Z68 Motherboard Roundup: ASUS, EVGA, ASRock, GB, MSI, ZOTAC

Article Index

Performance Summary and Conclusion

With so many excellent motherboards to choose from in the Z68 arena, it’s tough to pick a favorite. Each of the boards we tested is unique in its own way, and users may be drawn to this or that feature that one motherboard has to the exclusion of the others. There wasn't a bad board of the bunch, but we had to rank them, so here goes:

Although it performed well in our benchmarks, for as much as the EVGA Z68 FTW costs, we expected a bit more in terms of features. For example, it lacks quad SLI/CrossFireX support and only supports 16GB of total system memory. We do love the extra accessories, though.

There’s nothing wrong with the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4, and it’s a fine piece of hardware with a relatively low price tag, but there’s nothing in particular that makes us want this motherboard over the other Gigabyte board in our roundup. Why not just go with the Z68XP-UD3-iSSD instead?

Overall, the MSI Z68A-GD65 G3 delivered decidedly average performance compared to the other boards, and it lacked some compelling extra features save for PCI-E gen 3 support when Ivy Bridge arrives. However, we definitely liked the price, and the overclocking features are easy to use and very effective.

Despite the plain Jane looks and tired BIOS, the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-iSSD is an easy motherboard to work with, and it delivered solid performance in our tests. The ace in the hole is obviously the integrated SSD. It’s a smart feature, it saves users a lot of hassle if they're trying to take advantage of Intel's Smart Response Technology (SRT) built into Z68. Its price is also quite good considering what you get with its integrated SSD. The only knock against this mobo is that in terms of graphics, it’s limited to just dual SLI/CrossFire at x8 each.  That may or may not be an issue for you.

We admit to having an affinity for the ZOTAC Z68-ITX WiFi as well. It’s just a great all-around board for what it is. It’s laid out incredibly well, and it manages to boast impressive features in a tiny form factor. The low price is nothing to sneeze at, either. Further, it performed relatively well in our tests. It doesn’t have much room for expansion, and although that’s expected with this form factor, it’s something to keep in mind when making a purchasing decision.

The ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 is a gorgeous motherboard, and although its benchmark scores were mostly average, it’s one of only two boards in this roundup that supports quad SLI/CrossFireX. Additionally, it has easy-to-use yet powerful overclocking features, so you can infer that this motherboard’s performance can scale up rather well if you're the type to push the envelope.

In a field of boards that had a myriad of outstanding features, the ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe had enough of everything to warrant our top spot. In addition to its great looks, it has excellent specs and expandability, its benchmark scores were mostly above average, and it’s not even the most expensive in the group (although it is up there).

Additionally, the board has excellent overclocking features with enough granular controls to keep even the most fervent tweaker happy.

If you’re looking for a Z68 motherboard to build a high-performing system on, you’ll be in good shape with the ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe.

  • Quad SLI/CrossFireX
  • Solid benchmarks
  • Excellent overclocking tools
  • Good looks
  • Power hungry
  • Price


Tags:  Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, Zotac, evga, Z68, ARock

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