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ASUS P8Z68-V Pro Motherboard

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Like you would expect, ASUS P8Z68-V Pro has the same UEFI BIOS that we have already described in detail in the review of ASUS P8P67 Deluxe. There's nothing radically new, but they've naturally added overclocking, graphics, and expansion slot settings. Once again we can state that ASUS's UEFI is one of the best, so there are no real complaints about BIOS. Not that it's a real advantage, though, because you can set all these options in more convenient Windows utilities.

Package and proprietary utilities

Unlike the "Deluxe" version, the bundle doesn't contain anything truly interesting, although there's a 2 x USB 3.0 bracket you can use — on the back panel only, though. If you need a couple more front-panel ports, you'll have to buy a 3.5-inch module or something like that. The bundle also contains four SATA cables, including the "SATA 6Gb/s" ones which are basically the same, a software DVD, a couple of user's manuals, a back-panel faceplate, a SLI bridge, and a set of front-panel cables.

ASUS's proprietary utilities have also been described already. Please see the reviews of ASUS P8P67 Deluxe and ASUS P7P55D Deluxe, EVO.


As you can see, video outputs take up much space on the back panel. This leaves no space for optional features like the PS/2 port and Clear CMOS button. In fact, there are other, more useful features missing as well. There are 6 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, a LAN port, three video outputs (excluding DisplayPort), standard audio I/O and optical S/PDIF-Out, a eSATA port (not a powered USB combo) and a Bluetooth antenna. Quite a lot, right? ASUS P8Z68-V Pro supports FireWire, too, but there's no space on the back panel for those ports, so you'll have to use a bracket or connect them to the front panel.

There are really no complaints here, because the motherboard has everything necessary on the back panel as well as some extra features on board. As you may remember, you can connect two independent monitors to any two available video outputs simultaneously, if you use built-in graphics. The latter will, of course, continue to work if you install a discrete graphics card (or multiple cards). In this case, you will even be able to 'combine' their operation with the help of Lucid Virtu.

ASUS P8Z68-V Pro is based on the Intel Z68 Express chipset (Z68 PCH) and has the following controllers:

  • 2 USB 3.0 based on ASMedia ASM1042 (PCIe x1). Each supports 2 devices.
  • Additional SATA 6Gbps based on Marvell 88SE9172 (PCIe x1). Supports 2 devices.
  • Integrated audio based on the 7.1+2-channel Realtek ALC892 HDA codec with an optical (Toslink) S/PDIF-Out on the back panel and another S/PDIF-Out on board.
  • Gigabit Ethernet based on chipset's MAC and an Intel WG82579V PHY.
  • SATA 3Gbps based on JMicron JMB362 (PCIe x1). Supports 2 eSATA-300 devices, 1 eSATA port on the back panel.
  • FireWire based on VIA VT6308P (PCI). Supports 2 ports.
  • PCI based on the ASMedia ASM1083 PCIe-PCI bridge. Supports 3 devices (2 onboard slots and an interface to connect a FireWire controller).

Looks rather impressive. By the way, note that ASUS P8Z68-V Deluxe doesn't have video outputs either, although it does support built-in graphics (unlike Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3, for example). It means you can still use the transcoding engine with the help of Lucid Virtu (which is this technology's only purpose). From this point of view, ASUS P8Z68-V Pro we are reviewing today is actually the highest-end model of this small series, even despite the "Pro" suffix.

ASUS P8Z68-V Pro supports DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC technologies, i.e. it should be able to provide 'realistic' sound on just two speakers and, vice versa, divide regular stereo signal across 4-8 channels. Speaking of quality, we tested it with RightMark Audio Analyzer 6.0 and a Terratec DMX 6fire sound card.

Test 16-bit/44kHz 16-bit/48kHz
Frequency response (40Hz to 15kHz), dB +0.02, -0.12 +0.01, -0.05
Noise level, dB(A) -91.6 -91.7
Dynamic range, dB(A) 91.6 91.6
Total harmonic distortion, % 0.0037 0.0036
Total harmonic distortion + noise, dB(A) -82.7 -82.9
Intermodulation distortion + noise, % 0.0085 0.0084
Channel crosstalk, dB -90.4 -89.5
Intermodulation distortion at 10 kHz, % 0.0083 0.0079
Overall grade Very good Very good

Final thoughts

ASUS P8Z68-V Pro is a very nice motherboard, offering all the features regular (not 'elite') ASUS motherboards have. Do not be confused by the humble "Pro" suffix (although the price does clear things up very quickly). The rich functionality of the board is reasonably supported by high-quality power circuitry and cooling, good layout, and great software support.

Motherboard provided by its manufacturer.

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Page 1: Introduction, design

Page 2: Design cont'd

Page 3: UEFI, package, features

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