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ZOTAC Readies Monster LGA1155 Motherboard

btarunr

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#1
ZOTAC entered the motherboard scene as yet another vendor of reference NVIDIA nForce motherboards, which the like of EVGA, XFX, and BFG also sold. After the fall of nForce, ZOTAC attempted a LGA1366 motherboard, and went dormant with motherboards. Later, it picked up interest in the mini-ITX form-factor as it gained popularity in Asian markets like China and India, manufacturing motherboards based on Intel Atom, Atom with NVIDIA ION, and eventually socketed mini-ITX motherboards as it became a 2-chip affair with Intel's Ibex Peak platform (LGA1156). It looks like Zotac is making a comeback into full-size ATX motherboards that target the very top tier of the market, to woo gamers, professional overclockers, and enthusiasts.

Seen here is what the Chinese press is referring to as "ZT-Z68 Crown Edition-U1DU3", we may have lost the correct name in translation, but let's call it ZT-Z68-U1DU3 for now. It is a full-size ATX motherboard that takes socket LGA1155 Intel Sandy Bridge and future Ivy Bridge processors, and is based on the Intel Z68 Express chipset. It combines a strong VRM to support extreme overclocking, with graphics expansion, adding 4-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX capabilities using an NVIDIA BR-03 bridge-chip that sits on the processor's PCI-E x16 link, to give out two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 links, which are then spread between four slots in x16/NC/x16/NC, x16/NC/x8/x8, or x8/x8/x8/x8 lane configurations.



The LGA1155 socket is powered by a 24-phase VRM that makes use of driver-MOSFETs, solid chokes, high-C and super ML capcitors to condition power. The memory is powered by a 2-phase design. Dual-channel DDR3 memory with speeds of over 2133 MHz with overclocking is supported. Apart from the four PCI-Express 2.0 slots explained earlier, there is one each of PCI-E x1 and PCI.

Storage connectivity includes eight internal SATA ports, which includes 6 Gb/s, 3 Gb/s ports; and an mSATA port to hold a SSD card to help with Intel Smart Response technology. Overclockers might find it particularly convenient to use just a medium-sized SandForce-driven SSD in the mSATA slot, getting rid of one set of cables. There's even an IDE to run the old DVD drives. There is an eSATA port in the rear panel. There are six USB 3.0 ports, two on the rear panel, four by internal headers.

Other connectivity includes 8-channel HD audio, Gigabit Ethernet, and wireless b/g/n. The board features three socketed serial flash ROM chips to house three sets of redundant UEFI firmware. Pricing and availability is not known, but one thing is for sure, this board is looking to go places.

Sources: MyDrivers, VR-Zone
 
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#2
I think the VRM part takes up more of the motherboard than any other I've seen to date. Hell, it takes up more space than anything else.
 
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#3
Hope it has a decent bios on it since everything from itx line is :banghead: with almost no oc options available
 
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#4
I think the VRM part takes up more of the motherboard than any other I've seen to date. Hell, it takes up more space than anything else.
We are just designing a BRUTUS custom made motherboard where you get a VRM part in a separate rack. It's that massive...
 
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#5
We are just designing a BRUTUS custom made motherboard where you get a VRM part in a separate rack. It's that massive...
Wow, Hmmm... a modular VRM! What does BRUTUS stand for?

... careful to stay OT or be beaten by a Mod.
 
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#6
Hope it has a decent bios on it since everything from itx line is :banghead: with almost no oc options available
It's not ITX. It's full ATX.
 

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#7
Looks really good.
 
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#8
I like it, but it annoys me that a lot of mobo manufacturers these days are boasting quad SLI and Quadfire, but the PCIe slots are all single-slot widths. Any cards worth a damn these days are all double-slot.
 

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#9
I like it, but it annoys me that a lot of mobo manufacturers these days are boasting quad SLI and Quadfire, but the PCIe slots are all single-slot widths. Any cards worth a damn these days are all double-slot.
Can you get 4 slots for doubleslot cooling on standard ATX?
 
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#10
Can you get 4 decent cards to SLI or Crossfire that are single-slot?
 

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#11
actually you could but it would require changing a few layouts like the bottom usb headers etc and replace them with a PCIE slot at the edge of the board but yes it could be done on ATX,

they could remove the IDE header and put USB headers there, the rest of the headers like firewire etc which no really uses could just be removed, if done right that opens up enough room for the last PCIe slot the other USB connectors not in the way are fine as most usb wires will easily fit under the gpu so its not a huge deal.
 

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#12
This board still doesnt beat the ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty Pro Gen3 with its 16x16 PCIex 3.0 Slots :)
 

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#13
true but without a PCIE 3.0 gpu those slots are also worthless, so kinda moot

and this board has what a 24 phase VRM for the cpu, yea talk about way overkill compared to everyother mobo in existence
 

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#14
Or they could simply move the top slot up one place (to where the molex is), to allow 7 slots, like most ATX motherboards, then insert a space between the two PCI-E x16 slots which are adjacent. Much easier than moving all the USB ports, and it 'only' requires an 8 slot case, not a 9 slot case.
 

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#15
maybe but that would end up causing issues with the heatsink from the looks do to the ridiculouse 24 phase cpu vrm lol
 

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#16
true but without a PCIE 3.0 gpu those slots are also worthless, so kinda moot

and this board has what a 24 phase VRM for the cpu, yea talk about way overkill compared to everyother mobo in existence
yea 24 phase is overkill for SB, I know 1366 loves those higher phases but with the smaller die of the SB it shouldn't take that many phases
 

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#18
Is that Pci I see? Ugh... "Napoleon dynamite voice" Idiot........
Don't talk to yourself that way; it's not healthy.


:laugh:


I kinda need PCI slot for my POST code reader, and for an old ATI RageII that I use occasionally when going sub-zero.


Would like to check it out, for sure, because I was very impressed by the ZOTAC Z68-ITX-WiFi i reviewed.
 
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#19
Can you get 4 decent cards to SLI or Crossfire that are single-slot?
Just use risers. Not only would that allow double slot cards in any slot, as well as the (possible) use of slots they cover, but can space them apart more to give the fans more breathing room.
 

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#20
I used PCI for my wireless card that still works good.
 
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#22
lol, it is a swexy board. zotac really is on top of their products.
 
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#23
I like it, but it annoys me that a lot of mobo manufacturers these days are boasting quad SLI and Quadfire, but the PCIe slots are all single-slot widths. Any cards worth a damn these days are all double-slot.
You can do tri SLI/CrossfireX with double slot cards on it no bother anyone even contemplating quad cards can buy single slot waterblocks :toast:
 
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#24
Is it just me or does the lettering on the board look very similar to ASrock's style?

Anyhow, two things jump out at me (apart from the massive amount of VRMs) - the wire from the NF200, implying a cooling fan, and the fact that the shroud on the NF200 may very well interfere with certain video cards. Also, WTF is up with Zotac and WiFi? I'm starting to think they bought a lifetime's supply of wireless chips and are just trying to get rid of them...

Can you get 4 decent cards to SLI or Crossfire that are single-slot?
6850 is the best you'll get, although I'm sure a 6870 could work with single-slot cooling. That said, if I had the moolah to run 4 video cards in a high-end rig like this, I'd buy quad 6970s and slap waterblocks on them.

actually you could but it would require changing a few layouts like the bottom usb headers etc and replace them with a PCIE slot at the edge of the board but yes it could be done on ATX,
No, it cannot be done with standard ATX - have you ever even looked at a motherboard? The gap between the slots on the motherboard is the same as the gap between the bottommost slot and the edge of the board, hence there is physically no room for another slot - unless you extend the board, which is E-ATX.
 
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#25
since people are discussing about fitting 4 graphics cards onto a standard atx mobo so I guess it wouldn't be too off topic to ask:

for cards fitted with full water blocks, can they be treated as single slot cards? or are they still effectively dual slot due to the openings for water flow?