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Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Socket 1155 motherboards like the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 which are built around it offer up a mainstream suite of capabilities and a kitchen sink full o'features. The board supports 2nd Generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 2xxx-series socket LGA1155 processors - these CPUs are based on the Intel 'SandyBridge' architecture which includes an integrated graphics core on the CPU die.
 88% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Aug 16 2011   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3


Lucid's VIRTU is a software driver Intel validated for the Intel Z68 platform that enables on-the-fly switching between discreet graphics cards and Sandy Bridge's integrated DX10.1 Intel HD3000/2000 graphics core by virtualizing one video output through the other.

There are two ways of configuring VIRTU. If the monitor is connected to the motherboards graphics ports (ie. HDMI, DP, DVI-D) and a discrete videocard is installed, VIRTU can virtualize the discreet videocard (i-Mode) when 3D games are launched.

Conversely, if the monitor is connected to a discrete videocard, VIRTU can virtualize the CPU-IGP when required (d-Mode). All this is done on the fly without moving monitor cables.

Gigabyte's GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 motherboard is validated for Lucid's VIRTU driver.

The key to Virtu is that it enables the Intel HD 3000/2000 IGP to accelerate video transcoding tasks via Intel QuickSync, or HD-BluRay streaming via Intel Insider, then when needed seamlessly switch to purpose bred discreet videocards for 3D gaming (with DX11 and AA as the case may be). PCSTATS tested with VIRTU v1.1.101.16713 and found a negligible impact to 3D benchmark results with it running; VIRTU is pretty simple to use and can be tasked to kick in for specified applications. VIRTU works with all Intel Z68 motherboards, but only if the board has onboard video outputs.

Intel Smart Response Technology

Intel Smart Response Technology is pretty interesting. In plain language, what Intel SRT does is bring about like-SSD performance to operating systems and applications installed on traditional mechanical SATA hard drives by storing frequently accessed hard drive I/O data blocks on a dedicated SSD drive. Frequently accessed data can be read much quicker from the SSD, so Windows 7 spends less time waiting around.

The system is compatible with mSATA and standard SATA SSD devices; PCSTATS has tested Intel SRT already with an mSATA Intel Larson Creek 311 SSD and a Intel SSDSA2VP020G2 2.5" solid state drive made with 34nm SLC 'Compute NAND' memory, so we're not going to re-hash all the results here.

Suffice to say, for computers with Windows 7/Vista installed to a traditional mechanical hard drive, Intel SRT is an economical way to speed up application load times and generally make recurring application data much snappier. In general, Intel SRT will fully kick in on the second and subsequent instances an application is used. The tool doesn't work on systems already installed to an SSD, and really works best on the boot disk/volume. For an in-depth look at Intel SRT please see this PCSTATS article.

Moving along, it's time for a 360-degree look at the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 motherboard!

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Intel Z68 Express Chipset
 Pg 3.  — Lucid VIRTU
 Pg 4.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Features and Layout
 Pg 5.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Continued
 Pg 6.  BIOS and Hybrid-EFI Touch BIOS
 Pg 7.  Overclocking on the Intel Z68 Chipset
 Pg 8.  Sysmark 2007 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 9.  SiSoft Sandra: CPU Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 10.  Sandra: Memory Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 11.  PCMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 12.  3DMark 11 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 13.  3DMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 14.  3DMark 06 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 15.  FEAR Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 16.  IGP Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark06, FEAR, Juarez, Crysis
 Pg 17.  System Power Draw and Final Conclusions

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