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ASRock Z68 Pro3

Michael Larabel

Published on 29 July 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 4 - 33 Comments

We recently reviewed the ASRock H61M/U3S3 motherboard at Phoronix, which was a very nice Intel Sandy Bridge motherboard with integrated graphics for those on a limited budget. While the H61 is great on the low-end side, Intel recently introduced the Z68 chipset. The Z68 is designed to take the features of the P67 chipset and its tuning capabilities while enabling the integrated HD Graphics 3000 support. In this review, we are trying out the ASRock Z68 Pro3 motherboard.

The Z68 chipset provides eight PCI Express ports (compared to 6 on the H61, but 8 is what's found on the H67/P67), 14 USB 2.0 ports (four over what's found on the H61), six SATA ports (+2 over the H61), and it also boasts some of Intel's new technologies, including Smart Response Technology, Remote PC Assist, Anti-Theft Technology, Quick Resume Technology, and Rapid Storage Technology. Of course, not all of these technologies will be of use to everyone, especially Linux users. The Z68 chipset supports FDI (the Flexible Display Interface), which is what the P67 chipset lacks and is what's needed to take advantage of the graphics controller that's embedded onto the Sandy Bridge processors.

Features:

CPU
- Supports 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 in LGA1155 Package
- Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
- Supports Intel K-Series unlocked CPU
- Supports Hyper-Threading Technology

Chipset
- Intel Z68

Memory
- Dual Channel DDR3 memory technology
- 4 x DDR3 DIMM slots
- Supports DDR3 2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
- Max. capacity of system memory: 32GB
- Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

BIOS
- 64Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with GUI support
- Supports "Plug and Play"
- ACPI 1.1 Compliance Wake Up Events
- Supports jumperfree
- SMBIOS 2.3.1 Support
- CPU Core, IGPU, DRAM, PCH, CPU PLL, VTT, VCCSA Voltage Multi-adjustment

Graphics
- Supports Intel HD Graphics Built-in Visuals
- Pixel Shader 4.1, DirectX 10.1
- Max. shared memory 1759MB
- Multi VGA Output options: D-Sub, DVI-D and HDMI
- Supports HDMI 1.4a Technology with max. resolution up to 1920x1200 @ 60Hz
- Supports DVI with max. resolution up to 1920x1200 @ 60Hz
- Supports D-Sub with max. resolution up to 2048x1536 @ 75Hz
- Supports Auto Lip Sync, Deep Color (12bpc), xvYCC and HBR (High Bit Rate Audio) with HDMI (Compliant HDMI monitor is required)
- Supports HDCP function with DVI and HDMI ports
- Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD) / HD-DVD playback with DVI and HDMI ports

Audio
- 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec)
- Premium Blu-ray audio support

LAN
- PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
- Realtek RTL8111E
- Supports Wake-On-LAN
- Supports LAN Cable Detection
- Supports Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
- Supports PXE

Expansion / Connectivity Slots
- 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (blue @ x16 mode)
- 3 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots
- 2 x PCI slots

SATA3
- 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, RAID 5, Intel Rapid Storage and Intel Smart Response Technology), NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug" functions

USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports by Etron EJ168A, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s

ASRock Features
- ASRock Extreme Tuning Utility (AXTU)
- ASRock Instant Boot
- ASRock Instant Flash
- ASRock APP Charger
- ASRock SmartView
- ASRock XFast USB
- Lucid Virtu
- Hybrid Booster:
- CPU Frequency Stepless Control
- ASRock U-COP
- Boot Failure Guard (B.F.G.)
- Combo Cooler Option (C.C.O.)
- Good Night LED

Form Factor
- ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 8.3-in, 30.5 cm x 21.1 cm
- All Solid Capacitor design (100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors)

Contents:

With the ASRock Z68 Pro3 is the usual light assortment of accessories. ASRock has included a quick install guide, software setup guide, XFast USB guide, I/O panel, Serial ATA cable, and a Windows software CD.

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