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Z68 boards: help choose?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at Z68 boards right now.

I don't know which to choose. I am on a budget so I can't spend much on them.

"I don't even have the money yet! :-) I thought of going with cheap mobo/i5-2500k or decent mobo/i3-2100 and was suggested to just save up.

What to do?!?

I don't think a P67 board is what I want unless I get a cheap/budget one. I would rather find another $20 - $50 and get the Z68.

After I build the system, I don't have enough right away for a good video card so I think I am better off using the SB Intel graphics until I get one.

Therefore, I am not sure which board...

I am pretty sure on either Asus or MSI, though, with Asrock as possible but I am told the other two are good for UEFI but I was told to get a brand that provides decent support. Doesn't support from them all pretty much suck, though?

Anyway, I am glad you are still reading so here's my main question:

Asus P8Z68-V or P8Z68-V Pro: what is the difference?!?!?

I went to the Asus website and it appears it's mostly the storage SATA controller chipset difference. The Pro has a Marvel SATA controller AND the JMicron while the -V only has the JMicron. Also, I think there might be some further audio features but I don't care about that since I might go with a discrete sound card at some point.

But, can you explain what the storage SATA difference is? I need the Asus description deciphered. Just read the site and you'll see why there might be confusion!

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Int...t_1155/P8Z68V/
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Int...55/P8Z68V_PRO/

Marvell® PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller : *2
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), navy blue
JMicron® JMB362 controller : *2
1 x eSATA 3Gb/s port(s), red

Huh?!?

The vanilla -V is a little cheaper and they both have the JMicron controller so I am wondering which one.

Also, if there is a good reason to consider a MSI Z68 board, please elaborate. I thought it was good that the Asus boards also have the Intel LAN.

Comments?
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post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by noobee View Post
I'm looking at Z68 boards right now.

I don't know which to choose. I am on a budget so I can't spend much on them.

"I don't even have the money yet! :-) I thought of going with cheap mobo/i5-2500k or decent mobo/i3-2100 and was suggested to just save up.

What to do?!?

I don't think a P67 board is what I want unless I get a cheap/budget one. I would rather find another $20 - $50 and get the Z68.

After I build the system, I don't have enough right away for a good video card so I think I am better off using the SB Intel graphics until I get one.

Therefore, I am not sure which board...

I am pretty sure on either Asus or MSI, though, with Asrock as possible but I am told the other two are good for UEFI but I was told to get a brand that provides decent support. Doesn't support from them all pretty much suck, though?

Anyway, I am glad you are still reading so here's my main question:

Asus P8Z68-V or P8Z68-V Pro: what is the difference?!?!?

I went to the Asus website and it appears it's mostly the storage SATA controller chipset difference. The Pro has a Marvel SATA controller AND the JMicron while the -V only has the JMicron. Also, I think there might be some further audio features but I don't care about that since I might go with a discrete sound card at some point.

But, can you explain what the storage SATA difference is? I need the Asus description deciphered. Just read the site and you'll see why there might be confusion!

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Int...t_1155/P8Z68V/
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Int...55/P8Z68V_PRO/

Marvell® PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller : *2
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), navy blue
JMicron® JMB362 controller : *2
1 x eSATA 3Gb/s port(s), red

Huh?!?

The vanilla -V is a little cheaper and they both have the JMicron controller so I am wondering which one.

Also, if there is a good reason to consider a MSI Z68 board, please elaborate. I thought it was good that the Asus boards also have the Intel LAN.

Comments?
A lot of OCNers seem to hate on MSI.. I heard they have either poor VRMS or poor or few Phases.. w/c are bad for overclocking.

VPRO has 2 SATA III connections native to Intel's Z68 chipset and has another 2 SATA III from a 3rd party controller

The V only has 2 SATA controllers from the Z68 chipset.

The other difference is that the V has only one on board button.. (either power or reset.. The V-PRO has reset and power on board buttons

The V-PRO has a USB 3.0 Bracket (that is useless if you are going to put a graphics card on the first PCI E slot) and an accessory that makes it easier to plug headers from your case's power, reset and usb headers.


so for 15 bucks more from the V: you get

+2 SATA III connections
x1 USB 3.0 Bracket
x1 accessories set (Q connector)

Not too bad for just 15 bucks more.. if you're getting from new egg.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tubers View Post
A lot of OCNers seem to hate on MSI.. I heard they have either poor VRMS or poor or few Phases.. w/c are bad for overclocking.

VPRO has 2 SATA III connections native to Intel's Z68 chipset and has another 2 SATA III from a 3rd party controller

The V only has 2 SATA controllers from the Z68 chipset.

The other difference is that the V has only one on board button.. (either power or reset.. The V-PRO has reset and power on board buttons

The V-PRO has a USB 3.0 Bracket (that is useless if you are going to put a graphics card on the first PCI E slot) and an accessory that makes it easier to plug headers from your case's power, reset and usb headers.


so for 15 bucks more from the V: you get

+2 SATA III connections
x1 USB 3.0 Bracket
x1 accessories set (Q connector)

Not too bad for just 15 bucks more.. if you're getting from new egg.
Yeah, I see now.

How do I know what drives can make use of SATA III? I have two drives, I use for data and one I have for my OS except I received a gift of a 1TB 7200rpm drive I'll use for my new OS setup. I'll wait a bit until I can afford a SSD or until prices go down.

So, I might not need the extra SATA ports but they would be a bonus to have.

I would probably use the integrated graphics to start with but if I ever use a discrete card, then the bracket would become useless, right?

The V-Pro is mentioned or discussed everywhere and there's hardly, if any, reviews on the vanilla -V (or whatever you'd call it). I guess it's so similar that the -V is probably applicable to the V-Pro reviews since it's just missing a few features/add-ons.
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by noobee View Post
Yeah, I see now.

How do I know what drives can make use of SATA III? I have two drives, I use for data and one I have for my OS except I received a gift of a 1TB 7200rpm drive I'll use for my new OS setup.
If the drives spin, they will not "make use" of the sata III ports (will still run perfectly fine mind you, just won't come close to using up its bandwidth)
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post #5 of 9
If you plan to use a discrete video card, the only benefit the Z68 chipset brings to the table is SSD caching. I've read some initial reviews on it and frankly I'm not convinced that it's much of a feature.

The Z68 is essentially a P67 chipset board (which allows overclocking) combined with the ability to use onboard video (via CPU) which was the primary feature of the H67 chipset (Which did not allow overclocking).

If you can get a Z68 board for a few dollars more than a decent P67 board or you absolutely need onboard video then it's worth it.

Personally I wouldn't pay a moderate to large premium over a solid P67 board.
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robilar View Post
If you plan to use a discrete video card, the only benefit the Z68 chipset brings to the table is SSD caching. I've read some initial reviews on it and frankly I'm not convinced that it's much of a feature.

The Z68 is essentially a P67 chipset board (which allows overclocking) combined with the ability to use onboard video (via CPU) which was the primary feature of the H67 chipset (Which did not allow overclocking).

If you can get a Z68 board for a few dollars more than a decent P67 board or you absolutely need onboard video then it's worth it.

Personally I wouldn't pay a moderate to large premium over a solid P67 board.
Ok.

Thanks for the analysis. I would probably plan on using a discrete card at some point. But, after buying the system, I probably wouldn't have much $$ left in adding a video card unless it was a modest HTPC type card?

I'd like at least a DDR5 card so maybe a Radeon 6670?

So, not sure what to do or how to approach it.

Question is, what is a 'decent P67 board?'

Would this be a good comparison?

P8P67 Pro: $175
MSI P67A-GD65: $155* (* sometimes discounted)
ASUS P8P67: $149
ASRock P67 Extreme4: $155* (*w/ rebate)

P8Z68-V Pro: $193
P8Z68-V: $180

If those are good P67 boards, then they range from $20 to $40 more to go to a Z68 board. I could look at it this way?: If I go P67, the money saved can go into the video card.
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post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by noobee View Post
Ok.

Thanks for the analysis. I would probably plan on using a discrete card at some point. But, after buying the system, I probably wouldn't have much $$ left in adding a video card unless it was a modest HTPC type card?

I'd like at least a DDR5 card so maybe a Radeon 6670?

So, not sure what to do or how to approach it.

Question is, what is a 'decent P67 board?'

Would this be a good comparison?

P8P67 Pro: $175
MSI P67A-GD65: $155* (* sometimes discounted)
ASUS P8P67: $149
ASRock P67 Extreme4: $155* (*w/ rebate)

P8Z68-V Pro: $193
P8Z68-V: $180

If those are good P67 boards, then they range from $20 to $40 more to go to a Z68 board. I could look at it this way?: If I go P67, the money saved can go into the video card.

Depends.. what do you really want to do with the PC?

Are you more of a gamer? Or more for video transcoding. With 40 bucks, that budget can bring you up to a higher tier video card.

How strict are you with your budget?
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by noobee View Post
Yeah, I see now.

How do I know what drives can make use of SATA III? I have two drives, I use for data and one I have for my OS except I received a gift of a 1TB 7200rpm drive I'll use for my new OS setup. I'll wait a bit until I can afford a SSD or until prices go down.

So, I might not need the extra SATA ports but they would be a bonus to have.

I would probably use the integrated graphics to start with but if I ever use a discrete card, then the bracket would become useless, right?

The V-Pro is mentioned or discussed everywhere and there's hardly, if any, reviews on the vanilla -V (or whatever you'd call it). I guess it's so similar that the -V is probably applicable to the V-Pro reviews since it's just missing a few features/add-ons.
An expert in video cards could answer you with that.

If you plan to use the first PCI-E lane.. the usb 3.0 bracket from the bundle is USELESS.

The first PCI-E lane is 16x physical fit and 16x electrical

the 2nd PCI-E Lane is 16x physical but 8x electrical

Now, depending on how fast or expensive the card is. It may be fine with the 2nd PCI-E lane in just 8x electrical.

As far as HDD goes.. people here told me that typical HDDs (the one you have) cannot even make full use of SATA II speeds. So you can just use the SATA II ports with confidence and without hampering the drives mentioned speeds.. and not plug it into the III ports.
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post #9 of 9
Also, it would be advisable to visit ASUS motherboard forums for comments and comlaints from other motherboard owners.

V PRO

http://vip.asus.com/forum/topic.aspx...Language=en-us

V

http://vip.asus.com/forum/topic.aspx...Language=en-us
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