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Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD Intel Z68 Motherboard & Intel 20GB SSD Review

Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD Intel Z68 Motherboard & Intel 20GB SSD Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: There are four key features that make the Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD a real killer among Intel Z68 motherboards - a bundled 20GB Intel mSATA SSD, Virtu, SLI/Crossfire and onboard HDMI video output.
 95% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Dec 25 2011   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD

360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Board Layout

The Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD motherboard features a pair of physical PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots that support two-way ATI CrossfireX or nVidia SLI. The first videocard slot runs at x16 mode, when both are populated that drops to x8/x8 mode.

Gamers will be happy to hear that this board supports the Lucid Logix Virtu driver - handy if you wish to take advantage of Intel's quick media transcoding abilities by running desktop graphics off the SandyBridge Intel HD 3000 graphics IGP via the Z68XP-UD3-iSSD's onboard HDMI video output.

Dual PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots for SLI / Crossfire.

Remaining expansion slots include three PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots and two legacy PCI slots. The devices above the first PCI Express x16 slot is what makes the Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD motherboard really stand out from other Intel Z68 platforms.

It's a mini-PCIes slot that communicates over a SATA II bus.

If you guessed mSATA slot and SSD, you guessed right. One of the neatest tricks from the Intel stables is Smart Response Technology - basically a way to use a small solid state drive to speed up applications. PCSTATS has already tested Intel SRT thoroughly (see:Beginners Guide: Intel Smart Response Technology and Intel 311 Larson Creek SSD ) so we won't be touching on all aspects of SRT in this board review.

20GB of 34nm SLC Compute NAND flash memory

Gigabyte bundle the GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD motherboard with a 20GB Intel SLC-NAND flash memory SSD. This bumps the price of this particular board up about $70 over equivalently featured Intel Z68 boards, but is cheaper than buying a Cache SSD+Intel Z68 motherboard separately.

The GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD motherboard goes for $239 (Newegg) with the SSD, which is a good deal considering an Intel 311 'Larsen Creek' 20GB SLC-flash mSATA SSD runs $130 by itself (Newegg). Without the SSD, the basic GA-Z68XP-UD3 motherboard costs $139 (MicroCenter) / $159 (Newegg), so the combo will save you about $40 bucks.

The factory installed Intel 311 mSATA SSD slips into a physical miniPCIe socket but communicates with the computer over a SATA II bus. There is a tamper resistant sticker on the mSATA SSD card to indicate if anyone up the supply chain has tampered with it.

Gigabyte's mSATA card slot for the bundled Intel 311 SSD.

When the mSATA slot is populated one SATA II port is disabled - no biggie, there are eight SATA ports available on the Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD motherboard.

Along the bottom edge of the Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD motherboard are numerous headers for USB 2.0/3.0 and IEEE 1394. The board has (3) USB 2.0 and (1) USB 3.0 headers. In short, there's a lot of connectivity here, but not even one USB bracket tossed in! An ITE IT8728 controller fills in that role and also takes on legacy control of PS/2 keyboards and mice.

Internal expansion headers.

A look at the memory slots, CPU socket and PCI Express x16 slots ability to accommodate extra-wide videocards is next as the 360-degree motherboard photo gallery continues on PCSTATS....

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD Intel Z68 Motherboard & Intel 20GB SSD Review
 Pg 2.  Bundled-in 20GB SSD - Intel Smart Response Technology
 Pg 3.  — 360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Board Layout
 Pg 4.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Continued
 Pg 5.  BIOS and Hybrid-EFI Touch BIOS
 Pg 6.  Overclocking Test Report and Test System Details
 Pg 7.  Configuring Intel Smart Response Technology
 Pg 8.  Testing Intel SRT: PCMark Vantage
 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.  IGP Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark06, FEAR
 Pg 18.  IGP Motherboard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez, Crysis, Video Transcoding
 Pg 19.  System Power Draw and Final Conclusions

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   07 / 20 / 2019 | 8:57PM
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