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

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The last (but certainly not least) motherboard in our roundup is the ZOTAC Z68-ITX WiFi. If it’s possible for a motherboard to be adorable, this one is it. The Z68-ITX WiFi even has little rabbit-ear antennae for its included 802.11n WiFi module. In a tiny mini-ITX form factor--our sizable CPU cooler just about covered the entire board. This motherboard is an exercise in space efficiency; it's impressive that ZOTAC crammed so much onto such a small PCB.

We should note that because of the limited real estate, we had to rotate our CPU cooler 90 degrees to fit, compared to where it sat on the other boards we tested. Also, there wasn’t space enough between the cooler and the graphics card to fit our second CPU cooler-mounted fan. It’s just as well though, since there weren’t enough power inputs on the board for both of our cooler fans and our case fan.


Specifications & Features
CPU: LGA 1155
Chipset: Intel Z68 Express
Memory: 2 x 240-pin DIMM
 Up to 16GB DDR3
Slots: 1 x PCI Express x16
1 x Combo Mini PCI Express / mSATA (occupied by WiFi module)
Onboard Video: Intel HD Graphics 2000/3000 ready
Storage: 2 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s
2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s
RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5
Networking: Onboard LAN
2 x 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet ports
Onboard WLAN
802.11n (300 Mb/s) WiFi
Audio: 1 x HD Audio Port (7.1-channel)
1 x Digital Optical S/PDIF output
1 x Front panel audio header
USB Ports: 4 x USB 3.0 ports (2 on back panel, 2 via header)
8 x USB 2.0 ports (4 on back panel, 4 via header)
Form Factor: Mini-ITX Form Factor, 6.7in x 6.7in - 170mm x 170mm

The board supports up to 16GB of DDR3-2133 over a pair of memory slots as well as two SATA 3Gbps, two SATA 6Gbps, eight USB 2.0, and four USB 3.0 ports. There’s just one PCI-E x16 slot, but the board also has a combo Mini PCI-E/mSATA slot. On our board, that slot was occupied by the WiFi module.

On-board you’ll also find a PS/2 port, HD audio port, S/PDIF output, a pair of Gigabit LAN ports, two HDMI ports, and one Mini-DisplayPort.

Surprisingly, the Z68-ITX WiFi has some buttons on board (seriously, how did they fit those on there?), including power, reset, and a clear CMOS button on the back panel.


The box contains the usual offerings as well as a USB 3.0 header in case you need another couple of USB 3.0 ports. There are certainly overclocking options, but they’re somewhat buried under submenus in the BIOS.

At $178.99, the Z68-ITX WiFi is the least expensive board in our roundup, and for such a small board it really packs a punch performance-wise.

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

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