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ASRock Z68 Extreme 4 (Intel Z68) Motherboard Review

The new Z68 platform isn’t a dramatic and game changing product for Intel … but to be fair we already knew it wouldn’t be. It certainly isn’t justified but P67 still has a certain negative stigma attached to it (after the Cougar Point SATA issues) so a fresh revision and a new move for Intel is certainly going to be seen as positive. P67 and H67 will still be on sale for some time, but there will be a gradual reshift in focus to Z68.

The biggest selling point in our opinion is the new Smart Response Technology, which is a worthwhile addition to the platform. Many people have a small Solid State drive lying in a drawer which can be put to good use now. If you are booting from a large mechanical drive, then the overall system speed boost is clearly noticeable in the real world. The plus point is that it is easily set up, via an intuitive software package. No messing around with fiddly DOS commands or confusing bios settings. Obviously this technology won’t appeal to a solid state purist, because a dedicated SSD drive for boot up is still the best performance route to take.

The ASRock Z68 Extreme 4 is undoubtedly a fantastic motherboard. It is fully loaded, has a great PCB layout and is very stable, even when under high overclocking load. Power regulation is strong, and performance is just as good as the high end P67 boards we have reviewed in the past couple of months.

We certainly wouldn’t advise happy P67 owners to ditch their board and opt for a new Z68 product, but if you are in the market for a new system build then we can certainly recommend the ASRock Z68 Extreme 4.

Pros:

  • great overclocking capabilities
  • good layout
  • high level of connectivity
  • stable

Cons:

  • its not a ‘must have’ for current P67 owners
  • lucid virtu is such a waste of time

KitGuru says: A solid update to the older H67/P67 platform.


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Rating: 8.5.

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