Intel Z68 Express with Smart Response Technology

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Test Setup and PCMark Vantage

Test System Configuration Notes: When configuring our test systems for this article, we first entered their respective system BIOSes and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance Defaults". We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set memory to DDR3-1333. The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we updated the OS, and installed the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking software, performed a disk clean-up, defragged the hard drives, and then ran all of the tests.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Intel and AMD - Head To Head

System 1:
Core i7-2600K
(3.4GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus P8Z68 PRO
Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
MSI Z68A-GD80
(Z68 Express Chipset)

2x2GB Patriot DDR3-1866
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64
System 2:
Core i7-2600K
(3.4GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus P8P67 Deluxe
(P67 Express Chipset)

2x2GB Patriot DDR3-1866
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64
System 3:
Core i7-975
(3.33GHz - Quad-Core)

Gigabyte EX58-UD5
(X58 Express Chipset)

3x2GB OCZ DDR3-1333
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64
System 4:
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
(3.3GHz Six-Core)

MSI 890FX-GD75
(AMD 990FX Chipset)

2x2GB Kingston DDR3-1600
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)


GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64

Futuremark PCMark Vantage
Simulated Application Performance

First up, we ran a number of different test systems through Futuremark’s latest system performance metric, PCMark Vantage. PCMark Vantage runs through a host of different usage scenarios to simulate different types of workloads including High Definition TV and movie playback and manipulation, gaming, image editing and manipulation, music compression, communications, and productivity. Most of the tests are multi-threaded as well, so the tests can exploit the additional resources offered by a multi-core CPU.

 

The first few pages of benchmarks compare a trio of Z68 Express based motherboards from Gigabyte, Asus, and MSI to the P67 Express, with a couple of other platforms based on the X58 Express and AMD 890FX thrown in for good measure.

As you can see here, the Z68 Express based motherboards generally outpaced the P67 by a few percentage points, depending on the specific test being run. We should point out, however, that PCMark Vantage has a fairly large margin of error and the differences aren't very dramatic with that taken into account. Also note that motherboard vendors have had more time to optimize performance with the Z68, than they did with the initial P67 launch, so that can account for a bit of the increased performance as well.


Click For An Enlarged View

 

Futuremark's latest iteration of PCMark, PCMark 7 launched in the days leading up to the Z68's release, so we decided to run its baseline test to give you all an idea how the platform does in this specific benchmark as well. We don't have reference numbers at this point, but if you've run PCMark 7 on your machine, at least you'll be able to compare. The test above was run with Smart Response technology enabled, in Enhanced Mode.

 


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