While most of the talk about Intel's new Z68 chipset seems to have centred on Gigabyte initially and Asrock later, the first board seen in the wild looks to be on the shelves in London. KitGuru picks up a hammer, eyes the Z68 offer and decides if the piggybank gets it.
It seems a little extreme to launch an entire new chipset just because you forgot to allow your 2600k processor's to utilise its integrated graphics, but – essentially – that's what we have with Z68.
The world being what it is, there are some other benefits to be had, simply because this is hitting the streets around 6 months after the initial launch of the P67. When you look at the spec list for the new board, it does look impressive, but there's something we have noticed in presentations that is NOT flagged as clearly on the spec pages.
Have a look at the full detail of the new Asus board can be found over here.
So what's missing?
Well, any emphasis on the fact that Asus has done a ground up re-design for the Z68 – compared to the P67. The Asus design means that the full power of Intel's new graphics set up can be utilised. The Asus name for this is iGPU and the company is convinced that baords from some competitors (no names – begins with ‘G') will not be able to fully unleash the graphics processing features available, because they have installed Z68 on a P67 design. Right now, we cannot confirm this, but will get to it in the KitGuru labs soon enough.
In this diagram, Asus seems to be referring to the boost you will gain with 2600k integrated graphics. However, other diagrams we have seen from the board giant, seem to indicate that some tasks (specifically video processing) can also go 3x faster than with a discrete graphics card alone on a P67 board.
Why such a huge increase in performance would be missing from the product web site is a bit if a mystery.
We'll dig and come back to you on this
In the meantime, the product launches today and the PRO version is available from enthusiast stores like YOYOTech at just over £150. That's a little more than the P67 Pro and around the same price as the Sabretooth variant.
KitGuru says: Normally we would recommend that KitGuru readers move to the latest technology whenever possible – certainly for new system builds. However, this is a little different. The board has been re-designed and does have some new features, but it is also a couple of notes more expensive than the current model and you may or may not need the additional features. Until we have taken it apart in the KitGuru lab – we'll say that it's a personal preferences moment.
Comment below or in the KitGuru forum.