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ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty Gen3 Motherboard Review

ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty Gen3 Motherboard Review

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ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty Gen3 Motherboard Review

ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 (PCI-Express 3.0) Motherboard

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Help With Writing A Dissertation We have seen a number of ASRocks Fatal1ty products here at Hardware Heaven over the past year or so and the Z68 board sticks to the same box design, focusing heavily on Johnathan Wendel and listing a few key specifications on the front. Inside we get a good bundle of extras that include a front panel USB 3.0 bracket, drive cables, SLI bridge, HDMI to DVI adapter, software disc and plenty of detailed product documentation.

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As with previous Fatal1ty boards ASRock have gone with a black PCB on the Z68 Gen3, mixing it with red, black and gold components which looks great. A large heatsink runs around the CPU socket, cooling the V12+6 power components and ASRock advertise the board as having Japan-made conductive polymer capacitors which have a 2.5x longer lifetime when compared to cheaper alternatives. A digital PWM design also ensures efficient and stable delivery of power to the CPU.

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Down at the bottom left of the board we find the add-in card slots and running between them and the CPU are a selection of NXP L04083B Quick Switch IC’s. These provide the PCIe 3.0 functionality on the board side with the Ivy Bridge CPU giving us the PCIe 3.0 lanes themselves. The two PCIe 3.0 slots present here are of course backwards compatible with current 2.0 devices.

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Over at the bottom right are six SATA ports which are split into six SATA 6Gb/s (red Intel/black ASMedia) and four SATA 3Gb/s (left most reds) with the Intel connectors supporting RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.

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Further up the board we find four dual channel memory slots which sit alongside our USB 3.0 and IDE headers. These are capable of holding 32GB of memory with official support hitting 2133MHz. These slots sit alongside a standard 24-pin power connector and the board also features an 8-pin socket.

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One of the key benefits of moving to an ASRock Z68 based system is the option of choosing a board with the new and improved UEFI BIOS with GUI support.

The BIOS GUI is best shown in video form (above) and as demonstrated it has full mouse/keyboard functionality and an improved look and feel over previous BIOS versions. This makes changing settings much easier, even for novice users.

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The majority of our time in the bios will be spent in the OC Tweaker screen where we can enhance the performance of the system through minor bus speed increases and full multiplier control (on compatible CPUs). A USB based BIOS flashing tool is also available to make that process quick and easy, again even for novice users.

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ASRock also supply a huge amount of software with the Z68 Gen3 board and this includes their standard tools suchg as F-Stream for Windows based monitoring and tweaking, X-Fast USB for enhanced performance of devices, X-Fast LAN to maximise our network traffic, THX software for audio configuration, fast charging drivers for portable devices and 3TB unlock drivers which add compatibility for drives above 2.2TB.

In addition to this ASRock have also made a selection of media software available to their users. The Magix Multimedia suite has content creation, management and sharing potential and is shown above.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.