Wednesday, September 28th 2011

ASUS Unveils Trio of PCI-Express 3.0 Motherboards Based on Intel Z68 Chipset

ASUS unveiled a trio of socket LGA1155 motherboards based on the Intel Z68 chipset, which feature PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (electrical x8/x8 when both are populated). The new motherboards are PCI-Express Gen 3.0 specifications compliant, complete with switches and electrical components. Leading the pack is the P8Z68 DELUXE/Gen3 in the $250-segement, followed by the P8Z68-V PRO/Gen3 in the $200-segment, and the P8Z68-V/Gen3 in the sub-$200 segment.

All three feature 16-phase Digi+ CPU VRM, an Intel-made gigabit Ethernet controller, and Lucid Virtu support. All three feature the same expansion slot loadout, with two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC or x8/x8), one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical 2.0 x4), and two each of PCI-Express 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI wired to an ASMedia-made bridge chip.

The P8Z68 DELUXE/Gen3 is loaded with features, but lacks display connectivity, the bundled Lucid Virtu only works in D-mode, providing load-balancing between multiple installed GPUs. The lack of display connectors creates room for an additional gigabit Ethernet + USB 3.0 port cluster. The second gigabit Ethernet connection is controlled by Realtek 8111E. A PLX-made PCI-Express 2.0 bridge chip is used to create additional PCI-Express 2.0 x1 internal ports, driving additional USB 3.0 and SATA controllers. While the other two boards in this series use ASMedia-made USB 3.0 controllers, the P8Z68 DELUXE/Gen3 uses NEC/Renesas-made ones. Other connectivity includes HD audio, Bluetooth 3.0, and FireWire.

The P8Z68-V PRO/Gen3 is a tiny step down in terms of connectivity options, it gets rid of the RTL8111E-driven gigabit Ethernet connection the DELUXE variant has, makes room for iGPU display connectivity including DVI, HDMI, and D-Sub, and has one fewer eSATA port. The P8Z68-V/Gen3 is even slimmer, its HD audio CODEC lacks DTS decode feature, and it has two fewer SATA 6 Gb/s ports.

Source: TechConnect Magazine
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15 Comments on ASUS Unveils Trio of PCI-Express 3.0 Motherboards Based on Intel Z68 Chipset

#1
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Virtu was never that useful anyway IMO. It sounded good and looked good on paper, then they seem to have got lost somewhere after that. Ive heard that Virtu is extremely buggy and only works albeit buggily with a few select cards. and now they've side stepped it by removing the DVi port like saying "Yeah! We ment to do that! what the fack is virtu??? Never heard of it!"

good idea let down my poor software support.
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#2
happita
by: FreedomEclipse
Virtu was never that useful anyway IMO. It sounded good and looked good on paper, then they seem to have got lost somewhere after that. Ive heard that Virtu is extremely buggy and only works albeit buggily with a few select cards
Well, it kind of is useful. This is especially true if you have onboard graphics + discrete graphics, Virtu from what I understand will assign both GPU's accordingly and use the system as efficiently as possible. Going from onboard GPU whenever your doing light computer work to discrete GPU when gaming tests any PC. They have the hardware/software to get it done quite good, it's just not gonna get a huge sales volume. They need to step up their R&D the most and stun us with another innovating idea besides this.
However, on topic. I wonder if USB 3.0 AND SATA III will be the norm yet for making all newer types of hardware. Especially things like HDDs, flash drives, SSDs, etc. so that we can utilize our motherboard's functionality in order to support the usage of USB 3.0 devices :)
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#3
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
by: happita
Well, it kind of is useful. This is especially true if you have onboard graphics + discrete graphics, Virtu from what I understand will assign both GPU's accordingly and use the system as efficiently as possible. Going from onboard GPU whenever your doing light computer work to discrete GPU when gaming tests any PC. They have the hardware/software to get it done quite good, it's just not gonna get a huge sales volume. They need to step up their R&D the most and stun us with another innovating idea besides this.
However, on topic. I wonder if USB 3.0 AND SATA III will be the norm yet for making all newer types of hardware. Especially things like HDDs, flash drives, SSDs, etc. so that we can utilize our motherboard's functionality in order to support the usage of USB 3.0 devices :)
Bit-tech Done a 3 page review on the Z68 chipset reviewing the new features over the old P67 chipset. and Virtu barely works, if it doesn it doesnt do it smoothly, they tried the GTX570 on it and it wouldnt even detect that card.

I could use virtu, I have a Z68 board. but i dont because currently, its more hassle then what its worth.

then they remove the VGA and DVI connections on the Deluxe mobo and replace it with a network card
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#4
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: FreedomEclipse
Bit-tech Done a 3 page review on the Z68 chipset reviewing the new features over the old P67 chipset. and Virtu barely works, if it doesn it doesnt do it smoothly, they tried the GTX570 on it and it wouldnt even detect that card.

I could use virtu, I have a Z68 board. but i dont because currently, its more hassle then what its worth.

then they remove the VGA and DVI connections on the Deluxe mobo and replace it with a network card
Bit-tech did their article a long time ago, and Virtu software works MUCH better than before. Personally, i like it alot. Perhaps the Deluxe board has HDMI-out only?
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#5
[H]@RD5TUFF
They need more sata ports 8 is not enough let alone 6.
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#6
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: cadaveca
Perhaps the Deluxe board has HDMI-out only?
Nope, according to the specs sheet, it has no display outputs, not even HDMI.
Posted on Reply
#7
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
by: btarunr
Nope, according to the specs sheet, it has no display outputs, not even HDMI.
why have virtu, if there are no display ports other then the ones on your graphics card?

If you could SLI or crossfire it with your cards, that would be awesome
Posted on Reply
#8
Jegergrim
Could anyone enlighten me on "lack of DTS decode" on the Pro motherboard? And are these confirmed compatible with IvyB?
Posted on Reply
#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: Jegergrim
Could anyone enlighten me on "lack of DTS decode" on the Pro motherboard? And are these confirmed compatible with IvyB?
That is lack of DTS decode for the onboard audio's SPDIF outputs, not the HDMI audio wired to the iGPU.
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#10
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: FreedomEclipse
why have virtu, if there are no display ports other then the ones on your graphics card?

If you could SLI or crossfire it with your cards, that would be awesome
You can still use Virtu software to access the iGPU for compute tasks like encoding acceleration. i-GPU and D-GPU modes are quite different, and even the list of software that hasa profile inthe Virtu software changes dependant on the mode that is enabled. Looking at the list, it does say d-GPU mode only, the mode in which the encoding acceleration is available.
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#11
crazyeyesreaper
Chief Broken Rig
eitherway seems asus has PCIE 3,0 boards dave now how long till they pop out the maximus forumla blah blah super mega ultra awesome Gen 3 lol
Posted on Reply
#12
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
by: cadaveca
You can still use Virtu software to access the iGPU for compute tasks like encoding acceleration. i-GPU and D-GPU modes are quite different, and even the list of software that hasa profile inthe Virtu software changes dependant on the mode that is enabled. Looking at the list, it does say d-GPU mode only, the mode in which the encoding acceleration is available.
Cool beans.

but i have 6970s that can deal with all my direct compute tasks :laugh: and if i dont want them to do it i still have overclocked i5 cores.

I can see it that configuration being useful in a lower end performing system with something like a dual core.

but why buy a deluxe board and kit it up with such a slow, locked or dual core CPU? it just doesnt make sense.

Nvidia cards have CUDA so they can handle any encoding.

the only thing that springs to mind is if your GPUs, CPU or both are already encoding and you need to balance the workload out so set up Virtu to do it.

thats some serious encoding.
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#13
cadaveca
My name is Dave
I totally agree with your sentiment on where Virtu is actually intended to be used, 100%. At the same time, I'm sure ASUS considered the users of eahc product, and what features they'd like to see, but it does seem weird that the Deluxe kind of loses soem functionality compared to the "lower bin" models.

by: crazyeyesreaper
eitherway seems asus has PCIE 3,0 boards dave now how long till they pop out the maximus forumla blah blah super mega ultra awesome Gen 3 lol
No idea. I typically only get info as it relates to products I am working on, and ASUS has not sent me one of these...yet.;)

I've covered MSI and Gigabyte PCIe 3.0, so it only seems to make sense that I cover on of these as well.
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#14
crazyeyesreaper
Chief Broken Rig
well keep me posted lol especially if you get there high end thats x8 x8 3.0 with crazy features no one needs lol
Posted on Reply
#15
happita
by: crazyeyesreaper
now how long till they pop out the maximus forumla blah blah super mega ultra awesome Gen 3 lol
They'll release the newer stuff after we're done buying their old stock :D
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