel - 5/11/11 at 3:08am
    
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
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Originally Posted by LOL_Wut_Axel View Post
All I can say is: meh. Don't understand what all the hype was about. SSD caching and Quick Sync are the only thingd worth mentioning here. I don't see how that justifies a $40-50 higher price tag.
The Quick Sync is what baffles me the most; the implementation in this generation is just a stop gap until they do it right. The Virtu software should just not be needed at all. The Quick Sync feature on the integrated GPU should just be able to be called by programs, much like SSE instructions or like the Broadcom HD video decoder chip. This just goes to show that Intel still has a lot to learn in the graphics department.

The SSD caching feature is nice, as it streamlines the whole process for many non tech savvy people. But unless people just use a few programs, it will still take the purchase of a bigger SSD than the proposed 20GB from Intel to take full advantage of the caching in order to avoid data eviction from the cache. And even then, power users are likely to use an SSD for their important apps, as even a first load from a program still takes as much as on an HDD. Just like Anand said, this tech makes sense, but it needs to be put on all other boards, not just Z68. Power users will probably just use an SSD as a boot drive and possibly even store the most important and heavy applications and games for the sake of consistency.
Edited by tpi2007 - 5/11/11 at 3:07am
 
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post #4 of 13
Asus listed 1 Z68 board yesterday (I think it was yesterday).
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post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post
Asus listed 1 Z68 board yesterday (I think it was yesterday).
Newegg had many listed at 12:01am EST.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masked View Post
Newegg had many listed at 12:01am EST.
13 today. A bunch of Gigabytes.
 
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I guess we can now officially say that this launch didn't get many of us excited.
 
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post #8 of 13
omg i hate Asus mobo, they are so ugly =/ ...... its the blue they use, why not something like MSI ? with black pcb
post #9 of 13
The fact that Intel only put their HD 3000 graphics on their unlocked chips really says a lot to me, especially since those capabilities are utterly wasted on said unlocked chips. Of course this only hurts the mainstream and probably none of us here at OCN, but the vast majority of money comes from the mainstream.

I haven't read any reviews yet, but does anyone know how well the switchable graphics works on the Z68? I was reading something about an i-mode and a d-mode, but the site said that neither option was very good.
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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL_Wut_Axel View Post
All I can say is: meh. Don't understand what all the hype was about. SSD caching and Quick Sync are the only things worth mentioning here. I don't see how that justifies a $40-50 higher price tag.
I think your missing the fact that you can use the gpu that is on the die and simultaneously overclock the processor. Also having that access to the gpu allows better efficiency when working with a discrete graphics card.
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