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Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Meet the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 motherboard, a non-integrated graphics take on the new Intel Z68 chipset. While the Intel Z68 is reknown for combining the best the Intel P67 & H67 chipsets had to offer in one platform...
 88% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Dec 30 2011   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3

Guide: Setting Up Intel SRT

To take advantage of Intel Smart Response Technology you'll need an Intel Z68-based motherboard and the operating system and program files installed to a mechanical hard drive. Intel SRT is compatible with Windows 7 and Windows Vista. You'll also need to purchase a Solid State Drive capable of being the caching SSD (see Intel.com for a list of qualified devices).

With a fresh installation of Windows 7 the process is easy. First connect the caching SSD - in our example a 20GB Intel 311 SSD - to an available SATA III port, power up the computer and enter the BIOS to configure the 'PCH SATA Control Mode'. On the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 motherboard this setting is found in the BIOS under Integrated Peripherals > PCH SATA Control Mode.

Set 'PCH SATA Control Mode' to 'RAID(XHD)' and save the changes. Reboot the PC and start the Windows 7 installation procedure as normal. When it comes time to specify the installation hard drive choose the mechanical HDD for the OS installation. Leave the cache SSD as unallocated space.

Once Windows 7 is installed and you've applied all the necessary hardware drivers and updates, install Intel Rapid Storage Technology and Intel Management Engine Software.

Launch Intel Rapid Storage Technology from the Windows Start menu, click on the 'Accelerate' button along the top > click on 'Enable acceleration > double-check that the 'disk volume to accelerate' is the HDD Windows is installed on (in this example, Port 3 69GB - a Western Digital WD740 Raptor). Choose 'Enhanced Mode' and click ok.

Enhanced Mode is the safe choice that's recommended by default; with it there is no possibility of data loss in the event of a power failure since all cached data is written to both the HDD and caching SSD.

Maximized mode offers a bit of an edge over Enhanced Mode but there is a risk of data loss in the event of a power loss. In Maximized mode data is stored to the SSD before being written to the HDD, so in the event of power outage data loss would be the same as if running RAID 0 with disk write cache enabled.

Incidently, if you have more than one hard drive installed on your computer system, say for example with programs installed to the secondary non-OS drive, applying Intel SRT to accelerate the non-boot volume will have little impact according to PCSTATS' tests.

For the best results, accelerate the boot volume and click 'ok' to finish the set up. If you wish to reclaim the cache SSD for storage space in the future, return to the accelerate tab in Intel Rapid Storage Technology application and click the "Disable Acceleration" link. This will revert the SSD back to standard storage device and delete all cache data that was previously stored on it.

Testing Intel Smart Response Technology

Intel Smart Response Technology was configured on Gigabyte's GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 motherboard with an Intel 311 'Larson Creek' SSD. Windows 7 was installed to a Western Digital WD740 Raptor hard drive and for the sake of comparison to an OCZ Vertex 2 solid state drive. The results are coming up next...

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  The LucidLogix Virtu Question + Intel Z68 Chipset
 Pg 3.  — Guide: Setting Up Intel SRT
 Pg 4.  Testing Intel SRT: PCMark Vantage HDD Suite
 Pg 5.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Features and Layout
 Pg 6.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Connectivity
 Pg 7.  Introducing Gigabyte Touch BIOS
 Pg 8.  Overclocking on the Intel Z68 Chipset
 Pg 9.  Sysmark 2007 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 10.  SiSoft Sandra: CPU Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 11.  Sandra: Memory Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 12.  PCMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 13.  3DMark 11 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 14.  3DMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 15.  3DMark 06 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 16.  FEAR Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 17.  System Power Draw and Final Conclusions

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